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Complementary medicines

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Researchers working with alternative medicines have an obligation to report negative or null findings. hit thatswitch/Flickr

Industry has a role in funding alternative medicine research

TESTING ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES - La Trobe University’s decision to accept funding from Swisse for a new centre to research alternative medicines has sparked controversy. There’s been a fair bit of debate…
What really works to alleviate hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause? splityarn/Flickr

Trick or treat? Alternative therapies for menopause

During menopause, estrogen levels drop, leading to a number of unpleasant symptoms. The transition to menopause can significantly affect women’s quality of life, with many willing to try anything to alleviate…
Acupuncture is one of a suite of alternative therapies almost two-thirds of Australians use every year. KayVee.INC/Flickr

Here’s why we should research alternative therapies

TESTING ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES - La Trobe University’s decision to accept funding from Swisse for a new centre to research alternative medicines has sparked controversy. This series looks at how the evidence…
How can you tell what products might be of use and which ones will only lighten your wallet? Image from shutterstock.com

CAM or sham? Let’s get the facts straight on vitamins and supplements

Australia’s complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) industry is worth about A$4 billion annually. Around two thirds of Australians use CAM – which includes therapies such as chiropractic and naturopathy…
Up to one in three Australians take vitamin supplements, but few healthy people need them. Brian Gaid

Monday’s medical myth: take a vitamin a day for better health

Forget an apple a day, vitamin manufacturers would have you believe it’s important to take daily vitamins to boost your health. And a surprising proportion of Australians do. Data from the last National…
It’s unclear whether reflexology provides any therapeutic benefits beyond those of a generic foot massage. Paul Bence

Reflexology: panacea or placebo?

Reflexology is a form of manual therapy based on the principle that specific locations on the feet, hands and ears have connections to the rest of the body. By applying pressure to these locations using…
Some of the techniques that form the armamentarium of myotherapy are supported by some positive evidence. o5com

Myotherapy: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Myotherapy was developed by American Bonnie Prudden in the 1970s as a system of treating painful…
The CHC Complaints Resolution Committee did not consider a $675 gift to be “undue influence, pressure or unfair tactics”. Bradley Stemke

Swisse vitamins' sweetener to doctors: complaint resolution

In April 2012 Swisse made the following offer to GPs, “For those who on-sell full sized Swisse Practitioner products, Swisse will sponsor the full cost for you or one of your staff members to complete…
Chinese herbal treatments, among other complementary medicines, have come under scrutiny. Flickr/Tricia Wang

Attack on complementary medicine ‘undermines safety’

Cutting complementary medicine courses from universities would dilute the quality of the education available and threaten…
Universities should be protected as sites where unpopular ideas and theories can be examined. uonottingham

Complementary vs western medicine – both have a role in universities

Medicine has long been the subject of vigorous debate about the control of social resources. The formation of modern medicine in the mid-19th century was itself the result of a century long fight for legitimacy…
Pop a few undoit pills, and the fat in a slice of cake will pass out harmlessly at the other end - or so the company advertising the product claimed. undoit.com.au

Claim that undoit pill blocks all fat and carbs is baseless

A company advertising a pill that “will ‘undo’ 5g of fat and 210g of carbs” must remove advertisements for the product and…
Pseudosciences such as acupuncture have no place in universities, say the Friends of Science in Medicine. Flickr/NYCTCM

Pseudosciences are destroying the reputation of Australia’s universities

The international credibility of Australia’s universities is being undermined by the increase in the “pseudoscientific” health…
The TGA is still slow to act on products making dubious weight-loss claims. puuikibeach

New weight-loss claims show TGA reforms aren’t working

Little seems to have changed inside the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). And that’s despite two years of reviews into the shortcomings of its regulatory processes and the release, late last year…
Some complementary medicines fill a medical need while others are of no value whatsoever. nicholaslaughlin

Giving the right teeth to the tiger: creating an effective TGA

Some complementary medicines are useful while others are just plain quackery so any attempt to regulate the industry requires an understanding of this heterogeneity. What’s more, the regulator of the industry…

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