Alternative healing methods around us

Authors: Vojtěch Mornstein;  Jiří Beneš;  Zdeněk Mrozek;  Štěpán Svačina
Authors‘ workplace: Biofyzikální ústav LF MU v Brně, 4. interní klinika 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 1;  4. interní klinika 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 2;  Klinika anesteziologie, resuscitace a intenzivní medicíny LF UP a FN Olomouc 3;  3. interní klinika 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 4
Published in: Čas. Lék. čes. 2016; 155: 267-273
Category: Review Articles


This article gives information on selected alternative medicine methods (AMM) under conditions of the Czech health care system. They can be defined as contemporaneous diagnostic and therapeutic methods which differ in their theoretical fundaments as well as practices from the evidence based medicine. This definition is controversial because these methods are an intrinsically incompatible aggregate of modalities acting as a placebo above all. We can encounter many "therapeutic" and "examination" methods which are practiced namely by healers without formal medical education, and connected closely with esotericism. A general feature of the alternative methods is a void usage of scientific concepts and theories, e.g. the concept of energy.

Motivations of patients and doctors are briefly introduced here. However, AMM is also an ethical problem because the doctor should help the patient with maximum efficiency hence excluding the methods with a questionable, small or negligible efficiency. The opinions how to find the way out from this situation are divergent. It could be a refusal or a very reserved attitude to AMM plus maximisation of the placebo effect enhancing the efficiency of a rational therapy. Furthermore, the methods most spread in the Czech Republic are subjected to elementary critics – the homoeopathy, acupuncture, the so-called "bioresonance" instrumental methods, psychic healing, and also some refused methods in cancer treatment. In our opinion medicine disposes of sufficient knowledge and experience to assess the efficiency of AMM and refuse them in causal therapy, eventually. Their use as a placebo should be carefully considered.

Key words:
alternative medicine, placebo, homeopathy, acupuncture


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