I've been interested in alternative medicine for about 20 years now, and my interest has gone from a solidly skeptical beginning to a more optimistic end. When I first started researching alternative treatment, it was over concern about a friend. I had a good friend who was a big fan of complementary medicine, and I was worried that he wasn't getting the treatment that he needed. I figured that, by refusing conventional treatment in favor of alternate medicine, he might be doing more harm than good.
At the time, I didn't fully understand my friends position. I thought that his position on alternative medicine was a little bit extreme, but it turned out that I was the extreme one. He basically believed that it was a mistake to take harsh pills and other sorts of Western medicine before looking for more subtle, holistic cures. He wasn't opposed to conventional medicine per se, but he felt like it was often a better idea to use a less invasive treatment. When I told him about my concerns, he agreed to tell me all about the alternative medicine that he was using. He trusted his alternative health care provider, and didn't feel the need to look things up, but he invited me to do some research if I wanted to. I took it upon myself to do just that. I wanted to find out as much as I could about alternative healing.
It turned out that a lot of his alternative medicine revolved around some pretty well established herbal cures. One of the big problems with the mainstream medical establishment is that they only sell cures that can make them a lot of money. If something is easily available from natural sources, it is not aggressively marketed by the health care industry. Therefore, sometimes very efficient natural cures are forgotten in favor of more expensive to manufacture medications. In many ways, his alternative medicine consisted primarily of rediscovering these cures and using them to best effect.
There was a lot more to his alternative healing course than that, however. On top of the alternative medicine, he used some pretty unconventional healing treatments. His doctor practiced a method of healing touch that I had never heard of before, and I was a little bit skeptical at first. I took the opportunity to try it myself, and I was surprised at the results. The effect was palpable, and I felt the cold that I had at the time clearing as soon as the doctor put his hands on me. It was strange and I can't quite explain it, but I can't deny that I felt something. All I know is that there is more to alternative medicine than I once thought.