The Alternative Medicine Homepage is a jumpstation for sources of information on unconventional, unorthodox, unproven, or alternative, complementary, innovative, integrative therapies.

For information on this site please go to the about us page.

This site updated: June 2006.

A Hospital & Health System page has been added providing links to allopathic medical school, hospital and health system Integrative Medicine Programs. If you like your progam on this list please send the link and information to cbw@pitt.edu

All of the Alternative Medicine Homepage awards are located on the about us page.

In 2002, the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Section staff of the National Library of Medicine classifies alternative medicine under the term complementary therapies. This is defined as therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional allopathic medical practice. They may lack biomedical explanations but as they become better researched some, such as physical therapy, diet, and acupuncture, become widely accepted whereas others, such as humors or radium therapy, quietly fade away, yet are important historical footnotes. Therapies are termed as Complementary when used in addition to conventional treatments and as Alternative when used instead of conventional treatment.

The National Library of Medicine's previous definition was an unrelated group of non-orthodox therapeutic practices, often with explanatory systems that do not follow conventional biomedical explanations and non-orthodox therapeutic systems which have no satisfactory scientific explanation for their effectiveness.

Others define it as medical interventions not taught at United States medical schools or not available at United States hospitals.

The Panel on Definition and Description, CAM Research Methodology Conference, Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, April 1995 defined complementary and alternative medicine as a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well being. Boundaries within CAM and between CAM domain and the domain of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed.

Alternative therapies include, but are not limited to the following disciplines: folk medicine, herbal medicine, diet fads, homeopathy, faith healing, new age healing, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathy, massage, and music therapy.

Studies suggest these therapies are sought out by individuals that have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, arthritis, cancer, back pain, and other medical conditions.

At the present time, I am unable to provide assistance to individuals seeking information on specific treatments or diseases. For specific disease, therapeutic, or treatment information, please use the links on this page or consult with a health practitioner.

I am unable to review specific modalities, therapies, dietary supplements, or to make any recommendations on their effectiveness. Again you should consult with your health practitioner.

The Alternative Medicine Homepage provides links to Internet information sources and does not replace the care by a qualified health practitioner.

"The Alternative Medicine Homepage" is now going on its 12th year. Your support and contributions to this page are all read, added to this site or filed for reference and referral.

Revision: June 2006.


For additions or comments please respond to "The Alternative Medicine Homepage" 1994-2006. Charles B. Wessel, M.L.S., cbw@pitt.edu - Falk Library of the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261


Design : Paul Worona, M.L.I.S., Health Sciences Library System, Falk Library of the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh


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