Understanding the history, issues, and trends related to alternative medicine has increasing importance for science communicators, as a growing number of adults and children in the United States are regular users of alternative medicine and seek information about these therapies. In this entry, alternative medicine is discussed, particularly its history and present use in the United States. Key differences between conventional medicine and alternative medicine are summarized, areas of ongoing controversy are described, and gaps in communication research are identified. Although alternative medicine has global use and implications, this entry will largely focus on alternative medicine in the United States.

A Brief History

Strictly speaking, alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used instead of conventional medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine and traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine ...

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