A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

Critical Thinker's Dictionary

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holistic medicine

Holistic medicine refers to alternative health practices that claim to treat "the whole person." To holistic practitioners, a person is not just a body with physical parts and systems, but is a spiritual being as well. The mind and the emotions are believed to be connected to this spirit, as well as to the body. Holistic practitioners are truly alternative in the sense that they often avoid surgery or drugs as treatments, though they are quite fond of meditation, prayer, herbs, vitamins, minerals and exotic diets as treatments for a variety of ailments.

See also alternative health practice, complementary medicine, frontier medicine, integrative medicine, quackery, and Energy Healing: Looking in All the Wrong Places by Robert Todd Carroll.


further reading

books and articles

Barrett, Stephen and William T. Jarvis. eds. The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America, (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1993).

Gardner, Martin. Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science(New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1957), ch. 16.

Glymour, Clark and Douglas Stalker, eds. Examining Holistic Medicine, (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1985).

Park, Robert L. Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud (Oxford U. Press, 2000).

Randi, James. The Faith Healers (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989).

Raso, Jack. "Alternative" Healthcare: A Comprehensive Guide (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1994).

Raso, Jack. "Mystical Medical Alternativism," Skeptical Inquirer, Sept/Oct 1995.

Sampson, Wallace and Lewis Vaughn, editors. Science Meets Alternative Medicine: What the Evidence Says About Unconventional Treatments  (Prometheus Books, 2000).

Stalker, Douglas. 1995. Evidence and alternative medicine. Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine.

Stenger, Victor J. "Quantum Quackery," Skeptical Inquirer. January/February 1997.

websites

Institute of Holistic Computer Wellness

Social and judgmental biases that make inert treatments seem to work by Barry L. Beyerstein (1999)

The Belief Engine by Jim Alcock (1995)

Why the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Should Be Defunded by Wallace I. Sampson, M.D.

Last updated 18-Dec-2013

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