Complementary Medicine Research in Australia

Every so often you look in the newspapers or a magazine or hear an item on the radio. You may even switch on the television and watch a news segment that is talking about alternative and complementary medicines in Australia.

And often, the mainstream media can sensationalise stories to such an extent that decent disciplines and modalities of alternative health care are given short shrift. They may be overly criticised because of one example out of 100,000 where something has gone wrong.

Every so often it is necessary to take a look at the industry and remind people that alternative health care is a viable and respectable and championed mode of health care treatment.

A Strategic Research Approach

According to The National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) in Australia, “the Australian community expects to receive quality, timely and evidence based health care.”[1] It also states that “Australia has one of the highest consumption rates per capita in developed nations) of complementary medicines yet one of the lowest investments in related research.”

And research is needed to give the realm of complementary and alternative medicines, the kind of credence, value and reputation that it deserves and that will place it on par with western (allopathic) medicine.

Media and Medicine

As a professional naturopath, I am often amazed by the treatment of alternative medicine in Australian media. I think back to various media segments on allopathic medicine and from an observational standpoint note that it is never the whole of western medicine that is hauled over the proverbial coals when an accident or a case of malpractice occurs. AN individual doctor, or an individual hospital or clinic may be called to account, but the whole of western medicine is never under attack.

And yet when it comes to alternative and complementary medicines, the same cannot be said. If a naturopath or a naturopathy clinic or even a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner or Ayurvedic practitioner runs into trouble, then the whole system of alternative health practices is often portrayed as defective or at fault.

And this position is simply not true.

Research and a New Repute

Thorough and ongoing research into complementary medicine practices, products and procedures is one of the most effective ways to address the way complementary medicines can be viewed. Scientific research that achieves parity with the allopathic counterparts, facilitates the kind of reputation the industry needs in order to challenge more conservative approaches in the media and traditional medicine.

This can go a long way to helping the growing naturopathic and complementary medicine industries gain the kind of kudos they really deserve.

Remember that alternative medicine is a great way to develop a preventative health treatment approach that saves you time, money and years in the long run.


[1] http://www.nicm.edu.au/content/view/3/4/