ALTERNATIVE medical practices are edging their way into the US health care system. If anyone remained unaware of this movement (N Engl J Med. 1993;328:246-252 and 282-283), the proceedings at the first International Congress on Alternative and Complementary Medicine, held in Arlington, Va, would have enlightened them.
Legislative moves (both federal and state), steps to ensure access to alternative (or complementary or unconventional) medical therapies, and a long list of alternative medical practices including homeopathy, massage, spiritual healing, special diets, relaxation techniques, and more were discussed by nearly 200 speakers during the 4-day conference.
The event is a reflection of public interest in the topic. During the first session, it was announced that from now on the congress would be an annual affair. It was organized by Mary Ann Liebert, publisher of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Alternative Complementary Therapies.
The first is a peer-reviewed journal edited