During the past few decades, alternative medicines have gained increasing importance in Western countries. This book is the first extensive, comparative and interdisciplinary study on the subject. The recent evolution of these alternative techniques is considered from the perspective of their integration into Western medical systems.
The first part of the research is an overview of the current position of alternative medicines in some Western countries. Sociological elements as well as various research and educational issues are presented. The study then focuses on the licensing to practise alternative medicine and the coverage of alternative medicines.
The second part of the study analyses and compares the most important regulatory mechanisms. Proposals are also made for the regulation of alternative medicines.
The last chapter deals with the concept of an integrated system of medicine. The main components of the system are presented and compared to current trends and a theoretical model. Moreover, the book addresses the questions: What is an integrated system of medicine? Are we moving towards such a system? If so, what are the reasons and is such a shift reasonable and feasible?