It’s an age of proof. The masses are forever demanding validation; the scientific community is forever seeking answers. Theories can’t be left untested. They must instead be examined carefully, understood for their strengths and potential weaknesses — and it is this philosophy that has recently propelled alternative medicine to the forefront of public consciousness.
The need to understand unconventional healing can’t be denied; and the foundation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has allowed this need to be explored.
Simply explained: the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (or NCCAM) is an organization dedicated to studying the principles of natural remedies and holistic methods. Began in 1991 in Bethesda, Maryland — which is home to the National Health Institute and its many campuses — the center is unique. Its purpose is defined purely to research. It seeks to dissect non-traditional practices, wanting to either prove or disprove them. The intention is to remain impartial, studying anecdotal evidence and the results of carefully simulated tests.
Through the efforts of the NCCAM alternative medicine has become recognized within the public. The center offers educational information, viral seminars and development programs to educate all who wish to learn of healing. Outreach efforts have been made — and these are vital in allowing all patients to understand what methods are truly available to them and what avenues can be pursued. Variety has been discovered.
It should be noted, however, that the NCCAM has not succeeded in validating alternative methods (or subsequently discrediting them). The results of all tests have proven to be inconsistent. This doesn’t cast doubt on the practice, however. It instead demands more studying — with the potential to succeed noted by all.