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Trick or Treatment


Prince Charles is a staunch defender and millions of people swear by it; most UK  doctors consider it to be little more than superstition and waste of money. But how  do you know which treatments really heal and which are potentially harmful?  Now at last you can find out, thanks to the formidable partnership of Professor  Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh. Edzard Ernst is the world's first professor of  complementary medicine, based at Exeter University, where he has spent over a  decade analysing meticulously the evidence for and against alternative therapies. He  is supported in his findings by Simon Singh, the well-known and highly respected   science writer of several international bestsellers. Together they have written the definitive book on the subject. It is honest, impartial  but hard-hitting, and provides a thorough examination and judgement of more than  thirty of the most popular treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy,  aromatherapy,  reflexology, chiropractic and herbal medicine. In Trick or Treatment?  the ultimate verdict on alternative medicine is delivered for the first time with  clarity, scientific rigour and absolute authority.
Done and dusted in under a week!  I loved this book, and I think you should read it too. I’d imagine that when it got published many  alternative therapists probably came out and said it was nothing more than a blunt hack job, but I found  this to be a pretty balanced book. Every therapy was given a fair chance, and the authors let the scientific  evidence speak for itself (it’s mostly pretty convincing).Not the maximum score though, because I thought  it could have been even longer. There is much more to tell about these therapies and about important  studies done to look at whether they work or not. Although, to be fair to Singh and Ernst, how much more  do you need to read about homeopathy to realize it does not work, cannot work, and will never work (in a  medical sense I mean and not in a financial way; in the latter case it is extremely succesful). Nonetheless,  for example for herbal medicine I can imagine that some of it will actually work since it has active  ingredients for which we know they should, in theory, work, while for others we don’t have any  information or the claims made are just ridiculous. A bit more of these discussions would have been great.  But in summary, if you have not finished this book yet (it’s an older one), you should seriously read it. I  would even say that, if you are considering homeopathy, reflexology, aromatherapy or another of these  alternative therapies, the investment in this book will probably be the best £10 spent....and that includes  the whole therapy! 
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