This book provides an overview of factors that have influenced and will continue to influence the development of "alternative" (traditional) medicine in the world. Traditionally, the lack of relevant good quality scientific research is often the reason why a large number of healthcare practices are labeled "alternative". However, nonscientific factors may be at least as important as the scientific ones. Among such factors are cultural, political, administrative, and economic considerations. The articles in this volume provide an international perspective on how such pervasive factors impact on the development, research, and practice of alternative medicine in the world.
Factors that will shape the future of alternative medicine -an overview, D. Eskinazi; on the development of traditional Chinese medicine in 21st century China, C. Meng; a cultural perspective - factors that guide the choice between local health traditions and modern medicine in India, U.G. Geetha; a cultural perspective - conceptual similarities and differences between traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Japanese medicine, K. Horiguchi and K. Tsutani; some political aspects of non-conventional medical practices in Europe, J. Bossy; harmonization of traditional Oriental (Chinese) medicine and modern medicine - a step forward with the TradiMed database 2000, I.-M. Chang and J.G. Chi; an information perspective - the role of the British Library in supporting complementary and alternative medicine in Britain, B. Madge; world health and international collaboration in traditional medicine and medicinal plant research, G.B. Mahady; academic and funding perspective in developing alternative medicine research in the US - experience of the Rosenthal Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, F. Kronenberg.