I’ve been doing some reading about evidence-based research in CAM and how its success rate should be examined the same way as traditional medicine– via randomized clinical trials. And I think many of these trials show low-success rates and no real ‘evidence’ of healing because of the framework we are dealing with.
Holistic health is based on more than just the physical body. It also incorporates the mind and soul as many of us already know, which is extremely difficult to test for in a research method that solely looks at “what works” in the experiment.
It is evident that the approaches are very different so how can we test them the same way? A researcher named Christine Barry wrote an article about how we should use an anthropological approach to researching CAM called ethnographic research. This approach accepts “embodied and inter-subjective data” which is a HUGE aspect to alternative healing, its beyond a physical, tangible entity that can be measured. This approach also documents how people feel in their own bodies and how they interact with others around them. I read the article and had an AH-HA moment; such a great solution right?
I feel like the Western approach is flawed when trying to research CAM only because its success is constantly being compared and benchmarked to modern medicine and making it more about the method of healing and less about the patient. I think the ethnographic method being used in more literature will give more credibility that CAM deserves in the West (in an academic/research context).