London: You should go slow if you depend too much on alternative medicines as there is no way of knowing whether they are really safe, suggests a leading expert.Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, UK, says trials into treatments such as chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture and herbal remedies too often fail to record incidents when patients suffer adverse effects.According to Ernst, the main chiropractic treatment technique involves manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues; treatment also includes exercises and health and lifestyle counselling.While Ernst`s research indicated there were conditions for which alternative medicine could be useful, he believed in most cases people should avoid going in for it. Chiropractic manipulation could even be "lethal", said Ernst, the Telegraph reports."Most people believe that alternative treatments are safe. But how sure are we that this is true," he asked. "My team conducted several investigations which revealed that, in clinical trials of alternative medicine, adverse effects tend not to be mentioned."Alternative medicine researchers are often enthusiastic amateurs who think that research is for the purpose of promoting their treatment, rather than testing hypotheses," said Ernst.
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