I was going to respond to this in the Reader's Digest Secrets thread, but I realized that it would probably start a huge debate and I didn't want to hijack the thread. So.... Not all CAM. That's a huge, sweeping generalizing you made. Example: A few months ago I got sick. Fever, congestion, etc. I have health insurance, but I don't go to the doctor with symptoms unless I think it is absolutely necessary and my body is no longer able to manage on its own. I don't want to clog up the health care system with my cold symptoms. However, when I started coughing up blood, fever persisted for more than three days, and I was experiencing throbbing pain in my head, I made an appointment. I'd never had a sinus infection before, but my symptoms lead me to believe I had one. Before I even went to my appointment, the doctor ordered me to get sinus cavity x-rays to confirm that it was a sinusitis. Went to the appointment, the doctor told me yes, it was indeed a sinus infection, and here's a script for penicillin. Let it be known that I *hate* antibiotics. I avoid them like the plague if at all possible, so I asked my doctor if I could instead use a Neti Pot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation) first. He agreed to try it for a week, come back for a follow-up, and if I'm still having symptoms I would proceed with the antibiotic. Lo and behold, I used the neti pot and was instantly relieved of my symptoms. I continued to use it for one week. My sinusitis cleared and I was given the okay at my follow-up visit. Allopathic care cost: $30 co-pay x2= $60 PCN script copay (though it was never filled)= $20 X-rays= $115 Total cost= $195 And that's just the cost to me. That's not taking into account the drain on the health care system of a patient with a simple sinus infection who could have just dealt with it at home with a neti pot first. Not to say that you shouldn't seek medical care when necessary, but this is an example when a simple at-home, CAM remedy does the trick. CAM care cost: Neti pot + salt= $8 Total cost= $8 Not only is the CAM method more cost effective, it is also more accessible to patients. You can go down to your local Whole Foods and grab a neti pot. It also frees up hospital resources for patients who actually *need* medical care. That's a huge bonus. And Panda, with all your (absolutely valid) complaints about patients coming to the hospital wasting resources with issues that could be resolved at home, I would think that you would be in support of methods that relieve these strains, be them CAM or otherwise. (So long as they work, of course, and in the case of neti pots, they absolutely do.) Now, I'm not saying CAM should *replace* allopathic care. That's where the complimentary comes in and why I prefer the term "integrative medicine". I'm also not trying to claim that all CAM methods are effective or should be taken seriously. Some are them are seriously unbelievable. But I also think it's ridiculous to make sweeping generalizations about the practices and automatically dismiss them simply because they fall under the CAM category.