This should probably be a blog, but we don't have them here, so I hope no-one minds if I indulge myself with a few reminiscences and musings. 50 years ago in Australia, I wanted to study Medicine. I had the grades and would have got a place, but my father wouldn't let me. So did a science/Maths degree and became a Maths teacher. 40 years ago, I applied to study medicine in the UK, but was foreign and too old at 28, so didn't get a place. My social circle was mainly 'alternative' folk - hippies, dropouts, feminists, political lefties etc and people into the personal growth movement, Encounter groups, and alternative therapies. So I guess it's not surprising that I ended up doing a 4 year full time training as a Naturopath/Osteopath in London. ................................. I loved the medical half of the course, taught by doctors. The naturopathy was basically nutrition and healthy eating with a few hydrotherapy treatments. Osteopathy I had no real aptitude for, though I was good at massage and more gentle joint mobilisation. We moved to a small town, and my practice never really took off, so after a couple of years I went back to teaching maths. Even while in the midst of my alternative medicine immersion, I always kept my scientific brain switched on and was sceptical about unproven claims. That's probably why my small practice tended to be based mainly around sensible diets and massage/joint mobilisation, and attracted mainly lonely old ladies who wanted a bit of company and human physical contact and someone to chat to about their health. My most memorable success story was a young woman with awful eczema, mainly on her hands, which made her life very difficult. I put her on an elimination diet and found she was allergic to wheat. The eczema vanished within a week. A miracle as far as she was concerned! ............................... While doing that course, and while trying to set up in practice, I met practitioners of other alternative therapies, and learned a bit about them - homeopathy, acupuncture, herbalism, hypnotherapy and some of the more esoteric things including various forms of healing. I tried using all of these for various minor ailments, and sometimes sort of convinced myself that they had helped, but with hindsight realised it had been a mix of wishful thinking, placebo effect and my body's natural healing processes. I found no evidence that any of them actually had any objectively provable effect on my health. ......................... Over the first few years of my ME, while I was relatively mildly effected and still working, though with increasing difficulty, desperation drove me to trying a long list of different alternative therapies: homeopathy, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, healing, cranial osteopathy, Reverse Therapy, cold baths, ... Most of them had no effect at all. In a few cases I convinced myself I was a bit better, and started to do a bit more, and crashed badly. My worst experience was with an aromatherapist who gave me a nice smelling massage, and told me terribly sincerely that the reason I wasn't getting better was that I really didn't want to get better. .......................... My current position on alternative medicine is that some of the therapies may be helpful for some mild conditions, but that I have seen no scientific evidence that any of them have any effect on the root of ME, so none can or should claim to be cures for ME. I am happy to accept that some may be useful for symptom relief, such as herbs for sleep, and that if people want to try them, that's fine, so long as they are not the more dangerously wacky ones, and they are only used for minor symptoms, not as a substitute for proven treatments for serious illnesses.