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.

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