Ok, quoting three people at once here, because I don't want to flood the thread.
Thirdly, they are constantly finding severe long-term side effects after the fact. For 2 or 3 years you hear about the latest "wonder drug". Then all of a sudden there is a class action lawsuit because x% of people on the drug developed severe complications, or even death.
But even that provides some level of regulation, which is completely absent in natural medicine. And for every drug that gets publicized, there are many that went through safely and saved lives.
There was a boy here who died during chelaton therapy- a detoxification therapy designed to clear your system of metal. Died of a heart attack. They all swear it never happened before, but how do you know? There is no accountability in the system. They don't have to file death certificates, and usually don't provide follow up care. If there are severe problems afterwards usually the parents would go to a mainstream doctor, and they may or may not tell what happened, especially if they believe there is no connection.
Furthermore, the AMA is constantly reversing their earlier findings. They'll come out and say that ingesting some food or supplement is tantamount to arsenic poisoning, and then 5 or 10 years later they will completely reverse their earlier findings.
No disagreement here, and that is frustrating.
As far as homeopathy, many of these things have been around for centuries, and were used long before drug companies took over the medical industry. Futhermore, most (not all) of them are completely harmless.
Even avoiding the occult/Eastern medicine background of homeopathy, I would disagree that most of them are completely harmless. I would also argue that a lot of them are completely useless. Because people who believe strongly in natural medicine also tend to wait until something is very serious to go to the doctor, how much of it is the placebo effect or something curing itself on its own.
I am not saying I don't *ever* go to a doctor - I certainly do when the need arises. But I do not go uninformed, and I do not take the doctor's word as gospel, and I do as much research on my own as I can. I am in charge of my health, not the doctor.
That's the attitude I'm talking about...that those of us who *do* go into a doctor just nod our heads quietly and accept the doctor's word.
One of the reasons drugs cost so much, and doctor visits for that matter, is because of the astronomical amount of money awarded in lawsuits to sue happy Americans. Malpractice insurance doesn't come cheap, particularly when these suits are awarded right and left. We don't have a problem with high costs of drugs here in Canada, at least no where near as bad as in the U.S., because people aren't sue happy here...yet. I don't even know if one is permitted to bring such lawsuits to court here. I'd also note that if one does not have coverage through the government, it's rather cheap to obtain lab work, doctor visits, etc.
I do not believe the whole "lawsuit" reason for the costs of medicine. First of all, most people cannot afford to sue their doctors. And second of all, 90% of lawsuits are filed against the same 5-10% of doctors. This is where the medical establishment is at fault- they continue to allow doctors who are obviously incompetant to practice.
If every state had a directory, and each doctor was required to be in there, and you could go check out their vital stats- how manypatients they saw last year, how many patients died, C-section rate, do they perform abortions, any complaints filed, etc. then I believe the bad doctor/lawsuit problem would disappear fairly quickly. If the "average' amount of deaths for cancer specialists was 35 patients a year and someone in there had 60, you'd know not to go to them. If you hire a contractor to build your house, you have a right to more info on that contractor then you do on your doctor.
The other problem is that once you are on these drugs (except antibiotics for the most part) you can pretty much bet you will be on them for quite awhile - if not the rest of your life. I haven't met a doctor yet who is in a hurry to get you off medication.
Actually, it seems to be quite the opposite. You have no idea how hard my mother and FIL have had to fight to have basic pain management- the doctors don't want to "hook them" on drugs. My mother has 3 kinds of arthritis and went years without proper pain management because "she just needed to try stretching" or "lessen the stress in her life" or "go get massage therapy". My FIL has lupus. He also experimented with drugs 30 years ago. Doctor found out, took him a year to get prescribed any pain relieving drug at all other then low-dose Vicodin. Many illnesses are tough to get appropriate treatment for because doctors have become very reluctant to prescribe drugs. They want you to go home and treat a severe sinus infection with saline nasal spray and iburprophen, then wonder why you're back in a week.
How is homeopathy rooted in the occult? Just because it came from Hippocrates, who I guess was a pagan, he was operating on natural principals, and the scientific study of humans, not getting secrets from the gods or anything.
I do agree that there's alot of occult/vitamin happy crap out there (reiki, crystal therapy, ayurveda, etc.) Alot of the alternative stuff is based on more christian type therapies. Ear candling has been used by Christians for centuries to clear dust out of the ears and help the sinus passages. Aromatherapy is almost entirely rooted in christianity, going all the way back to the old testament. Herbalism has also been widely used in the past by Christians before the time of medicine.
Acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, osteopathics, and nutritional therapies are all based on science. While the angle from which these sciences came from might be different from our modern western world, they're not from the occult.
Any principle based on reversing the energies, or balancing the negative and positive influences, or what have you, is basedin occultic science. Herbal treatment is not what I'm talking about here. Homeopathy is. I'd love to see any proof that aromatherapy is rooted in Christianity (although I think that mostly makes your house smell nice) and acupunture/acupressure came directly from Eastern cultures- I believe from Buddhist monistaries (can't spell this morning), who believe there are "energy points" in the body. Anything that deals with energy forces is a tip off to the occult.
The other stuff, like chiropractic care, is in another catagory. While I question whether or not spines can be "out of alignment", it's not occultic in nature. It does seem, though, like people get addicted to it- most people who go to chiropracters have to go continually to get their neck adjusted, or back adjusted, or what have you. Same thing you're accusing doctors of. How helpful is it? Are there any long-term negative effects? No one studies it, because if it's natural, it must be ok, right?
And if you want to see disagreement, discuss dietary principles among people who believe in natural medicine. Some push Atkins/low carb/sugar is evil. Others push no animal products/ meat and fat is evil. Others say all of it is ok, if you use the "right" kind (honey instead of sugar, etc.). All have this mythical way as to "how our ancestors ate" which made them so healthy verses us. I'm beginning to think the big difference is that we are a business society- our work is done indoors and very sedentary, and then we come home to mostly electronic entertainment, verses going out and working on the farm, or scrubbing the floors by hand, or what have you.