A Worthwhile Alternative

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For too long, the medical profession has looked down on alternative medicine ["Embracing Alternative Care," January 21].

I just wanted to let you that a small trial was recently completed at Mayo Clinic as to the affect of Green Tea extracts (EGCG) on Chronic Lymphocyte Leukemia. Even though it was a small test, many of the participants showed a reduction in both their white blood count as well as the size of tumors. While the reasons are still unknown, a new trial is beginning.

Harvey Silverstone

Via e-mail  

I just read your article on alternative medicine, acupuncture in particular. Remember acupuncture, massage, herbs, reiki and all the others have been easing humanity's ailments cheaply and without side effects for many thousands of years before western medicine came along. I really expected more from the professionals I thought you were.

John Eskelson

Via e-mail  

After spending nearly a year with my daughter in a top ranked cancer hospital, I was even more grateful to have experienced the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In no uncertain terms my daughter needed the power of conventional medicine and just as certainly, she needed CAM. While too many patients with aggressive, metastasized cancer die of infection and malnutrition, my daughter went through treatment looking at times so pink-cheeked and healthy that other parents in the pediatric ward would ask how she did it. CAM treatments in the above situation are not something anyone should try without the help of an experienced professional familiar with "issues of toxicity, side effects, and interactions" mentioned in the article. Contrary to indications in "A Mixed Bag of Alternative Remedies," there is a solid body of CAM research available to anyone who cares to look. I am grateful for the many benefits of conventional medicine in my daughter's treatment. I am equally grateful for those provided by CAM.

Julie Matthew

Grand Junction , Colo.  

I was surprised that you ran a feature article on alternative medicine that did not include hypnosis. Thousands of people in the U.S. turn to this modality each year and often achieve success overcoming habits and fears, boosting confidence, improving performance, reducing discomfort, etc. The emerging field of neuroscience has added credibility to the use of hypnosis, and research by the National Institutes of Health and leading medical centers continues to demonstrate its benefits. It is practiced at many medical centers, sometimes disguised as "guided imagery" or "creative visualization."

Rhoda Kopy

Toms River , N.J.