Yesterday, the post brought me a nice Christmas present. For many months, I had been working on updating and extending a book of mine. Then there were some delays at the publisher, but now it is out – what a delight!

The previous edition contained my evidence-based assessments of 150 alternative modalities (therapies and diagnostic techniques). This already was by no means an easy task. The new edition has 202 short, easy-to-understand, and fully-referenced chapters, each on a different modality. I am quite proud of the achievement. Let me just show you the foreword to the new edition:

Alternative medicine is full of surprises. For me, a big surprise was that the first edition of this book was so successful that I was invited to do a second one. I do this, of course, with great pleasure.

So, what is new? I have made two main alterations. Firstly, I updated the previous text by adding new evidence where it had emerged. Secondly, I added many more modalities—52, to be exact.

To the best of my knowledge, this renders the new edition of this book the most comprehensive reference text on alternative medicine available to date. It informs you about the nature, proven benefits, and potential risks of 202 different diagnostic methods and therapeutic interventions from the realm of so-called alternative medicine. If you use this information wisely, it could save you a lot of money. One day, it might even save your life.

I hope you enjoy using this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Like the first edition, the book is not about promoting so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) nor about the opposite. It is about evaluating SCAM critically but fairly. In other words, each subject had to be researched and the evidence for or against it explained such that a layperson will comprehend it. This proved to be a colossal task.

The end result will not please the many believers in SCAM, I am afraid. Yet, I hope it will suit those who realize that, in healthcare, progress is generated not through belief but through critical evaluation of the evidence.

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