I don't know that the medical establishment has anything fundamental against so-called "New Age" cures or "alternative medicine." The one thing that the Western medical establishment does crave is proof.

Ask any reputable physician today about the benefits of marijuana use in certain medical conditions. They'll tell you that the active ingredient, THC, has proven to be an effective anti-nausea agent. Twenty years ago, doctors would have told you that there was no scientific evidence for any such benefit, and they would have been right. But today, the numbers have been run and the jury is in.

This doesn't mean that any random cure is going to work, and they just haven't done the research yet. The only thing doctors (and other health professionals, to be fair) have to go on is what's already been studied.

This does NOT necessarily mean that "traditional" medicines, such as herbs, work. In these cases, you may have a lot of anecdotal evidence for something's effects, but this may be deceptive. It's been shown in psychological studies, for example, that people think they're much more likely to die in airplane crashes than is borne out by statistics. Why? Because everyone's heard of someone--a relative, friend, friend of a friend, etc.) who's died in one. This is a prime example of why anecdotal evidence is unreliable. It MAY be true, but more rigorous testing should be done.

It helps to keep an open mind about these things, but it also pays to keep a healthy skepticism. Research any treatment you're considering thoroughly, and don't rely on the Internet alone. Visit a number of practicioners and ask about the numbers. Doctors today are much more informed about alternative cures than ever before (since they get asked so frequently), and you might be surprised about what they have to say.

If you want the skinny on a good deal of alternative approaches, I recommend www.quackwatch.com. It's pretty heavily skewed toward the "Western" approach, but its writeups are thorough and well-referenced, and it will be able to help separate the scams from those treatments with possible (even if unproven) benefits.