Why do some people continue to used alternative medicine?
Despite all the information there is about alternative medicine and how not only does it not work, but that infact it can even be harmful, people still use it and believe that it really does work.
So why is it that people still use alternative medicine? Well, I've been thinking about that, and I've come up with quite a few reasons why:
Science based medicine is an incredible thing and can cure many diseases and fix a lot of things that can go wrong with the human body, but unfortunately it can't cure every disease, or fix everything that goes wrong with our bodies (not yet atleast). So when science based medicine can't fix or cure what ever is wrong with us (or atleast not doing so in a way that is fast enough for us) some people, even rational people, might become desperate enough to use alternative medicine.
This sort of situation especially happens when someone has a terminal disease and they are told by their doctor that there is nothing they can do to cure what ever it is that is killing them. Some people will not accept this and will seek out anything that is claimed to be able to cure them (even if all the evidence says otherwise).
They think it's cheaper
Because alternative medicine isn't manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies (who are for profit businesses) it is assumed by some people that alternative medicine must be cheaper than science based medicine because they believe that the people who are manufacturing these alternative medical products are not doing it for a profit, plus when a person is told about a product that is suppose to be cheaper and work better than the conventional product, people tend to buy the supposedly cheaper product.
Now if you seriously believe that alternative medicine is cheaper than science based medicine, and that people who make these alternative medical products are not doing so for a profit, then I know a Nigerian prince that wants to give you $15,000,000.
A friend told them it works
Probably the best form of advertising there is is word of mouth. You don't do have to pay for anything, and people tend to trust the opinion of a friend or family member over a creative ad in a newspaper or a TV commercial. Same thing holds true with alternative medicine.
Lets say you've been sick for a while and you have been taking some medicine for what ever has been ailing you, but so far it has had little to no affect. You tell a friend or a family member about your health issues and they might recommend that you take some herbs, or to go see this "doctor" that they recommend (who turns out to be an alternative medicine practitioner and not a real doctor) because they claim that it helped them, or it helped someone they know. Because you trust the person whom is recommending this "doctor" or this product, you might be more willing to see this "doctor" or try this product than you would if some stranger had told you.
Science based medicine can be harsh
Science based medicine (or modern medicine, or real medicine as some people like to call it) is a great thing. It has cured a lot of stuff, and has extended our average life expectancy by years, but it can also be pretty harsh at times as well. Because of this some people might either choose to stop using a science based medical treatment because they feel that it has become to harsh on them and that they believe that it might kill them if they continue to use, and so they decided to use alternative medicine instead because they believe it will help them without any side effects, or they might already know (or atleast believe) that the medical treatment that they've been recommend that they do could or will be harsh on them, and they decide to forgo it and use alternative medicine instead.
It goes with their beliefs
Whether is be religious, or cultural, or even personal, our beliefs in whatever form it may be shapes our thinking and what we do and what we trust, and if there is something about an alternative medicine that appeals to a person's beliefs, or if there is something about science based medicine that person considers taboo, the person might be far more willing to use alternative medicine even when it clearly doesn't work and that science based medicine clearly does work.
They believe that science based medicine is dangerous
Some people might chose to use alternative medicine rather than science based medicine not simply because they believe it is better than science based medicine, but because they believe that science based medicine is actually dangerous.
It shouldn't be to surprising that many supporters of alternative medicine also tend to be conspiracy theorists who believe that pharmaceutical companies are greedy and are only putting out products to make money without care of whether or not a product is dangerous, or intentionally putting out a product that will make us sick so that they can make more money off of us that way, or are part of some "New World Order" and are putting out dangerous products as a way to either control us or slowly kill us.
It should also not be surprising that many people who believe such conspiracy theories also believe that pharmaceutical companies are also trying to suppress information about alternative medicine, and are even going so far as to try to outlaw alternative medicine. Because of this belief it can make many people believe that alternative medicine is not only the right choice, but the only choice.
They used alternative medicine before and believed that it worked
One of the main reasons why some people use alternative medicine is because they already used it before for something else and as far as they are concerned it worked.
Now the two biggest reasons why someone might think that alternative medicine actually works after they already used it and it appeared to cure what ever was ailing them is either because they took it along with the real science based medicine and they simply assumed that the alternative medicine either helped cure them, or was what really cured them. Or they might not have used any science based medicine and that their body simply healed itself, but because that they used alternative medicine they assume that it was the alternative medicine that healed them and not their own bodies.
Because some people who have taken alternative medicine and believe that it really did work they might forgo using any science based medicine and use only alternative medicine, or atleast continue to use it along with science based medicine.
They read information about it that makes them think it works
There are a lot of websites and books out there about alternative medicine and it's alleged "benefits". Many of these books and websites contain "information" mostly in the form of positive stories about alternative medicine and how it's "helped" certain people by telling you their stories of how it's supposedly cured them while at the the same time bad mouthing science based medicine by claiming it wasn't working, or that it was killing the person, or by putting in information that makes science based medicine look harmful, or just insert a bunch of pharmaceutical industry conspiracy theories.
Sometimes these books and websites will take it a step further and have a real doctor claim that some kind of alternative medicine really works, or perhaps the book was written by a real doctor, or the website is run by a real doctor, and because something is written or run by a real doctor, it might cause some people to believe that there is something to this alternative medicine.
They got scammed into it.
Despite all that we've learned from snake oil salesmen of the 19th century, people still get scammed by con-artists and quacks who get people to buy useless products because they have been lead to believe that said product works and will cure what ever is ailing them when all it is is really junk.
Be either through an ad on the internet, or directly from the mouth of the person selling what ever they are selling, people to this day still get suckered into buying stuff that does not work. The fact that alternative medicine even exists today and that there are companies that manufacture and make billions off of this stuff is proof of that.