The dual sciences of conventional medicine and holistic medicine are a matched pair that is stronger together than either one of them is alone. However, because of the existence of some fraudulent holistic practitioners it is important for cancer patients to know how to weed out the imposters from the science-based practitioners. The purpose of this page is to outline the differences and give you the tools you need to detect those who are not what they claim to be.

First thing to know is that alternative medicine comes in three main categories:

Although those are the three main categories, they oftentimes overlap as they are used. For example, the patient using ginger tea to counteract nausea instead of prescription promethazine is using a method that is both complimentary and alternative.



In the United States the following practitioners must be formally educated and have a legal, professional license in order to practice: Chiropractors, osteopaths, and Traditional Chinese Medicine/acupuncturists. Massage therapists may be either licensed or certified depending upon location. Naturopathic doctors are allowed to be licensed only in specific areas.1

The United States government does not require the formal education or licensing of herbalists, homeopaths, aromatherapists, Ayurvedic practitioners and, in most places, naturopathic doctors.



All schools who educate licensed practitioners must be accredited by the United States Department of Education; the practitioners must also pass all legal board exams that may be required for their profession before they can practice. Make sure your licensed professional has all of his or her credentials.

As for schools which formally educate non-licensed professionals, there are many. These are not required by law to be accredited, and most which are accredited are not accredited through the United States Department of Education. This alternative accreditation is not automatically a "deal-breaker", as there are schools with alternative accreditation which are still very good. Here is what you need to be aware of when looking at a non-licensed practitioner's credentials:




Tami Dickerson, M.H., of Herbal Outpost earned her diploma as a Master Herbalist and her certificates in Family Herbalism, and Foundations of Holistic Science from the Natural Healing College, Sacramento, CA. This distance-learning college requires intensive book work and is staffed with competent professors who are available to the students daily. The Natural Healing College is accredited by the American Council of Holistic Medicine, the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and the American Naturopathic Certification Board. The college is also accredited with the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.

Herbal Outpost's view on holistic medicine vs. conventional medicine:

Herbal Outpost's view on equal opportunity:

1As of March 2017, Naturopathic Doctors can only be licensed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands.

May the blessings of God remain with you as you seek healing and treatment.

-- Tami Dickerson, M.H.