Call me oldfashioned, but if I have a chest infection I want an antibiotic. I don't want a herbal infusion; I don't want needles stuck into my acupressure points; I don't want someone prodding my feet; and I don't want to dance naked at dawn waving healing crystals about (at least not while I'm sober). There does seem to be, however, a growing interest in alternative medicine. And I blame my mother for starting it.
If I go round to my mum's house and so much as hint at a minor ailment, then out comes the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Alternative Therapies. I do listen to the cures on offer (and some of them even sound quite pleasant) but I'm sorry, I draw the line at rubbing a potato on a verruca and burying it in the garden. “Scoff, you may,” scolded my mother. And scoff I did … until