Midway through his essay, he supports his position that alternative medicine is good and wrongly dismissed by critics by citing that good diet, regular exercise, and stress relief are effective ways to maintain good health or restore it based on scientific study. I'm glad Freeman highlighted the fact that good diet, exercise, and even stress relief are effective, but I'm put-off by his categorizing these Lifestyle Habits as "Alternative Medicine."
To me, there's things that scientific studies show that work, and things that don't. Using this way of thinking, a good diet fits squarely in the "Therapies That Work" category. But by lumping a good diet with all "alternative medicine," I'm afraid that people won't believe that a good diet (and exercise and stress relief) is proven to help prevent or better manage chronic disease, when in fact it is.
I feel that Dr. Dean Ornish, a preventive cardiologist at UC-San Francisco who showed how lifestyle changes could reverse atherosclerosis without medication, would agree to categorize Lifestyle Habits as "Therapies That Work" rather than the alternative. (Yes, pun intended.) To quote from his response on The Atlantic Monthly:
"If we were truly practicing evidence-based medicine, our practice patterns would have shifted away from these expensive and relatively ineffective surgical treatments [angioplasties and cardiac stents] once these randomized controlled trials were published. Yet to many people, these approaches are still considered conservative or conventional medicine, while teaching people to walk, meditate, eat vegetables, and quit smoking -- which has been shown to be more effective -- is called 'alternative medicine.'"
That's why Dr. Culquhoun's essay (he's a pharmacologist in the UK) does not rub me the wrong way, although he's very critical of alternative medicine and offends many of the commenters. His point is that if it has been proven to work, then it should be offered to patients. So that means interventions like antibiotics to cholecystectomies to yoga to the Mediterranean Diet have all been showed by scientific study to work, so we ought to endorse them.
It's why I can endorse the Healthy Indian Diet too.