A basically sensible, overly-sketchy attempt to sort out which of the current ""alternative therapies"" will be absorbed by traditional medicine and which will be discarded. For the lay reader, Pizer's caveat emptor is good advice. His message for physicians is on target too: people who are ill feel better and are happier if they receive time and attention from a warm, reassuring, authoritative figure--be it M.D., acupuncturist, or practitioner of Rolfing. Then comes a quick look at the origins of alternative therapies (holistic medicine, chiropractic, homeopathy), and at the role that faith and the healing environment can play in effecting cures. The succeeding discussion of the various therapies, however, allots less than ten pages to major entrants; expands disproportionately on acupuncture; and, save for vitamins, omits nutritional therapy altogether. The reporting of research studies is neither thorough nor discriminating--for most of those cited, others could be found that say the opposite. Since Hal Bennett's The Doctor Within (1981) has limitations as a guide to the alternative therapies too, readers who seek more than a philosophical grounding had still best consult the separate studies of each.