Mind Over Malady

THE TALK USED TO BE CONFINED TO NEW-AGE BOOKSTORES, health-food shops and holistic magazines printed on whole-grain paper. But alternative medicine has now gone slickly mainstream: the subject of TV talk shows, best sellers and even an Oscar-nominated film, Lorenzo's Oil. This veritable flowering -- or plague -- of holism is almost always presented with wide-eyed enthusiasm and a hefty dose of conventional-medicine bashing. Critics of alternative healing are just as narrow-minded: these therapies are unscientific, they say, and therefore cannot work.

Bill Moyers avoids both extremes in a five-part PBS series premiering this week called Healing and the Mind and...

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