ISHAR & Evidence

Evidence-based inclusion standardsThe primary determining factor of whether something in included on is whether there is signficant evidence to present and discuss.  As a scholarly database, ISHAR is evidence-based and places a very high premium on being as objective as possible.  A common misconception is that Integrative Medicine is similar to Psuedoscience, and that both are outside the scope of science.  In fact, Integrative Medicine is a field of medical science, and the only scholarly difference between Orthodox Medicine and Integrative Medicine is that the former is supported by old evidence that is no longer debated, and the latter is supported by new evidence that is still being debated.  Pseudoscience, on the other hand, is made up of assertions with no supporting evidence.  

When a topic is researched, for example Ayurveda, we attempt to gather every reputable, peer-reviewed study that is publicly available about that topic, whether old or new.  ISHAR does not cherry pick or perform confirmation-biased searches, and our data crawling software is designed to automatically pick up any relevant studies.  This is because discussions about Integrative Medicine are too important to allow them to be dismissed as biased or lacking sound evidence. is proof there are massive troves of evidence, and we include all of it; supporting, contradicting, and in between.  

ISHAR Predicted BMJ Findings on Medical Errors

Avoidable Medical ErrorsIn an instance where we would have been happy to be wrong, the British Medical Journal recently confirmed the risk that ISHAR highlighted over a year ago.  At that time ISHAR published an infographic comparing the relative risks of Integrative Medicine (CAM) and orthodox medical treatment.  After compiling a meta analysis of our own sources and other medical references, we were shocked to discover that orthodox medical treatment resulted in 272 times more avoidable deaths than the oft-maligned Integrative Medicine, even when adjusted per capita and using the most extreme claims against Integrative Medicine.

ISHAR to Speak at Foundations of Mind III

Foundations of Mind III

By Rikki Marquis

Selected for their exceptional work in the field of consciousness, several Directors from ISHAR have been invited to present their research at UC Berkeley’s upcoming conference, Foundations of Mind III: Science as if Being Mattered, May 18-20 2016.  FOM is one of the most important gatherings about consciousness theory in the world, and ISHAR is honored to be a part of the conference!










Explaining the nature of consciousness is one of the most important and perplexing areas of philosophy, but the concept is notoriously ambiguous. The abstract noun “consciousness” is not frequently used by itself in the contemporary literature, but is originally derived from the Latin con (with) and scire (to know). Perhaps the most commonly used contemporary notion of a conscious mental state is captured by Thomas Nagel’s famous “what it is like” sense (Nagel 1974). When I am in a conscious mental state, there is something it is like for me to be in that state from the subjective or first-person point of view. But how are we to understand this? For instance, how is the conscious mental state related to the body? Can consciousness be explained in terms of brain activity? What makes a mental state be a conscious mental state? The problem of consciousness is arguably the most central issue in current philosophy of mind and is also importantly related to major traditional topics in metaphysics, such as the possibility of immortality and the belief in free will. This article focuses on Western theories and conceptions of consciousness, especially as found in contemporary analytic philosophy of mind.

NEW TAB: New Features

New Features

ISHAR has installed a new tab that showcases the most exciting tools and resources on the website!  This section is set to coincide with the unveiling of ISHAR's new Integrative Culture wing and ISHAR's participation at the Parliament of the World's Religions.  Whether you are a new visitor or a seasoned user, check out this page to see ISHAR's tools outlined and consolidated!



Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.[1] Theories explaining what occurs during hypnosis fall into two groups. Altered state theories see hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, marked by a level of awareness different from the ordinary conscious state.[2][3] In contrast, Non-state theories see hypnosis as a form of imaginative role-enactment.[4][5][6]

During hypnosis, a person is said to have heightened focus and concentration. The person can concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory, while blocking out sources of distraction.[7] Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions.[8] Hypnosis is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestions.[1] The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy", while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as "stage hypnosis".


Trance, or Altered States of Consciousness, denotes any state of awareness or consciousness other than normal waking consciousness. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden.

The term trance may be associated with hypnosis, meditation, magic, flow, and prayer. The earlier generic term, “altered states of consciousness” is also applicable, though the term “trance” is preferred in consciousness studies discourse.

Youyou Tu Wins Nobel Prize for Traditional Chinese Medicine

Youyou Tu Nobel PrizeThe 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has gone to Youyou Tu, a researcher who spent her entire career researching traditional Chinese medicine.  Based at the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing (AKA the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences) since 1965, Dr. Tu received the Lasker Award in 2011 for her discovery of Artemisinin as an alternative malaria cure to the standard chloroquine, which was rapidly losing efficacy in the 1960s due to increasing drug-resistance.  Research into the properties of traditional Chinese medicinals has been a controversial topic among Western medical scientists for many years, so this Nobel Prize is a dramatic indication of shifting attitudes towards previously dismissed Integrative Medicine. (See the ISHAR page on the topic HERE)

NEW ISHAR FEATURE: Integrative Medicine Journal Portal

 ISHAR is proud to roll out one of the largest and most comprehensive lists of peer-reviewed journals relating to complementary and alternative fields: the ISHAR Integrative Medicine Journal Portal!  This link compilation has over a hundred journals linked (though unlike ISHAR, many require subscriptions) and offers dozens of detailed summaries of those journals that make their sources fully or partially available to the public.  Our goal is not only to provide a massive collection of sources on our own, but to make it easier for visitors to find all the information that is available on a given subject.  If we do not have it, we will help you find who does!



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