Non-traditional methods of healing have been around for centuries. And while medical doctors traditionally frown on such practices, a House Business and Labor Committee said the state should consider licensing at least one kind of non-traditional healing.

Homeopathic physicians would be able to obtain state licenses to practice under a bill endorsed Thursday by the committee.F. Fuller Royal, a Nevada physician, explained that homeopathic doctors use treatment and remedies aimed at increasing a patient's resistance to a disease, rather than fighting against particular symptoms as in traditional medicine.

Traditional physicians discount homeopathic medicine as being unproven and ineffective, but its practitioners defend it as a safe, inexpensive medical alternative.

The legislation, sponsored by J. Reese Hunter, R-Salt Lake, would establish a Homeopathic Physician Licensing Board in the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, thus placing the physician under state regulation. A person wishing to practice homeopathic medicine also would have to be a licensed traditional physician.

David Robinson, division director, said that while the bill is preferable to measures that have been defeated in recent sessions, he opposed it as unnecessary. A homeopathic doctor "already can practice under current law. The caveat is, he can't practice unproven medicine," Robinson said.