Alternative Healing Therapies versus Western Medicine
“A feeble body makes a feeble mind. I do not know what doctors cure us of, but I know this: they infect us with very deadly diseases, cowardice, timidity, credulity, the fear of death. What matter if they make the dead walk, we have no need of corpses; they fail to give us men, and it is men we need.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 18th Century Philosopher
I feel that all options should be investigated when it comes to maintaining one 's health and healing because I have a personal positive experience using alternative and complementary medicines. I have utilized therapies such as acupuncture, Reiki, a plant based Vegan Diet and more to assist me in my health care goals. I have preferred Eastern medicine over that of allopathic medicine which treats the symptoms and not the cause of the illness. Many people have worsened or even died because of traditional Western Medicine. I personally know people who have been cured by Alternative Therapies using acupuncture, diet, and Reiki. Considering that most Eastern Medicine practice are thousands, even tens of thousands of years old and have been tried and tested over the centuries speaks well for their effectiveness.
Many people agree, that most Alternative Healing therapies found in Eastern Medicine involve whole person treatments. Traditional medicine views disease separate from the individual who harbors it. I prefer the whole body approach to
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Also, there is not enough evidence to show the benefits of alternative medicine other than people’s stories. However, insurance companies still should cover alternative medicine because they have been proven successful around the world and are used in some hospitals and clinics in China. In addition, Western medicine has its faults: ”The patient is a machine composed of individual body parts that when broken or lost, can be fixed or replaced by new parts”(Marcum, 2008, 105). In other words, they compare us to machines, which is not true and it’s a fallacy, because not any parts of our body can be replaced. Thus, the choice for patients should be theirs to satisfy their
The traditional Chinese treatment of acupuncture is an affective alternative medicine that has been around for thousands of years. Acupuncture is one of the most researched and documented alternative medicines around (Acupuncture). Although a vast majority of people believe Western medicine is the only cure to sickness, many people benefit from acupuncture everyday. Most people disregard the ancient art all together without giving it a chance because are scared of the needles it involves. Also, since no accurate scientific explanation of how and why it works has been found, people shy away from it. The healing powers of the body are taken to a whole different level with this alternative medicine.
It could be considered that conventional medicine has indirectly contributed to the rise of complementary and alternative medicine. A broad definition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is “a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own tradition or conventional medicine and are not fully integrated into the dominant health-care system” (The World Health Organisation, n.d.). Expanding on this definition it is important to address the variable similarities of CAM modalities. CAM therapies across the various modalities have in common a shared, in varying degrees, holistic approach and subscribe to some form of vitality - a contrast from the science-based view point of conventional medicine prevalent in western society. In spite of CAM therapies empirical nature and efficacies, it is suggested that dissatisfaction of conventional medicine underpins the popularity it has garnered, thus, it will be examined further as to how and why. A further discussion will be made to related dangers of both alternative and science-based medicine; providing an opportunity to constructively educate the public on the differences between the two systems.
The findings of this survey showed that 73.6% agreed with the use of traditional medicines for health maintenance, 79.2% agreed for benign illness, such as colds or sprained ankles, and 90.3% agreed for palliative care (Zubek, 1994, p. 1926). Where they disagreed the most was with the use of traditional healing in the intensive care units, only 16.9% agreed with the use of this treatment for serious illness, such as cardiac or respiratory compromise, whether in the hospital (21.2% agreed) or as outpatients (26.4% agreed). Nearly half (48.6%) agreed with using traditional medicines for chronic illnesses, such as non-insulin dependent diabetes or Parkinson's disease (Zubek, 1994, p. 1926). One instance where physicians were unwilling to allow their patients to use Native medicine was while the patient is in the hospital, because the physician could be held legally responsible for any treatment administered while admitted under their care. There is also the problem of differentiating between legitimate Native healing practitioners and those who would take advantage of anyone not aware of the proper rituals and techniques that need to be performed (Zubek, 1994, p. 1929). This could be overcome by having a formalized licensing organization such as is used by Western practitioners (i.e. American Society of Clinical Pathology [ASCP]). That poses another problem though, as to whether traditionalists would be willing to have such an organization.
Throughout the years there have been two traditions within the practice of medicine. One is the 'art of healing ' which involves its own specialised brand of training. The art of healing is dependent on the prescriber 's foreknowledge and the clients’ viewpoint of the prosperous results. The 'Science of healing ' is based on scientific and technological ideas. This tradition results in a lower liability for practitioners regarding the showing of an original approach to medicine, however the results of this method are more calculable (Kayne 2002). It is believed that the tradition of the ‘art of healing’ is increasing in popularity. The World Health Organisation states ' 'that the terms ' 'complementary medicine ' ' or ' 'alternative medicine’ ' are used interchangeably with traditional medicine in some countries. They refer to a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country 's own tradition and are not integrated into the dominant health care system” (World Health Organization 2000). This type of treatment, is commonly known as ‘Complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM). The word complementary derives from the meaning ‘together with’ established practices and the word alternative refers to ‘in place’ of established practices. Some patients choose to participate in complementary therapies along with the medication prescribed by their general practitioner whilst others prefer complementary therapies as opposed to the medications
Because many of the treatments of alternative medicine do not adhere to the principles of conventional medicine, whether or not to allow practice of these techniques in the United States is a major concern of the medical community today. The Food and Drug Administration is the decision making body of issues such as this and more often than not, does not approve many of these practices. Due to the fact that holistic medicine sometimes contradicts the fundamentals of biomedicine, health care regulation boards such as the FDA find it difficult to accept many of these treatments. Because the Western world is so unfamiliar with these techniques it is only natural for medical community to often disprove these methods. However, as more and more doctors discover the limitations of
Yet human nature is so weak that the cure lags behind the disease. As our bodies, which grow so slowly, perish in a flash, so too the mind and its interests can be more easily crushed than brought again to life.
Everyone has their own belief when it comes to health and healing. Some people may believe in power of pray with no conventional medicine. Others believe western medicine can cure what ails them.
Personally I believe that the combination of some of these traditional treatment along with the Western biomedicine practice is the way to go. This would help the provider to choose
In modern medicine, alternative therapies are poorly understood and studied. The preference for alternative therapies, and herbal medicine were indicated, and the fear of relinquishing information regarding these practices were almost paralyzing. It seemed as though they were ashamed to admit to cultural healing practices, and did not divulge information to practitioners regarding their usage. The cultural disconnect was present as alternative/complimentary medicines are valued as a culture, and “modern” practitioners cast judgment on their usage. This perceived stigma additionally limited the information shared by the cultural participants with modern medical treatments, potentially causing additional harm, as some herbals are potentially toxic.
Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, Fellowship Director, Arizona Center For Integrative Medicine explains how we want to expose clinicians to a broader way of seeing the patient a deeper understanding of healing and a larger toolbox from which to choose for therapies. She talks about how if patients were treated with different procedures such as acupuncture or holistic healing, we as consumers would not have to pay out so much on treatment. Procedures such as these would actually benefit us because we would not need to see doctors nearly as much as we do now, because we would not be “treating” the diseases with chemicals (pharmaceutical drugs) which have many side effects. Also, the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies would never let this happen because then they would be out of money because people would not have to see their doctors nearly as much in hence means that these “cattle runners” would not be making the money they are.
Dr. James Marcum, a cardiologist at the Chattanooga Heart Institute in Tennessee claims, “Pharmaceutical drugs don’t heal people.” In fact, he states, “Much of the time they do more harm than good”(Milner). U.S. Citizens need to stop taking harmful pills and start using more natural, holistic healing methods. Everyone has probably used a pill before to relieve their pain, but there are healthier ways to feel just as good. According to the results of the National Health Interview Survey, “In 2012, 33.2% of U.S. adults used complementary health approaches”(What Complementary and Integrative Approaches Do Americans Use?). While some people believe conventional medicine is a better choice, it is clear that holistic healing can replace prescription drugs because they are more safe and effective than prescription drugs, and they are more practical in many ways.
Alternative Medicine is defined as any practice that is not included in traditional medicine care. There are various reasons why hospitals or health care settings include alternative medicine. Some health care facilities are experimenting with different therapies to advance the health care system. One therapy that has been proven to have positive results is the doll therapy for patients with dementia. In “Doll therapy: Therapeutic or Childish and Inappropriate?”, doll therapy is examined and the ethicality of the medicine is discussed. The qualitative experiment carried out in the article shows the ways that patients, families, and staff feel about using dolls in the care plan of dementia patients. The authors, Julia Heathcote, and Moira Clare, hypothesize that the dolls are positive ways to increase patients’ wellbeing because the dolls encourage a childish happiness for many clients (Heathcoat & Clare, 2014).
By examining some of the most popular, enduring alternative medical systems, one can begin to see some general trends of the systems, understand some recurring flaws, and understand the attraction and usefulness of alternative medicine in today's health care system. However, alternative medicine remains controversial. Whether it can be supported scientifically or not, alternative medicine may be useful to encourage both physical and mental well-being via a placebo effect. For this reason, alternative medicine must be considered by physicians as a complement to modern medicine.