Complementary and Alternative Medicine Essay

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Introduction In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in complementary medicine, and indeed alternative medicine (Lee-Treweek 2002, Andrews 2004, Barry 2006). Moreover the number of professionally trained therapist and practitioners has increased giving the patient/client a better choice and at more competitive rates (Smallwood, 2005). In this essay a critical assessment of the view that ‘patients use of complementary and alternative medicine, can be understood as part of the individualisation of responsibility for health’ will be made and argued, that there are many aspects which influence the uptake of such therapies. Responsibility for health has changed and this will be discussed by examples of sociological…show more content…
They along with many other authors (Sointu 2006) suggests that negative experiences within conventional medical practises can cause disenchantment and initiate people to seek out other methods of elevating their health care problems. They also cite from sociological studies that impersonal practises and the inability to cure chronic illness is part of the explanation for the move to use CAM and alternative therapies (Telford, Kralik, Koch,2006). The results of the study indicate that another reason for uptake is the fact that many believed in the trends of alternative methods and choose to use a ‘consumerist attitude’ (Sharma, 1992:80) to obtaining health care. Consumer demand has brought about the changes associated with CAM and alternative therapies use. The increase in several countries at grass root level as suggested by Barry (2005) has influenced the integration of several therapies into biomedical healthcare systems. Consumerism was one of the main ideas to influence factor incorporated in the changes to the NHS in the 1970’s. Consumerism led systems meant a more flexible and responsive health service which encouraged inclusion and self- help. This shift in thinking was brought about partly by consumer demand growing ever higher and medical sociologists debating changes to how society views illness and health
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