Medical Pluralism : A Medical System For Healing

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In the contemporary world, western biomedicine is seen as the main system for healing but patients tend to seek second opinions or other forms of healing. Different varieties of health care options are arising and exist. A biomedical doctor’s office may very well be next to a naturopath’s office and in fact both healers may help the same patient. Medical anthropologists state that medical pluralism is a growing idea of combining more than one medical system (Joralemon 2010:66). This generally means combining western medicine to complementary and alternative medicine such as shamanism, naturopathy and even a chiropractor. There are many advantages to having more than one medical system such as being able to heal holistically, being able to heal from another medical system when the other fails and to heal by still embracing and respecting your background and culture. Medical pluralism provides different perspectives and advantages on illness and provides better treatment for a patients’ benefit of healing. In the 19th century orthodox medicine was seen as the only source of healing in America and other western countries (Kaptchuk and Eisenberg 2001:191). Culture played a big role in many countries determining what the main source of healing was. For complementary and alternative medicine the same occurred where it was only used in countries with strong beliefs against biomedical medicine. Every country had its own healing experiences and only trusted healers of their chosen

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