Use of Alternative Medicine Essay

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Use of Alternative Medicine There has been an explosion of interest and use of alternative medicines and an increase in the numbers and visits to alternative practitioners in Australia (Furnham A, Mcgill C 2003). Complementary and Alternative medicine, also known as Traditional medicine covers a broad range of healing philosophies, approaches and therapies. Many therapies are termed 'holistic', which generally means that the healthcare practitioner considers the whole person, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects (Moon G, Gillespie R 1995). These forms of medicine have evolved recently as a reaction to …show more content…
In Australia, research has indicated that in 1993, 48.5% of the population used at least one non-medically prescribed alternative medicine. A$1 000 million is the estimated national expenditure on alternative medicines and alternative practitioners per annum, of which A$621 million is spent on alternative medicines. An Australian government report in 1996 estimated that there were at least 2.8 million traditional Chinese medicine consultations in 1996, representing an annual turnover of A$84 million within the health economy [http://www.wpro.who.int/pdf/rcom51/hsd-1e.pdf]

The Australian health-care systems has expanded and changed remarkably in recent years (Ritenburgh C, Verhoel M et.al.) Medical practices outside the mainstream of 'official' medicine have always been an important part of public health care. The prominence and configuration of these irregulars as they were called, has waxed depending on the needs of the public, perceptions of modern medicine and the changing values of society (Kats DL, Williams AL et. al 2003) A survey conducted in 1994 revealed that reasons for alternative health care use included 'a holistic orientation to health; having had a transformational experience that changed the person's world view; and a classification