Why Americans Should Embrace Alternative Medicine

1300 WordsApr 23, 20196 Pages
Why Americans Should Embrace Alternative Medicine (Audience: American physicians, patients, legislators, and insurers who are wary of alternative medicine and its growing popularity) As complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) grows more popular with the American public, the question arises whether we should consolidate aspects of unorthodox medicine with standard care. Many, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, swear by CAM’s effectiveness and urge for a more patient-centered approach to care (Relman). While CAM has no shortage of critics, a growing body of research is indicating the effectiveness of many CAM therapies in treating a variety of conditions. Patients, physicians, and researchers sometimes find that CAM therapies are more…show more content…
medical schools; and, (c) is not generally reimbursable by health insurance providers” (qtd. in Jarvis). This definition includes natural cures and herbs, whole medical systems such as Indian Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, mind-body practices such as meditation and hypnosis, healing and energy medicine such as qigong, and practices such as acupuncture and massage (Baker 746). One potential motivating factor for CAM use in America is dissatisfaction with increasingly invasive and expensive conventional or “allopathic” treatment. Horror stories about doctors overprescribing or misprescribing drugs, such as a study by Dr. W.S. Aronow revealing nearly half of patients admitted to a nursing home were inappropriately prescribed a medication that put them at risk for life-threatening digitalis toxicity, deepen the distrust. By the same token, Jim Edwards of CBS MoneyWatch ran a story about the FDA’s public admission of "systemic corruption and wrongdoing that permeates all levels” of their agency. While stories like these can turn people away from allopathic medicine, other factors can be more significant. A study by Dr. J.A. Astin revealed that the most common reason for CAM use is Marzullo 3 that CAM is more consistent with patients’ worldviews. In particular, conventional medicine is often viewed as too reductionist (Lawrence).
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