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Alternative Medicine: Is It Effective? Essay

1535 words - 6 pages

Alternative Medicine: Is it Effective?While some medical technicians and doctors search for the cures for such life-altering diseases as leukemia, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and asthma, others claim to have derived a safe, effective treatment through alternative medication. Alternative medicine, an unrelated group of non-orthodox therapeutic practices, which have no satisfactory scientific explanation for their effectives (Collinge xix.)Determining how alternative medicine should be incorporated with modern medicine has recently become an issue in which many are concerned. Len Duhl, M.D., an established professor, wrote an introduction for a book on alternative medicine saying, "The joining together of conventional and alternative traditions may well permit us to have a more balanced quality of life...[bringing] the concept of health back to medicine" (Collinge xxi.) Obviously alternative medicine is not only important to the medical field, but also to the people of this world. But why alternative medicine; what is it? Alternative medicine is any treatment or practice that is not frequently used in medical training or hospitals. Health insurance companies do not usually reimburse it. Eastern medicine, massage therapy, homeopathy, chiropractic or naturopathic medicines are a few examples of alternative medicine. Because the possibilities are endless when it comes to alternative medicine, it is difficult to get a true picture of what it is all about. According to The Alternative Health and Medicine Encyclopedia, alternative medicine has four main principles, which set it apart from modern medicine These principles include: the healing power of nature; no harm done to the body if at all possible; identify and treat the cause; and the physician as a teacher (Marti xxi.) Knowing every medical option available allows a person to better their chances of improving his or her health. Alternative medicine is safe and effective when incorporated with modern medicine. Interest has grown, support has increased, and assimilation with modern medicine has begun.There has been a rapid growth of interest in alternative medicine. The patients make up the dominant group who display interest in alternative medicine. Author William Collinge says, "We now know that at least a third of Americans use some form of alternative medicine" (314.) When combining alternative medicine with his or her existing modern medicine, the patient is more effectively healed. Physicians who traditionally practice modern medicine show interest in the effectiveness of alternative medicine. Len Duhl used this profound medical technique when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. He and his wife decided to turn to the "best and most advanced protocols of treatment" for her chemotherapy. However, when it came to dealing with the side effects, they chose acupuncture and chi kung, a Chinese medicine that focuses on energy.He wrote, "Like many others, we found that conventional medicine...

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