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Alternative/Modern Medicine Essay

3090 words - 13 pages

IntroductionIndividuals often choose non-traditional or alternative medicine and techniques in substitution of conventional medicine, as a way of healing the mind and body in a natural way without prescribed standard medications. "Complementary and alternative medicine is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine" (National Institutes of Health, 2009 p.1). Nature plays a vital role in the medicine and techniques of alternative medicine. "Alternative therapies include, but are not limited to the following disciplines: folk medicine, herbal medicine, diet fads, homeopathy, faith healing, new age ...view middle of the document...

In some cases, practitioners of modern medicine have begun to look outside of conventional methods for answers. The main difference between the way Eastern and Western perspectives of medicine has to do with how they look at the body. The Western view has always been that the body is very mechanistic but today on a more spiritual level the West is using Buddhism and other Eastern religions that take a more integrated approach to the mind and body connection.The Chinese have viewed the body as an ecosystem. The doctor is viewed as a gardener who finds the balance with the patient and the body. Doctors use meditation, which has been practiced for thousands of years, and has been known to bring beneficial results to those who practice it (Bonadonna, 2009). Other ways such as Chinese herb logy, homeopathy and naturopathic practices were also deemed as outside the mainstream of medicine. Only within the past five to10 years have these practices started to gain respect with the traditional Western community (Hayford, 2001).Many doctors agree that the mind can influence the performance of the body. The Buddhist believes "that rust which comes from iron can corrode and destroy" (Buddha Dharma Education Association, 2009, p. 1) the same iron it came from. The mind is loaded with negative, ugly images that can corrode and cause illness, but it can be healed with calm healing thoughts, then that healing can spread through the remainder of the body. This can be done with the use of meditation. Eastern medicine is seen to be more advanced than Western medicine because Eastern medicine is seen as a complete solution and not just a placebo. In the Western medical arena pharmaceutical companies have products that contaminate the body and have side effects that further damage the patient both physically and mentally. Eastern medicine with its complete package, using natural products from the earth such as herbs, can return the body to a balanced place. Acupuncture is used along with this and meditation.Meditation is, in essence, a group of techniques including: Zen Buddhist meditation, mantra meditation, and mindfulness meditation. Most of these techniques started with Eastern spiritual traditions and have been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation has gained popularity in recent years for overall health and wellness.The mind can contribute to sickness in the body but can be a source of healing as well. Buddhist Meditation and Health featured a story about Dr. O. Carl Simonton, of the Simonton Cancer Care Center in California; U.S.A. Dr. Simonton has conducted studies comparing traditional treatments for cancer as well as holistic methods. He has found the "the body has a natural ability to cure and treat itself" (Buddha Dharma Education Association, 2009, p. 1).According to the Buddha Dharma Education Association (2009):Most of all we need meditation and visualization to initiate a transformation. They are the basic tools used when we determine to...

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