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Conventional Medicine Vs. Alternative Medicine Essay

1741 words - 7 pages

The dictionary states that conventional medicine is offered by hospitals and practiced by those who have a medical doctor degree; it is also called western medicine. The opposite of conventional medicine is called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Complementary and Alternative medicine can be considered holistic medicine, which is usually not prescribed by physicians a part of hospitals. There has been an increase in those that have an aversion to conventional medicine that is offered by hospitals (Astin, 1998). There are multiple reasons as to why people dislike conventional medicine. Some reasons for this increase is that “alternative treatments are thought to offer more control over health care decisions, and alternatives are seen as more compatible with the patient’s values, worldview, beliefs regarding the nature and meaning of illness and health” or a person truly believes that they can be cured of their ailment by the use of only CAM treatments (Astin, 1998). Another reason as to why people turn toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is that one might have an aversion to doctors. Some CAM treatments include; therapies, herbal medicine, and acupuncture (Collinge, 1996).
In the early life of medicine, what is now thought of as complementary and alternative medicine was all that there was for healing. The history of complementary and alternative medical treatments can be traced back centuries ago. The first written documents of it start during the Han Dynasty in China; this is why people believe that the Chinese started complementary and alternative medical (CAM) treatments but, there is no definite proof (Collinge 1996). The very first type of CAM treatment that was known was herbal medicines. Herbal medicine includes treatments that are all made from natural and organic plants; the herbs can be used as dietary supplements, and aroma therapy (Eisenberg, 1997). Other common complementary and alternative treatments can include; acupuncture, chiropractors, yoga, tai chi and homeopathies (Eisenberg, 1997). Since CAM treatments were all that were known back in the day, they were considered godsends. However, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the witch trials began. These trials changed the belief that CAM treatments were good until recent times (Alsleben and Donsbach, 1992). The respect of CAM treatments was lost during the witch trials because all those that were thought of as being witches used herbal medicine and in general complementary and alternative medicine. The history of conventional medical treatments started after complementary and alternative medical treatments stopped being respected (Alsleben and Donsbach, 1992). It is believed, that conventional treatments branched off of CAM treatments because of when they started being in use.
There is some research or knowledge about complementary and alternative medical treatments; however, more needs to be done. More research needs to be done so that a...

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