Health is considered to be one of the most important human possessions and people have been using the healing power of nature since the beginning of time. Modern science and medical advancements have largely developed drug treatment, thus complementary and alternative medicine is thought to be ineffective and is distrusted by doctors and patients. The opposite view is beginning to dominate societies, as more people use alternative ways of medicine.
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The modern world has seen many changes in the development and reliance on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The most general definition of CAM is any medicine or treatment procedure that is not taught in the medical school and cannot be called fully “scientific”.
There include homeopathy, treatment of the body’s energy flow, chiropractic procedure, Ayurveda, acupuncture and many more (Micozzi, 2010). The most important principle of CAM is that there is a unity between the mental state of the person and the biological processes of the body. As such, philosophy and the outlook on life are very important in the practice of alternative medicine.
It is true that people have been using CAM for many thousands of years but the evidence that is known today is somewhat inconclusive. One of the problems is that there are few studies done that are based on scientific facts and more information is needed to prove effectiveness of CAM (Davis, 2012).
Homeopathy is one of the alternative ways to treat deceases and it is based on intruding a minimal amount of the pathogen to the body. The technique relies on the body’s immune system in the hope that it will build up immunity towards the unwanted organism. There are some benefits from the treatment that were reported, as a similar concept is used in immunizations with the introduction of the virus to the body.
The negative effects include the possibility that the individual’s organism will not be able to adapt and will become ill. Another alternative to the usual medical treatment is Ayurvedic medicine. The origins come from India and have been practiced for many centuries. This form of medicine is based on natural plant and animal products and thus, can be seen as extremely positive for people’s health.
The herbs that are used also have an influence on the balance within the person, causing a re-alignment of the life’s energy. The negative side is that there have been cases where research showed an increased number of toxins found in the remedies (Larson, 2007). Overall, any treatment that uses plants and animal materials has been shown to have inconclusive effect on the people’s health.
Acupuncture and several other energy therapies are based on finding currents of positive energy within the human body. Acupuncture activates the circuits by the use of needles and has been shown to be beneficial in activating a better flow of energy. Energy therapies are based on magnetic and electric fields that each person has and there is a close connection to the meditation, prayer and other mental exercises.
Hand healing has been a part of the divine, energetic treatment for a long time, as people deeply believe that it is possible (Micozzi, 2010). Even though the amount of evidence is not convincing there are cases where CAM has resulted in the positive outcome, so people continue using it and doctors are beginning to take a closer look as well.
Davis, C. (2012). Alternative Medicine. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books.
Larson, C. (2007). Alternative Medicine. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Micozzi, M. (2010). Fundamentals of complementary and alternative medicine. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.