Alternative Medicine Essay

Submitted By devinvieyra
Words: 894
Pages: 4

Alternative Medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been practiced for many years. Every type of practice has its own culture where it has originated. The Latin American culture has its curandera and the Buddhist has its monks. These practices have been used in the states for many years but over the last several years these practices have become extremely popular to Americans. Americans are now making the switch from traditional medical treatments to CAM therapies. This new movement has brought many speculations whether this is a wise decision or not. Before you draw your own opinion on alternative medicine, we will look at the definition of alternative medicine, the different practices that are offered, plus the positives and negatives of this decision. Alternative medicine is a range of medical therapies that are not accepted by the medical profession. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are five categories of complementary and alternative medicine: whole medical systems, mind-body medicine, biologically based practices, manipulative and body-based practices, and energy medicine (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). The whole medical system, is a group of practices that cleanses the body and strengthens the energy founded in the body. There are subcategories in the whole medical system, which are ancient healing systems, homeopathy, and naturopathy. A great example would be acupuncture. The mind-body techniques strengthen the communication between you mind and your body. Examples would be meditation and prayer. Biological based practices are dietary supplements and herbal remedies. Examples of herbs are ginseng, ginkgo, and Echinacea. Manipulation and body-based practices are methods that use touch to manipulate a specific part of your body. A perfect example is a massage. Last is the energy medicine, which is the belief that when energy flow is blocked you become sick. A few examples of this practice are qi gong and magnet therapy. Qi gong is the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the life energy.
As stated by Mr. Nordqvist, acupuncture is a method involving tiny needles being inserted into at specific points in the body. It is used to help restore the body. The benefits to acupuncture are: “it is safe when used correctly, effectively controls some types of pain, considered for patients who do not respond or do not want to take pain medication” (Nordqvist). The risks for acupuncture are: there may be bleeding, bruises and soreness after, unsterilized needles can infect patients, a needle may break and damage an internal organ, and when inserted deeply into the chest or upper back there is a risk of collapsed lungs. “Meditation is a mind to body practice” (Meditation: An Introduction). Meditation is used to increase calmness and physical relaxation, to cope with illness, or to enhance overall health and well-being. When meditating you must have a specific posture and focus your attention.
Everybody is going to have his or her own opinion about alternative medicine. Some are going to favor this substitute but others are obviously going to favor the original practice of medicine. There are several reasons why complementary and alternative medicine is a great choice to lean toward. According to Ms. Baker, the Military has started to change its original methods to CAM therapies. The main reason why they made this move was to help with stress our men and women who serve our country take on. To be specific, the department of veteran affairs uses CAM therapy the most to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Nine in ten facilities either provide CAM therapies directly or refer patients to outside practitioners. Meditation,…