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Complimentary and Aletrnative Medicine

COMPLIMENTARY and ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ellen Hughes M.D.

This article has brought to our attention the importance and popularity of alternative medicine in our lives today. The author gives us an idea of the number of people utilizing alternative medicine and the risks of doing so, as well as the cost.
The author starts with a definition of alternative medicine and its gaining popularity today. This type of medicine is becoming more popular today because of the theory of treatment of the whole body instead of just what is felt at the time. This is not because the patients are fed-up with traditional western medicine, but that it is geared more towards changing values. The health insurance companies are only recently offering these options as approved avenues of medical treatment. They are requiring, in some cases, that the insured person(s) pay a higher premium for complimentary and alternative medicine. The author goes on to talk about the recent growth of the use of herbal medicines and how they6 are not bound by the same rules as traditional medicines. The FDA has very little control over what companies put on the market as far as organic drugs.
On pages 259-262 the text discusses some of the reasons people use alternative medicines and its affect on healthcare. Some of the reasons are:

· They have already explored the conventional
systems without result.

· There is no harm in it.

· Modern medicine is more dangerous

· More availability

· Practitioners listen to them

The most powerful statement the text makes is on page 266: \"Compared to the corporate-dominated health care megalith that our system seems to be becoming, alternative medicine, with its emphasis on self-care and individual holism, is perhaps one area where patients feel more in control or their own destiny.\"

I was caught a little off guard to see chiropractics on the list of alternative medicines. Isn\'t this a type of medicine accepted by the AMA? And isn\'t it considered to be a little more medically accepted than the other alternative medicines? I was also drawn to the statement in the book that the people feel better about alternative medicine because they were kind of \"afraid\" of our system today. It all goes back to what we talked about in class. The American people want this system. We built it ourselves. Is alternative medicine the future of health care?

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