Alternative Medecine

Essay by cherokeeCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2004

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The dialogue with alternative medicine

Modern medicine has quite a lot to learn from alternative medicine sources such as home remedies or cultural cures. Suppose you catch a sudden flu after a night out or you have some sort of ailment that can't or doesn't seem to be diagnosed properly by the local physician or hospital staff. What are your next options, do you visit another caregiver in the next town or do you take an alternative approach? Or do you have a hot bath and relax sipping some herbal tea and patiently wait until your body condition comes to normal believing in your natural healing power of your body system? Whatever you have in your mind, alternative medicine is not such an alien method as some might reckon. As a matter of fact, it is very deeply involved in our everyday life. It varies from simple treatments such as aromatherapy to rather complicated (and somehow mystic!) ones like accupuncture and hypnotherapy.

It has such a wide coverage that any method with no reference to institutionalized medical knowledge might well be called alternative medicine. Alternative medicine has indeed far longer history than conventional one that had sprung from the former.

One of their differences is in their respective philosophy and methodology. Conventional medicine is mainly based on analytic and positivistic approach toward human body. Medical doctors regard a human body as a mechanism regulated by scientific law. Human body is supposed to be measured and controlled (without exception, in principle) by scientific method and treatment just like any other material. The present medical institution is sustained by the strong belief in this positivistic approach and philosophical attitude of mind-body dualism. It develops itself by way of chemical and physical experiment and anatomy: it demands a strong evidence and proof.