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The Dialogue With Alternative Medicine Essay

534 words - 3 pages

Conventional medicine has little to learn from alternative medicine Suppose you catch a sudden flu after a frantic night out, what would be your first treatment? Do you rush to the pharmacist nearby or your doctor? 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 ...view middle of the document...

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. Evidence, in theory, is the sole criterion to tell the science (therefore conventional medicine) from non-science. On the other hand, alternative medicine shows totally different approach towards human body (and world itself, sometimes). Our body is regarded as a holistic organism with a strong (or almost inseparable) connection to our mind. Physical disorders are mostly caused by the imbalance involving the whole person. To cure means to regain our balance as a whole person not only physically but also mentally. Sometimes alternative medicine practitioners¡¯ approach is grounded on functionalism- functional effects is enough to justify the value of any specific treatment. In this sense it is also rather pragmatic than positivistic.

In spite of this seemingly vast gap between the two, increasing number of doctors and practitioners are on the move to communicate and learn from each other. In particular, more and more conventional doctors are willing to adopt alternative way for the treatment specifically stress-related diseases such as insomnia, indigestion and muscle pains etc. For instance, hypnotherapy has somehow proven itself as an effective way to eradicate heavy smoking habit. Also acupressure and acupuncuture are widely being recognized and accepted as practical and efficient treatment for aches and pains.

Aside from some fundamental positivists, most doctors don¡¯t hesitate to admit the possibility of alternative cure for any specific disease. Unless they take the other as an rival for the same market and attack and deny each other purely out of their business interest, it seems there are more gain than loss in their co-operation.

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