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Alternative Medicine Versus Conventional Medicine: Comparative Analysis

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Humans ability to reason and use logic is clouded by the fear of uncertainty. The longing for concrete facts is what has created a world where uncertainty and faith are feared because they have become synonyms of ambiguity. However, this fantasized dystopian world eventually becomes dull and somber.

When a person’s health has been compromised, the patient often is looking for anything that will make them whole again. To begin healing, the patient has two options, the first being conventional medicine- also known as western medicine- which is defined as “a system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.” The second option is known as alternative medicine. Alternative medicine works exclusively with treatments and methods that use natural products and mind and body practices. Although conventional medicine utilizes science, and alternative medicine focuses on spirituality, these contrasting methods both have a common goal – healing. Alternative medicine proves to benefit a patients health independently, as well as when used simultaneously with conventional medicine, harmonizes science and spirituality by finding a necessary bond between these two worlds as well as emboldens holism which proposes the idea of viewing the patient as a whole.

It is difficult for western and holistic medicine to regard each other as equal because of their opposing views on medicine. Integrative medicine is a type of holistic medicine that may be able to bridge the gap between these two very different methods. The concept of holism is, “The theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole.” (Oxford Dictionaries). Intermediate medicine assesses health care from all points of view. This method works to heal the patient not only physically, but emotionally too. It utilizes western methods of physical healing in conjunction with the knowledge of holism and alternative medicine. Integrative medicine finds a balance between mind and body which can not be achieved by a doctor that favours western or holistic medicine. It demonstrates the importance of a balance between these two methods of healing, as well as the significance of holism.

The medical world is actively trying to find new treatments and techniques to cure humans who are constantly changing. Science is crucial for understanding evolutionary development in order to solve these problems. Unfortunately, medical advancements often sacrifice physical cures for mental stability. In the eyes of western medicine researchers, it is more important to cure the superficial symptoms than the root cause. Integrative medicine, again, satisfies the constantly changing evolution of humans without sacrificing the spiritual wellbeing of the patient. “The purpose of integration is to identify the strengths but also the limits of conventional and alternative approaches”. (Jaramillo).

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Science has created an image to appear superior making people believe technology can control all aspects of life, but scientists are discovering that some answers reach beyond the limits of an x-ray, opening scientists eyes to integrative medicine. “Our research and our evidence-based treatment guidelines echo our focus on technical treatments for specific diseases, ignoring the critical impacts of whole person factors in these diseases”. (Reilly). Western medicine has minimized patients and their inner health. Integrative medicine emboldens holism, which proposes the idea of viewing the patient as a whole. Holism is a way of reworking a doctors perception of patients as a unique human being. One of the main views of holism is to understand that the human body is a combination of the mind and physical aspects which is why doctors should be encouraged to reach beyond the physical symptoms of an individual. Integrative medicine reclaims medical values and humanize it.

Society has changed the course of values associated with medicine overtime. Integrated medicine is actively refocusing medicines approach to genuine and natural origins of humanity. Due to medicine being one of the few fields that deal directly with people’s lives, it is supposed to be unbiased, however it is contaminated by the suffocating views of society where productivity trumps quality and the values that once maintained the soul, mind and body were distorted. “Integrated medicine is not just about teaching doctors to use herbs instead of drugs. It is about restoring core values which have been eroded by social and economic forces”. (Dr. Lesley Rees and Dr. Andrew Weil). These exact forces are responsible for the derogation of a crucial aspect of disease: their origin. Investigating the origins provides a balance between the body and spirit. Doctors usually search for diseases in order to cure a patient, but underestimate the potential of spiritual factors that may affect the patient. By doing so, valuable time is wasted trying to find a complex diagnosis where only a simple problem is present.

Although there are a growing number of doctors that support the idea of taking the patient’s spiritual well being into consideration, in the integration of alternative and conventional approaches, there are many that oppose the integration of alternative and conventional approaches. Conventional doctors have communicated feeling challenged by integrated medicine as it can be viewed as taking credit for their work. “Interest in the whole person is what good doctors have always had. Creating a new brand of integrated care almost accuses those of us in normal medicine aiming to something different”. (Margaret McCartney). Integrated medicine is not in fact a new brand of care but instead a means of encouraging, inclusion, cooperation and unity among the different types of medicine. It is anything but wrong to promote people’s creativity in finding solutions for diseases that not even conventional science has discovered. Some doctors also believe that the flexibility of of integrative doctor’s minds is completely absurd. “Academic freedom allows professors to proclaim all sorts of wild ideas, including nonsensical ones, but we do not have to allow them to teach courses with no basis in reality.” (Dr. Salzberg). With respect to the human mind and body, there is much that can not be explained, but must be encouraged. Reality is based on humanity not on reason or logic. There is no perfect form of medicine that will please and suit everyone, but health is not a competition to prove which ideology is better than the other. Trying to attain a perfect system will not result in healing but instead close-minded doctors who oppose inclusion and innovation.

Magic goes far beyond the reach of a wand. Magic comes from within the confines of the body in a mysterious and often underestimated place: the human mind. As any superhero, the mind must battle enemies who aim to challenge its focus and minimize its thoughts. When society is given the power to challenge the mind, it is given the power to challenge its magic.

Health is what determines the reach of our ideas and measures the solidity of the ground we are standing on. When the floor under someone’s feet becomes loose, human instinct is survival. But what if the problem comes from one of the underground pillars, and the issue is handled by covering the superficial damages only? This may have allowed for more time, but the floor will eventually collapse. The thing is, the human body is not a calculated structure, nor machine. There is nothing perfect regarding the human body, but that does not mean that there is no magic in it. That is why doctors should not aim for perfection. Doctors should should aim towards finding what benefits the patient. In order to heal a patient, they must be treated as a human, as a whole, not a robot. To humanize medicine, there has to be a holistic concept behind the education of practitioners. Holism implies harmony, which is essential for any living organism. For that reason, integrative medicine encourages a balance between science and spirituality. In order to achieve equilibrium, there has to be an open mind because insights are usually mystifying. But actually, ideas that may sound out of comfort, are sometimes just a little outside of what logic has established, and it is okay to follow them to eventually get outside the box.

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Alternative Medicine Versus Conventional Medicine: Comparative Analysis. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/alternative-medicine-versus-conventional-medicine-comparative-analysis/
“Alternative Medicine Versus Conventional Medicine: Comparative Analysis.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/alternative-medicine-versus-conventional-medicine-comparative-analysis/
Alternative Medicine Versus Conventional Medicine: Comparative Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/alternative-medicine-versus-conventional-medicine-comparative-analysis/> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
Alternative Medicine Versus Conventional Medicine: Comparative Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 14 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/alternative-medicine-versus-conventional-medicine-comparative-analysis/
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