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Controversial topics in holistic medicine

[15 Dec 2010 | No Comments | | Author: ]
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Holistic medicine is a system of health care that theoretically fosters a cooperative relationship between the practitioner and patient which should lead to the successful attainment of health in all aspects.

In other words, holistic medicine practitioners are just as concerned with the spiritual, emotional and mental aspects of care as they are of the physical and financial.

Throughout the centuries holistic medicine has been practiced in different cultures but it is only within the last several decades that the controversial topics in holistic medicine have reached traditional Western medicine.

This is because it has only been in the past several decades that this practice of medicine has become more popular with patients who are searching for overall health instead of just relief from specific symptoms.

Because holistic medicine practitioners emphasize the need to evaluate the whole person including lifestyle choices, emotional, social and nutritional aspects traditional medicine continues to be in disbelief over any outcomes that practitioners claim they can achieve.

On the other hand holistic medicine practitioners believe that the body is fully able to heal itself given the right tools (nutrition, sleep and lack of stress). Doctors who practice more traditional Western medicine are better able to focus on one or two aspects of the patients problem. This is often because of the sheer volume of people they are treating and the resulting financial burden on the patient and insurance companies if they spent a lengthy time with the sufferer.

Some of the controversy stems from these basic differences while others are a result of the actual benefits that patients receive and cures that have been documented. When a patient who previously was diagnosed with cancer, returns to their physician cancer free the doctor will usually tell them to continue doing what they were doing. However, they dont usually ask what they were doing or want to learn more about.

Another controversy revolves around the concern from traditional Western doctors that patients will forsake medications and traditional testing for a version of voodoo medicine that can never work. Pharmaceutical companies are concerned that the trail of money will dry up if more people use herbal and more natural medical treatments instead of the drugs they spend millions of dollars to produce.

The pharmaceutical industry is a complex and convoluted system that produces drugs that are effective, efficient, expensive and sometimes not needed. The overall goal is to make money. If there are plenty of people who need a medication (such as for headaches) it is well worth their while to develop more than one medication to do the job. But if there are significantly less people who suffer from a condition then it isnt in the financial best interest of the company to spend millions, or even billions, to develop a medication from which they wont recoup their development costs for several years.

But the controversial topics in holistic medicine dont stop there. Under the umbrella of holistic medicine is alternative medicine and complementary medicine practitioners. Also included are natural healing or naturopathic doctors all of whom have their own controversies with traditional Western practices.

The treatment of individuals using holistic practices makes perfect common sense but before undertaking treatment from a practitioner an individual should spend the time investigating the particular practitioner, the treatments recommended and determine if these can logistically be incorporated into their lifestyle. Just as with traditional Western practices the ultimate responsibility for medical care lies in the hands of the individual.


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