Deadly MonoPoLies.....

Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself--And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future.
Deadly MonopoLies

Friday, July 6, 2007

What Is It Exactly?

Alternative Medicine

Perhaps you have heard of alternative medicine and have wondered what exactly it is. If you have a chronic medical condition, someone has probably suggested that you look into a “natural” or “holistic” treatment option. But before you are ready to plunge into the world of natural remedies, you probably want to learn a little bit more about them.

Holistic healing, alternative medicine, and homeopathy are all terms used to describe a branch of health care that looks for natural, non-invasive ways to treat and prevent illnesses. For example, one commonality found in most homeopathic doctor’s offices or stores is the use of medicinal herbs. Medicinal herbs can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, from headaches to heart problems.

Alternative medicine is increasing in popularity across the globe. In fact, it is currently the fastest growing branch of medicine. Many people who feel that traditional medicine has failed turn to homeopathy to treat their medical problems. Others turn to holistic healing to avoid the complicated side effects associated with traditional medicine.Alternative medicine uses substances found in nature to cure the problems of the body. The materials, whether plant, animal, or mineral substances, are chosen specifically for the individual being treated. The goal of the homeopathic doctor is to use these materials to trigger the body’s inborn defenses, creating a natural healing process without putting any artificially formed substances into the body.

Holistic healing uses the same principles as a vaccination. By placing a small amount of a substance into the body that would normally cause a sickness, the body’s defense mechanism is triggered. This results in the body naturally fighting off the infection or disease. Rashes, asthma, hormonal difficulties, acne, fatigue, and ear infections are all conditions that respond particularly well to holistic healing treatments.

Holistic healing also applies to emotional problems. While medical doctors are quick to prescribe addictive drugs to deal with depression and other emotional problems, the homeopathic doctor looks at the entire person, diagnosing what causes the depression and what physical symptoms are present because of the depression. Then the doctor will prescribe a series of treatments that are specific to that individual patient’s condition. For example, if the depression is caused by a physical condition, such as a hormonal imbalance, that condition will be treated using medicinal herbs. If, however, the cause is emotional, the depression will be treated with a different approach.
Holistic healing looks at the entire person, evaluates the physical, emotional, and spiritual condition, and prescribes a treatment based on the individual evaluation. As a result, holistic treatments are highly personalized and highly effective. The biggest benefit of using holistic medicine is not needing to worry about the side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals. If you have a medical condition that needs treatment, consider turning to a holistic doctor and seeing what treatments nature has to offer.

Advising Patients Who Seek Alternative Medical Therapies

Alternative medical therapies, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal remedies, are in great public demand. Some managed care organizations now offer these therapies as an "expanded benefit." Because the safety and efficacy of these practices remain largely unknown, advising patients who use or seek alternative treatments presents a professional challenge. A step-by-step strategy is proposed whereby conventionally trained medical providers and their patients can pro-actively discuss the use or avoidance of alternative therapies. This strategy involves a formal discussion of patients' preferences and expectations, the maintenance of symptom diaries, and follow-up visits to monitor for potentially harmful situations. In the absence of professional medical and legal guidelines, the proposed management plan emphasizes patient safety, the need for documentation in the patient record, and the importance of shared decision making.

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