Professor C. Vergara
13 September 2011
An Increasing Number of People Turn to Alternative Medicine
While people typically turn to Western medicine to cure disease, many individuals look to alternative medicine as a preventive measure even though alternative medicine is also effective in curing illness. Consequently, alternative methods are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S.A according to a 1998 article published in JAMA; 42% of the population used at least one method of alternative medicine in 1997. Some of the most common methods include bioenergetics (combination of mind and body), synergetic (a fusion between alternative and Western medical methods), acupuncture (an energy balancing process), and homeopathic (the administration of small doses of a drug that in massive amounts produces symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease itself).
Bioenergetics is a method of psychodynamic pshychotherapy that combines body and mind exercises to help people address and resolve their emotional problems and realize more of their potential for pleasure in the joy in living (goodtherapy.org). Bioenergetics therapists believe that there is a correlation between the function of the mind and its effect on the body. Western medicine has begun to acknowledge this connection; for example, according to Julie Simons "people who experience prolonged periods of anxiety and stress can develop ulcers and cardio vascular illnesses". What affects the mind affects the body and vice versa, what affects the body affects the mind. For instance, people who are lethargic tend to lack enthusiasm and often experience some forms of depression (Simon). Bioenergetics therapy has been used extensively to treat people gripped by psychological disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, "as well as physical ailments that many believe are linked to traumatic life experiences, such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis"(Coxson). It has also been used extensively in treating children with attention deficit disorders. Ana suffered from insomnia for many years; no even after taking extremely high doses of prescribe medicine she would console sleep. She starts seeing a bioenergetics therapist that more than giving her medicine, he is providing her with peace. The therapist made her understand that the cure of the insomnia was in understanding the nature of her feelings. After two visits to the therapist for the first time in years she was able to have uninterrupted sleep hours (healing insonmia).
Synergetic is a fusion between alternative and traditional Western medicines. This method integrates language and practice in a coherent and unified model. Synergetic method is a therapeutic integral proposal that, from a new vision of life, health, illness and the human being, offers a new reading code of the clinical pathology, a new doctor – patient relationship model, a new non-invasive therapeutic methodology. This therapeutic teaching involves the patients in the prevention of illness and the creation of their own health. "As an integrative paradigm, it is born of a new conception of the correlations between matter, energy, information and conscience, and uses five basic laws of the consciousness"(introduction to synergetic, 2). Acupuncture attempts to restore an energetic balance within the body. As eastern medicine describes that the perfect balance between the Yin and the Yang is responsible for the health of an individual. This perfect balance produces vital energy called qi (pronounce chi); when the flow of this energy is interrupted deceases may occur. Acupuncture is often effective in reestablishing balance by inserting thin needles in specific acupuncture points or combinations of points on the body, along channels or meridians that follow the vascular paths. Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. As part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture aims to restore and...