History of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Topics: Alternative medicine, Acupuncture, Medicine Pages: 6 (1913 words) Published: March 10, 2013

Kelly Gabard


Today’s medical advancement has found cures for disease that many never thought would happen years ago. However, with all the advanced medical treatments available, many people are depending on Holistic medicine to heal their mind, body and spirits and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to heal their pain and disease. One of the most practiced CAM today is Acupuncture, which is a practice used by the Chinese since the Shang Dynasty 1600 (BCE) to heal qi using ying and yang. While acupuncture was originated by the Chinese hundreds of years ago, this practice has spread worldwide and is still being used today to cure patients of many ailments. Acupuncture and Complimentary Alternative Medicine

Conventional medicine is the general course of healing done by Medical Doctors (MD) as the norm in today’s society. The advancements over the last hundred years are astonishing with the technology and advanced treatment for many diseases and disorders. However, Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Holistic practices have been around for thousands of years ranging from the Chinese to the Romans. These alternatives have not changed much with technology or research and yet they are still successful in curing many ailments. “Acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine, and is among the oldest healing practices in the world.” (www. nccam.nih.gov) Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is categorized into two separate fields; CAM and Holistic medicine. While they are categorized separately they both consist of similar forms of treatment and rarely if ever use prescription medications. They consist more of a natural hands on treatment using your mind and body to heal. Holistic Medicine

Native Americans have been using Holistic medicine throughout history by using herbal remedies to treat the entire person, to include mind, body and spirit. “Native American medical interventions, such as medical herbs and healing plants, have had a significant impact on modern society. In fact, 7 out of the 10 top-selling herbal remedies in the U.S. today were originally used by Native American tribes.” (www.medius.com) Ayurveda is the oldest holistic system of medicine now being practiced. Its philosophy, originating in India, is based on how the five elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth combine with each individual's soul and how that combination influences or controls the myriad functions of the body. In addition, Reiki originated in Japan basing health on the earths vibrations. Homeopathy is based on what gives a well person symptoms will cure someone else who is ill with those symptoms. In osteopathy they practice manipulating the musculoskeletal system, the circulatory and digestive system. Osteopathy is based on the belief that improper alignment can lead to impairment or damage of the body's ability to maintain homeostasis or balance of the body. Complimentary Alternative Medicine

Similar to conventional medicine, CAM has several categories of healing methods and many works in conjunction with conventional medicine as alternatives to prescription pain relief. Natural (herbal), Mind and Body, Manipulation and Body Based and Movement Therapies are the basic categories of CAM, however there are hundreds of methods that have been around for centuries and are still being practiced today.

Natural medicine uses herbs and natural resources to cure certain ailments. Mind and Body medicine focuses on using the body to regain homeostasis to cure the body. This is accomplished by meditation, acupuncture and yoga. Massage therapy and spinal manipulation are part of Manipulation and Body based medicine and a select number of movement therapies are available by CAM practitioners and are currently being used in pediatrics today. Many of CAM practices have been used...
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