A Paradigm Shift to Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Over the last century, religion, spirituality, and science have all played a major role in health care, although they have never been integrated with traditional medical science in the United States. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a set of medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not part or integrated as part of Western medicine which is the dominant health care system in the United States. Religion and spirituality have both played dominant roles in healing since the beginning of history. Today it is believed that prayer and faith can bring healing and is referred to as holistic healing, or focus on the mind, body, and spirit rather than just the cause for an illness. A paradigm shift is a adjustment or change in one’s view of a subject or approach toward a subject. Presently in the United States, a paradigm shift is occurring with the roles of traditional Western medicine and Complementary and Alternative medicine. In recent years, there has been and increased interest in CAM and holistic healthcare although traditional medicine remains the dominant health care system. As Americans are becoming more and more interested in CAM and holistic care, the integration of CAM into the mainstream medical care system is becoming more evident and once again religion and spirituality becomes part of the health care system.
How is religion and spirituality related to health care? Different cultures around the world have rich histories full of religion, spirituality, and cultural practices and beliefs. These different cultures have all developed various types of CAM over thousands of years. In health, religion and spirituality work together for healing using prayer, meditation, and faith. The psycho-physiological effects of healing using faith have not been proven through the scientific method, which is why this method of healing remains separate from scientific medicine...
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