Alternative Medicine Essay 1

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Alternative medicine is a medical practice that is generally founded on metaphysical beliefs. Many a times, alternative medicine is found to be antiscientific. The practice of alternative medicine has progressively become popular in the recent past decades with more and more patients preferring alternative medicine to modern scientific medicine (Skeptic dictionary, 2009). Alternative medicine practice falls into five main categories as classified by National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). These include alternative medical systems such as acupuncture, ayurveda, homeopathy, and naturopathic medicine; mind-body interventions like art therapy, dance therapy, hypnotherapy and meditation; biologically-based therapies like diet supplements, herbal products and megavitamins; manipulative and body-based methods such as chiropractic massage therapy, osteotherapy, reflexology and acupressure and finally energy therapies like biofield therapies (e.g. therapeutic touch and Qi gong) and bioelectromagnetic-based therapies like pulsed fields and magnetic fields (Wong, 2009). With a lot of controversy arising as to whether alternative medicine is quackery, this paper focuses on homeopathy with specific attention on the way it is believed to work and the various controversial issues about homeopathy such as dilution problem, quantum entanglement, and clinical evidence and whether it is simply an elaborate placebo. Homeopathy is a system of medicine whereby individuals are treated with natural substances which are highly diluted. These remedies trigger the body’s natural healing power thereby providing relief from physical and emotional states. The principle of homeopathy is Similia Similibus Curenturc meaning that “let likes cure likes”. The implication of this is that if a substance can bring about signs and symptoms in a health individual, the same substance can be used in curing the same signs and symptoms in such a person (Holistic Being, 2009).


References: Homeopathy School International. (2009). About homeopathy. Retrieved 30, November 2009 from http://www.homeopathyschool.org/about_homeopathy.html NHS. (2009). Homeopathy: issues surrounding homeopathy. Retrieved 30, November 2009 from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Homeopathy/Pages/Issues.aspx Ramey, D.W., Wagner, M., Imrie, R.H. and Stenger, V. (2009). Homeopathy and science: a closer look. To be published in The Technology Journal of the Franklin Institute. Retrieved 30, November 2009 from http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Medicine/Homeop.html Skeptic dictionary. (2009). Skepdic.com. "alternative" health practices. Retrieved 30, November 2009 from http://www.skepdic.com/althelth.html The Holistic Being. (2009).The Holistic being.com. Homeopathy. Retrieved 30, November 2009 from http://www.theholisticbeing.com/Homeopathy.htm Wong, C. (2009). About.com Guide. What are the 5 main types of complementary / alternative medicine? Retrieved 30, November 2009 from http://altmedicine.about.com/od/alternativemedicinebasics/a/types.htm

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