Alternative Medicine Essay 10

Topics: Acupuncture, Alternative medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine Pages: 8 (2910 words) Published: February 8, 2006
Alternative or Complimentary medicine comes from China. This medicine was developed several thousand years ago. Shen Nong, the Fire Emperor, said to have lived from 2698 to 2598 BC is considered the founder of herbal medicine Chinese medicine is based on the text written by Huang Di, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. This book was written before the birth of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. Ancient Chinese medicine was based on the idea of balance. Life energy means (Chi-Qi_Ki) in Chinese, constantly flows through the body. When a person is healthy, the energy remains balanced; however, if it becomes unbalanced then an illness will occur. The job of ancient Chinese physicians was to keep the body in balance and to restore balance when it was lost. The Chinese believed that health was much more than just absence of disease but rather wellness, a feeling of harmony for the body, mind and spirit. It is preventative – keeping ones self healthy through diets, exercises, relaxation techniques and more. The professionals of alternative medicine believe they have the power to heal. Today, alternative medicine is a very broad term used by the medical profession and lay men alike. It engulfs a large range of healing therapies. It is usually defined as a treatment or approach that is not routinely used by those health care proponents who practice standard or mainstream medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine is still widely used in China. There are over 200 hospitals that still practice traditional methods and even in modern hospitals the traditional methods are used side by side by the latest medical technology in China today. A national survey done by Prevention Magazine in 1997 revealed that 1/3 of all adult Americans or about 60 million people say that they frequently use herbal remedies. Americans spend an average of $4 billion dollars a year on herbs or vitamins and 61.5 % do not disclose the use of these products to their health care provider mainly due to an ignorance of the combination of these herbs with prescription medications. This is a potentially serious problem. So why are there an increasing number of people who prefer alternative medicine over conventional medicine? Some people believe the answer is simple, it is safer and it works. While you may need a surgeon to take care of you after you are involved in an auto accident and have received traumatic injuries, this type of medicine and treatment does not work as well when it comes down to taking care of prevention of disease chronic illnesses, and addressing the mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the individual. This is the area that people seek cures in and thus the reason that alternative medicine is so popular in the western world. Another thing that should be remembered is that alternative medicine as it is called in the United States is the basis for all health care to over 80% of the worlds population.

Alternative medicine encompasses a large array of different systems and therapies: they are usually divided into 4 categories: The injection, ingestion or inhalation of a substance, this includes traditional Chinese medicine know as TCM, herbs, macrobiotic foods, health foods, and aromatherapy.

Physical therapies applied externally by the practioner, included in this group is acupuncture, massage, chiropractic guasha, hydro therapy, and cupping and reflexology.

Physical, mental or spiritual exercises practiced by the user themselves, such as, yoga or meditation.

The redirection of supernatural powers, such as Fing Shu and Shaujing (a Taiwanese folk ritual to calm a child often a frightening experience).

Yin and Yang is the idea of balance - the basic long established idea behind all Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. The Chinese believe everything in the world contains the aspects of both Yin and Yang. Wholeness is comprised of the union of opposites. These opposing or competing...
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