The Use of Traditional Medicine in the Caribbean

Topics: Medicine, Alternative medicine, Health care Pages: 8 (2571 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Traditional Medicine- Systems of medicine developed before the era of modern medicine, based on cultural beliefs and ancestral practices. Modern Medicine-Medicine as practiced by holders of M.D (medical doctor).Other terms includes: allopathic medicine; western medicine; mainstream medicine; orthodox medicine; regular medicine and biomedicine. Acupuncture- a medical treatment from China that involves putting sharp thin needles into the body at very specific points. Naturopathy- a system of medical treatment that treats illness by natural methods such as exercising and controlling the food you eat. Reflexology- a form of alternative medicine in which the soles of the feet are massaged. Complementary or Alternative Medicine (CAM) -any range of medical therapies that fall beyond the scope of conventional medicine but may be used alongside it in the treatment of disease. Reiki- a Japanese healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch to activate the natural healing process. Integrative medicine-relationship-based care that combines mainstream and complementary therapies to promote health for the whole person in the context of his or her family and community (The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008).


1. What are the motivational factors responsible for the use of Traditional Medicine in the district of St. Augustine?

2. Is Traditional Medicine a first choice of health care for St. Augustine residents?

3. What are the uses of the main Traditional Medicine used in St. Augustine?

4. Do residents think that Traditional Medicine compliments their use of modern medicine?

5. What solutions may be implemented to create an integrated approach to health care for the benefit of residents?


The study conducted employed the use of both primary and secondary sources of data.

The primary sources were the survey and personal interviews. These were used to collect both quantitative data (any data which can be counted or expressed numerically) and qualitative data (any data that may be described in a non-numerical manner). The sample population was drawn from residents of St. Augustine. Households were selected using stratified random sampling, this being the most convenient method for the researcher. This allowed the sample to be smaller, unbiased, and valid and more accurately represent the entire population of St. Augustine, which was necessary for objectivity and reliability of the study. The survey comprised 20 questionnaires, each having 11 varied questions (See Appendix Four). The questionnaires were given out to 20 individuals, completed and returned to the researcher immediately. Therefore all 20 questionnaires were collected. The questionnaires were distributed between the 25th and 29th January, 2013. Quantitative data was obtained through limited answer and qualitative data through open ended questions. In order to get a deeper insight into the issue of the use of TM in St. Augustine and a wider understanding of the position of the different stakeholders in the field of Traditional Medicine, personal interviews (See Appendix Five) were conducted between December 2012 and January 2013. Interviewees included an alternative medicine practitioner, a Trinidadian medical student at the Canadian College of Naturopathy, a member of the Hindu community and a member of the Seventh Day Adventist community. These interviews gave greater meaning and understanding to the research literature as well as clarity into the actual use of Traditional Medicine in St. Augustine. The secondary sources of data used included international and regional research articles and books on similar studies to the one being conducted. Quantitative data obtained...
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