Alternative Health Care Essay Research Paper Alternative

Alternative Health Care Essay, Research Paper

Alternative health care, also known as holistic or homeopathic care, is a myriad

of unconventional health care approaches to healing and improving ill health.

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann discovered homeopathy in the early 1800?s. He was sick of

the art of medicine practiced in his time; he said it was barbaric. He knew

there had to be alternatives so, like any devoted science lover would do, he

experimented on himself and his friends. Hahnemann found that large dosages of

herbs increased symptoms so he decreased the dosage and found that the symptoms

decreased and usually ceased (Smith 10). Homeopathy became popular in the

nineteenth century. This may be accounted for because most patients at that time

agreed that them-modern techniques were harsh and didn?t work. The same thing

is happening today. People are resorting to holistic remedies because the

?promise of allopathic medicine has lost its luster?(Smith 10). Some

criticize holistic care as being primitive. According to Joseph Wassesug,

?Holistic medicine?is what we practice when we don?t know the real

answer.? For example, years ago tuberculosis was treated was treated with

fresh air and Adirondack chairs, polio was treated with baths and hub tanks, and

rheumatic fever was treated with good nutrition and bed rest! (Copeland 103)

Another problem with holistic care is that the government has no regulation of

holistic practices and who practices them. This makes it difficult to determine

exactly who is really qualified and which alternative medicines are safe.

?Finally, critics such as Joseph D. Wassersug argue that while alternative

practitioners may be more caring, some may not have the education or expertise

to effectively treat serious injury? (Wekesser 95). We have got to use common

sense when choosing a doctor. When a person has a M.D. or an R.N. after his name

we opt to trust our life to him! One should check the doctors? background

before visiting him. ??blind trust of medical degrees is not a replacement

for using common sense? (Copeland 105). When someone chooses alternative care

he must take into consideration its dangers. One could actually overdose on

vitamins or misuse herbal therapies. ?Instead of feeling better, I felt

increasingly worse, like a spaced out zombie? complained Carol Copeland, a

former holistic patient who almost lost her life to cancer because her

homeopathic physicians were to proud to think they were wrong thus they

neglected an ovarian cyst (Copeland 104 Wekesser 95). Another problem with these

unconventional health care alternatives is that they give false relief. What

this means is that when someone uses a holistic remedy and then feels relief he

tends to credit the remedy. This method does not hold water because most

ailments resolve themselves (headache for example). Barrett says holistic

practitioners are quacks. ?The main reason for quackery?s success is its

ability to seduce people who are unsuspecting and desperate? (Barrett

112-113). Nevertheless, holistic medicine has strengths. One, it recognizes the

psychological, environmental and social aspects of illness. Two, it involves the

patient in his own treatment with activities etc.. And three, it emphasizes

preventive medicine as its base (holistic). Holistic medicine is a practice of

health cares that that emphasizes treatment of the entire patient?body, mind

and spirit. Homeopathic care, compared to allopathic is expensive. There are no

doctor?s visit?s, or expensive antibiotic prescriptions necessary. This is

not to say that doctors are not useful; obviously, if there were a serious

injury one should not hesitate to go to a medical (allopathic) doctor (Smith

10). Homeopathy is ideal for the homemaker or mother because it enables her to

cure common ailments with herbs that she may have around her home (Smith10).

Homeopathy is easy to learn. There are workshops for the lay person that wants

to understand holistic medicine. The use of many remedies can be performed by

anyone; hence homeopathy does not require a medical degree (Smith 10). It makes

sense to try alternative care. Some people feel that doctors are too interested

in money and not entirely concerned with the patient (Gordon 107). There is an

entirely new faith involved in alternative health care. It is a new approach to

tradition and though some may be skeptical there is much reason to have a sound

mind towards it. Homeopathy works fast; in most cases the remedies take affect

in ten minutes. If by chance a homeopathy remedy didn?t work one could still

seek other medical help without worrying that he waited too long (Solovitch

100). Some people chose alternative care because so many other methods (and

doctors) fail to cure them. Others do not like the way they were treated by

doctors–whether it is bad bedside manner or neglect of their feelings.

Physicians of holistic medicine are oft more attentive to their patients?

needs and not as rushed as medical doctors (Wekesser 95). In the time of need it

is most comforting to know that the physician cares and wants to help. This is a

true story of a man diagnosed with colon cancer. The oncologist told him that he

had only a few months to live; the tumors were enormous and irreversible. A week

after that doctor visit the man, Jon, and his wife were in a car accident. Both

were okay yet suffered minor back and neck injuries so they went to a

chiropractor. On January 18, 1993 Dr. Gil Logatto saw Jon and his wife Tina for

their first visit. He learned of Jon?s illness and instead of feeling sorry

for him he was excited for him. Dr. Logatto went on to tell of his own interest

in holistic medicine. And a study he had read that carrot juice would shrink the

tumors. Jon told Tina and, though skeptical, she bought a juicer and a case of

carrots. They began drinking carrot juice three times a day. When Jon went back

to the oncologist on March 9, 1993 to everyone?s surprise there was only one

small tumor left from the six massive tumors which had afflicted him just two

months before! It is almost five years since Jon was diagnosed terminally ill

and he is cancer free. Tina and Jon have a new found faith in holistic medicine;

and they also have a baby on the way thanks to Dr. Logatto?s interest in

holistic medicine. Dr. Logatto has been a close friend of the family for many

years. He is well educated in many fields of medicine. OUTLINE THESIS: I feel

that alternative medicine, such as holistic care and homeopathy, is a great

concept. It is safe effective and inexpensive; what more could one want from

health care! I am concerned, however, that misused holistic medicine could be

dangerous. But then I am reminded that if there were a problem, there would be

no dangerous time delay to get an allopathic physician. I. Background II.

Dangerous and ineffective A. Primitive B. Overdose C. No government regulation

D. False relief III. Safe and effective A. Inexpensive B. Simple C. New faith D.

Natural E. Fast F. Other methods may fail IV. Personal example


Berrett, Steven. ?Alternative Medicine Should Not Be Considered Standard

Medical Practice? 1993 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint

p.112-113 Copeland, Carolyn. ?Alternative Medicine Can Be Dangerous and

Ineffective? 1991 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint p. 101-105

Gordon, James S. ?Alternative Medicine Should Be Standard Medical Practice?

1993 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint p. 107 Health Care in

America: Opposing viewpoint Ed. Carol Wekesser. San Diego: Greenhaver, 1994

?Holistic Medicine? American Academic Encyclopedia 1997 ed. Prodigy, Grolier

Electronic Publishing, Inc. Smith, Robert. ?The Magic of Homeopathy? Total

Health vol. 15 August 1993 p.10 Solovitch, Sara. . ?Alternative Medicine Can

Be Safe and Effective? 1992 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint p.

97-100 Wekesser, Carol. ?Is Alternative Medicine Safe?? Health Care in

America: Opposing viewpoint 1994 p. 95


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