History of Alternative Medicine

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History has it that alternative medicine dates back 5000 years to traditional Chinese medicine, Indian (Ayuryedic medicine) and similar healing traditions in many cultures. The general belief was that the energy of the body must be in harmony with the mind, body and spirit. A doctor merely facilitated healing by identifying and removing obstacles that would inevitably lead to healing. Therapy included lifestyle changes, self-care, and preventative measures.

What we know today as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) has roots going back 5,000 years in Chinese (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Indian (Ayurvedic Medicine) and similar healing traditions. For thousands of years these diverse medical traditions have believed in the energy of the body and the need for harmony between the mind, body and spirit. The doctor simply facilitated the healing process by identifying and removing obstacles.

For most of the 19th century, physicians used the same skills as today’s herbalists, osteopaths, and nutritionists; They were generous with time and empathy, and relied on good bedside manners. Prayer was important, as were “change of air,” purgatives, bleeding, and leeches. Until the early 20th century, sick people relied on the same therapies as their ancestors.

The decades after World War II brought significant changes. As family doctor and journalist James Lefanu observed in his book The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine, written in the 1950s, a series of medical breakthroughs proved beyond any doubt that previous attempts at healing were nothing more than quackery. Recent medical breakthroughs included the discovery of penicillin, cortisone (a powerful anti-inflammatory drug), streptomycin (a powerful antibiotic effective in treating tuberculosis), insulin (used to treat diabetes), and chlorpromazine (an antipsychotic drug that treats schizophrenia). controlled). Open-heart surgery, hip replacements, kidney transplants, critical care, and successful immunization programs have saved millions of lives and improved their quality.

It’s no surprise that so much power to alter human destiny would result, as Lefanu suggests, “in leading to home remedies like massage, manipulation, and nutritional advice being abandoned only for alternative practitioners to pick them up.” . That is exactly what happened – with a dramatic explosion in the growth of “alternative” therapies in the second half of the 20th century. Alongside modern medicine, CAM began to emerge as an entirely separate discipline – one that disdained the achievements of mainstream medicine, while at the same time being dismissed as ineffective and fraudulent by mainstream practitioners. Getting the most out of conventional and alternative medicine has been a delicate process for most people. Those who chose both universal and alternative medical care found that the best strategy was to remain calm to avoid criticism. Those who tried using both services learned that to avoid criticism.

Thanks to Elizabeth Morgan

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