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The Future of Medicine 11-19-08

The Future of Medicine 11-19-08

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Published by Rod Richmond
Medicine and medical knowledge have kept pace with man’s ever-deepening understanding of the world he inhabits. The field of medicine is often the leading edge of such broader development. At any given time in the world’s medical history there are always differing perspectives of what is the “best” treatment for disease and illness. One observable division is between “traditional” or “folk medicine” and established medicine.
Medicine and medical knowledge have kept pace with man’s ever-deepening understanding of the world he inhabits. The field of medicine is often the leading edge of such broader development. At any given time in the world’s medical history there are always differing perspectives of what is the “best” treatment for disease and illness. One observable division is between “traditional” or “folk medicine” and established medicine.

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Published by: Rod Richmond on Jul 09, 2011
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Richmond 1Rod RichmondNovember 19, 2008The Future of MedicineMedicine and medical knowledge have kept pace with man’s ever-deepeningunderstanding of the world he inhabits. The field of medicine is often the leading edge of suchbroader development. At any given time in the world’s medical history there are always differingperspectives of what is the “best” treatment for disease and illness. One observable division isbetween “traditional” or “folk medicine” and established medicine. The basic difference isbetween the ruling establishment and the people or “folk” being ruled. Another differencebetween these two views is the issue of cost. Folk healers often prescribe commonly availablefoods, herbs, and non-invasive (non-surgical) treatments instead of the expensively uniquecompounds and specialized training required to administer medicine and surgery used by theestablished medical system. Just because someone has a differing viewpoint and education fromthe established medical community doesn’t always mean that he is wrong, or attempting to takeadvantage of others. Sometimes an alternative treatment modality has been introduced by amember of the established medical community that has discovered, what he believes, to be a“better” or, more effective, or less dangerous way of treating some disease or illness. There havealways been people who feel the need to help their loved ones and fellow man alleviate pain andsuffering, regardless of the type of education and specific viewpoint used. The folk medicine of the past is now more frequently the “Alternative Medicine” of today. Because Complementaryand Alternative Medicine often investigates aspects such as lifestyle changes, non-invasivetreatment, “natural” formulations, and in general a holistic approach to illness, it appears to lead
 
Richmond 2its patrons to definable cures with fewer reports of negative side effects. Complementary andAlternative Medicine can be an effective component in the quest for health and well-being.It has been reported that people in the United States spend upwards of 48 billion dollars ayear on alternative medical treatment (“The Alternative Fix”). Members of the government,some open-minded doctors, prestigious medical schools, and people at large have recognized thegrowing interest in non-standard medicine. In 1989 under the prompting of Senator Tom Harkin,the National Institute of Health created a research center for the study and development of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, also known by its acronym “C.A.M.”(“TheAlternative Fix”). C.A.M. can be described as “Complementary” when added in concert with anestablished practice or treatment, for example, the use of acupuncture to treat nausea and lack of appetite created by chemotherapy. When the Chinese herb known as “Horny Goat Weed” is usedfor erectile dysfunction instead of a vasodilator drug like Viagra, this use would be considered agood example of “Alternative Medicine.” A few of the well-known examples in the field of alternative medicine are: acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, herbal, chiropractic, massagetherapy, megavitamins, ayurveda, and meditation. In reference to a study done in the state of Michigan, it would be possible to speculate that by the year 2009, 66% of the adult Americanpopulation will have included some form of C.A.M. in their search for health (“Prevalence of Complementary” 1-3).One of the first questions that comes to mind is, “Why are people turning to Alternativemedical treatments for their diseases and illnesses?” While health is a personal issue, and themotivations for individual people using C.A.M. are in large part subjective and unique, there aresome common motivations. One common reason stated for turning to an alternative form of medical treatment is the simple fact that conventional medicine can’t cure everything, or can
 
Richmond 3only address the symptoms but will never be expected to cure or treat the cause (“TheAlternative Fix”). Conventional medicine has been recognized as being very good at treatingacute illnesses like colds, the flu, bronchitis, childhood illnesses, tonsillitis, appendicitis,earaches, most headaches, most infectious disease, and of course trauma, or injury due toaccidents (“The Alternative Fix”). It is currently being proven that some C.A.M. can successfullytreat chronic illness by exploring the causative factors including what is known as lifestyleinfluences and environmental factors. An alternative health practitioner like a naturopathicdoctor may help patients discover that they are allergic to some substance in their work environment, so they would be advised to limit exposure, instead of using an antihistamine. Theantihistamine would stop the runny nose, but that is just a symptom of a deeper cause, and toignore the cause may lead to more serious problems down the line. Another factor included inmaking the alternative choice is that the side effects of standard medical treatments are just asbad as, or worse than, the disease or illness being treated. Viagra is a commonly known drugprescribed to treat erectile dysfunction (E.D.); however, the possible side effects could be asignificant deterrent to continued use. These side effects may include:Headaches -- in up to 16 percent of people, facial flushing -- up to 10 percent,indigestion, known as dyspepsia -- up to 7 percent , nasal congestion -- up to 4percent, urinary tract infections (UTI) -- up to 3 percent, vision problems,including trouble telling the difference between blue and green, increasedsensitivity to light, or blurred vision -- up to 3 percent, diarrhea -- up to 3 percent,dizziness -- up to 2 percent, unexplained rash -- up to 2 percent, respiratory tractinfections, back pain, flu-like symptoms, joint pain. Rare Viagra side-effects:allergic reactions, angina pectoris (heart pain), migraines, temporary vision loss,

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