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Health Controversies- 1801

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York University
BIOL 1000
Nicole Nivillac

Complementary andAlternative Medicine In Canada: From Marginal to Mainstream Introduction • CAM are a wide range of therapies that aren’t included in the conventional usage of western medicine • Complementary is used with conventional medicine and alternative is used in place of conventional medicine – both can be integrated into the conventional medicine • In the 21 century people have begun to integrate CAM with conventional medicine which is very different from a decade ago. Adecade ago people would not like to use CAM, dismiss it – article will review this transformation From a discourse of division to a discourse of integration • The way people viewed CAM then and now changed – language used for conventional: scientific, dominant, orthodox, legitimate, official etc. on the other hand language used for CAM was irrational, deviant, mystical, unorthodox etc. • Not only was the language divided the users were to – people that went to CAM for health reasons had no “real” health care needs, they were fools – and the practitioners of CAM • The people that did use CAM describe their orientation as natural , less invasive – usage of conventional medicine is invasive, fragmented, unnatural – CAM users were better served by CAM rather than conventional medicine • Discourse of division being replaced with discourse of integration – alternative medicine are compatible with approaches to conventional medicine of health care • Merging of conational and alternative medicine  blended medicine and integrative medicine – this suggest that medical pluralism has been accepted and both these medicine are combines many times now – in the ends we will have one bread health care delivery system but this might cause CAM and conventional medicine to be so similar that you won’t even recognize the difference • Power struggle for social legitimacy, social resources and control caused the division and now is causing the integration • As CAM is being accepted, conventional users are adding alternative medicines into conventional medicine to gain control – domestication of alternative medicine by conventional medicine, brings CAM under control of conventional medicine • CAM accepts this integration – why? – practioners might get cases to social resources such as fee-payment visa public health care, private health care insurance, employee benefit programs, state sanctioned professional status – alternatively, practioners and users know that there are shortcomings of taking just one of each type so they just combined them both • Dominance of allopathic scientific medicine was challenged due to the increase in the utilization of the CAM –the shortcomings of western medicine published in caused more attraction towards the CAM integration of CAM with medicine (1990s article)- motivation of medicine is the same that is preservation of its dominant position in society • Eventually we won’t be able to recognize the difference between conventional and alternative medicine • Evidence based Medicine (EBM): uses scientific criteria to assess the efficacy of both mainstream medicine and CAM and provide of basis for convergence – no matter what the therapy is as long as it has evidence on its effectiveness it will be accepted • EBM: provide a stick to beat CA,, which provides a new tool for orthodoxy-to undermine and marginalize CAM • Not all CAM therapies are amenable to scientific validation , alternative testing is requires – therapist can say ,but not everyone has the same disease and in CAM you need different treatments for different diseases • In the end of the day the success of health care depends on consumer behaviour, marketplace and politics of health care than on scientific evidence • Integration of CAM and conventional medicine an be viewed through various different ways –driven by and emergin conseues of what works and what doesn’t work for the health but its described as domestication, assimilation, and incorporation of CAM by conventional medicine so that conventional medicine can preserve its dominance. Some see it as a result of oforces external to both CAM and conventiona medicine • This integration has been driven by consumer demand, it has been commodified, comprtatized and marketized successfully • Medicalization- is increasingly bringing virtually all aspect of himan life to the atteion of health care practitioners health care consumers and health care corporations – fitness movement is western society is more associated with CAM – this directs consumers to CAM. • Health and fitness have been have been commodified and that the commodification of health, wellness, and fitness goes hand in hand with the commodification of CAM and of conventional health care more gently • Goldstein observed fitness movement and CAM share holistic orientation – emphasis on body, mind and spirit • CAM usually has a spiritual component, integrated physical, mental health, lifestyle and spirituality, - when religion and science were integrated • Health movement in the 20 and 21 century moved the spirit and physical body away from each other • Due to the huge diversity in Canada it also recognizes traditional systems of medicine such as ayurvedic medicine form India, traditional Chinese medicine Mexican folk medicine, native American medicine – Health care system exists as a integrated but plural health care system • The therapies of indigenous people are also being commodified such that their traditional therapies and treatments are marketed as alternatives in the plural health care system • If all types of CAM are considered different than the integration of CAM and conventional medicine is problematic • Argument assumes that conventional and CAM are unified, even though they are dramatically opposed they are internally consistent – the difference are overlooked which allows for the integration- • Nature of integration is unclear- integration of CMAcan cause transformation of CAM without any change to conventional medicine or vice versa A typology of complementary and alternative medicine • Many different types of CAM therapies o Biologically- based therapies: herbs, foods, vitamins, nutritional supplements, diets – emphasis on substances found in nature – therapies: homeopathy naturopathy, herbal remedies, aromatherapy etc. o Manual therapies: manipulate body – chiropractic, acupuncture, massage etc. o Energy therapies: bioelectric magnetic therapies using magnetism, electrical fields, light or sound to affect the mind- meditation, yoga, progressive relaxation therapy, deep breathing, dance therapy etc. o Supernatural therapies: based on mysticism , psychic surgery, woo do magic – this is usually excluded from CAM o Diagnostic techniques: iridology that involves examination of the iris of the eye – each are of it will be used to diagnose health of a different body part o Traditional systems of medicine: folk medicine, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine , Mexican folk medicine and native American medicine- context of spiritual and lifestyle guidance Biologically-Based Therapies • Homeopathy: natural substances that are highly diluted – substances that produce same symptoms as diseases will stimulate the body’s diseases • Naturopathy: natural healing therapies – herbal remedies, nutritional supplements and diets to enhance the natural healing powers of the body • Herbal Remedies: traditional systems of folk medicine that have not been integrated to the conventional medicine • Flower remedies: essences prepared by flowers so that they change the emotion underlying the disease • Megavitamin therapy: high doses of vitamins are therapeutic • Aromatherapy: aromatic oils which are absorbed into the body, through the skin and inhaled into lungs – effective
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