The medical society can no longer ignore the growing interest towards the alternative ways of treatment. It is enough to have a look at the numerous books on the shelves of bookshops, stores of healthy food, and a vast number of medical centers, which offer the alternative services. In other words, people want to get more than the service suggested by the traditional medicine. This paper discusses the possible complementarity of the two types of medicine, the situation, in which a person can use one or another kind. At the same time, it disputes the attitude toward the alternative medicine and the importance of alternative medicine in the countries of Latin America.
For centuries, people in Latin America have been relying on the power of alternative medicine. These approaches managed to survive. Thus, nowadays, alternative remedies have gained popularity among the population. Some people apply for the alternative medicine because of the same reason. For example, both acupuncture and other alternative methods can combat a chronic ache. Other patients expect specific results from the usage of alternative medicine. For example, some of them visit a family doctor to fight an infectious disease with the help of antibiotics and then visit a healer to improve the immune system due to the healthy way of life. Some of the patients, who were treated with chemotherapy, use meditation and visualization to cope with the side effects of the medicine. People, who use traditional and alternative methods, make their choice and are ready to take responsibility for their health.
The traditional western medicine embraces only the last two centuries. It bases on the philosophic views of Rene Descartes and the physical principles of Sir Isaac Newton, which perceive the human body as a set of separate parts. The development of such attitude turns a person into a patient, and a body turns into a mechanism, which needs to be repaired. Health is considered an absence of diseases.
The traditional medicine possesses powerful means to liberate people from such illnesses as polio or smallpox. It does not have any rivals in the scope of urgent aid. In cases of injuries, infections, and complicated operations, help must be quick and decisive. The physician is responsible for the result of the therapy. The aim of the treatment is to relieve a patient from the symptoms of a disease. However, the traditional medicine deals majorly with the parts of human body and does not treat the entire system in general.
The term “alternative medicine” includes hundreds of different methods of healing used in all parts of the globe. Many of such methods were common in the Ancient Egypt, China, India, and Greece. Such methods embrace several millennia. Their description existed in oral form, and with the appearance of writing, they were fixed in a written one.
The article “Health” states that the alternative medicine perceives a person as a union of physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental components. As the body, intellect, and spirit compose a single unit, and the disease influences the system, it also has an impact on the other two components. It is impossible to work with one part of an organism and not to affect the other parts (Internet FAQ Archives, n.d.). Alternative medicine successfully copes with such chronic diseases as sugar diabetes, mental disorders, and other illnesses, which have an influence on the entire organism.
Some people can have a negative attitude to the traditional medicine because once they received a positive result due to the alternative treatment. On the contrary, others may have another point of view because they do not believe that it may help them to fight a disease. However, a combination of two methods may guarantee the success in the struggle with the majority of illnesses: at first — to relieve the symptoms, and then — to improve the health of the entire organism.
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