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Traditional medicine vs alternative medicine - Research Paper Example

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Summary
People have exploited natural products in their surroundings in order to find remedial and protective approaches for various ailments. This paper attempts to compare and contrast the Traditional Medicine (TM) with the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). …
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Traditional medicine vs alternative medicine

Download file to see previous pages... Health and well-being has been among the top priorities of humanity from ages with a common objective to meet people’s inevitable requirements for emotional and physical curing. The role of religious values and community structures cannot be ignored in the evolution of medicines.
Today, there is an increasing awareness of CAM in industrialized nations. Though the western medicine is scientifically based, and its popularity, supremacy, and guarantees are comparatively high, a large number of populations cannot afford its benefits. For instance, studies suggests that majority of people (80%) or more in developing nations can barely have enough money for the most fundamental medical dealings, drugs, and vaccines (Debas et al., n.d).
Traditional medicine (TM) as the word suggest “refers to health practices, approaches, information and values incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, used individually or in addition to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being”. TM has gained popularity in countries such as Africa, Asia and Latin America for their basic health care requirements as it is more economical and is integrated with the societal values. There are data that suggests that 80% population in Africa is depending on traditional medicine for health care. When the indigenously developed TM moves out of its local boundaries and is practiced in other nations particularly the developed ones, it is known as “Complementary” or “Alternative medicine” (CAM) (Photius Coutsoukis, 2008). Hence it can be said that both TM and CAM have similarities in various aspects. Since the vocabulary complementary and alternative medicines exemplify practices and products that common people decides as additions to or as substitutes to Western allopathic therapeutic approaches, these terms are being used indiscriminately (Straus 2004). In the industrial or the so called developed nations such as the United States, an amazingly great percentage of people go for a combination of treatments suitable for them. They also take great care of safety and efficacy of these practices. The medical practices that are followed from ages and that advanced amid indigenous peoples has gained popularity in other countries. For instance, there are several tourists from different countries visiting India basically for the treatment using Ayurveda which is a traditional medicine developed over the years in India. Today, alternative medicine is popular in developing countries, and its recognition in developed nations is growing tremendously. In India, the most popular alternative medicines were recognized as Vedic medicines or Aired that has evolved through ages. The main aspire of Ayurveda medicine is harmonizing the mind, soul and body. Ayurveda takes the advantage of the rich biodiversity in India and mainly includes products from herbs, vegetables, fruits and natural minerals. There are chronological facts that even invasive procedures were practiced in ancient Ayurveda. Some of the practitioners of Ayurveda in modern society have integrated yoga and meditation processes and massaging techniques to overcome various health challenges. This makes it a part of alternative medicine. Traditional beliefs such as a strong mind and body could never fall sick have lead to the development of Chinese treatments. The Chinese treated the human mind and not the disease. Techniques such as Acupressure and Acupuncture were basically developed in China. This traditional medicine was accomplished for centuries and its idea is based on Taoist philosophy. These practices also extended to Japan and Korea and came to be known as the Oriental branch ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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