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This complete book presents healing techniques in complementary and alternative medicine as a way to promote optimal health care. It discusses the concept and origination of healing, as well as introduces the reader to healers and the techniques they use in the health care industry. It shows how healing fits in with our contemporary health care industry, and suggests the best place, time and condition for seeking alternative and complementary care. Documented, scientific research supports the effectiveness of healing techniques.
This comprehensive resource provides a compendium of information on healing and how healing relates to complementary and alternative medicine. A history of the healthcare system is provided in order to show how complementary and alternative medicine has been integrated into Western medicine in the past. Information on how the healing modalities are portrayed through popular media, such as radio and television are included. Descriptions of the various complementary and alternative modalities are listed. Numerous references provide additional information on the many modalities discussed.
Healing is perhaps as mysterious and elusive as any term in our language. It is a word that conjures up thoughts of divinity in some and outright skepticism in others. It is a term that usually evokes an emotional reaction one way or the other. To those who have personally experienced healing episodes, it is a reality that the person feels strongly about and is often even eager to share. To others with minimal experience with disease and illness, the concept of healing may seem like an elusive phenomenon with no real relevance. Many view the healing phenomenon from their cultural background and philosophical viewpoint. Healing, therefore, is comprised of components of worldview, culture, and personal experience.
The Webster 's Collegiate American Dictionary, Tenth Edition, defines heal as: 1. To make whole or sound; restore to health; free from ailment
2. To bring to an end or conclusion, as conflicts between two people, groups, etc., usually with the strong implication of restoring former amity; settle; reconcile
3. To free from evil; cleanse; purify; to heal the soul
4. To effect a cure
5. To become whole or sound; mend; get well
The concept of healing is as old as the history of people. Alternative and complementary care, although seemingly new terms, are likewise as old as the history of medicine. Accepted conventional medicine has undergone evolution solely because new and different methods of treatment, outside the mainstream, were tried. More times than not, these new methods were discarded when, because of trial and error, they were found ineffective or in some cases even dangerous. But in many instances the new alternative proved more effective than the accepted care. Thus the alternative became the conventional. In today's world, caregivers still seek to heal, while the controversy between conventional and alternative caregivers continues to evolve the practice.
Healing philosophies arise from a point of view, opinion, or method that has proven worthy over a period of time. Some of the philosophies cited in this chapter have their roots in antiquity, dating back many thousands of years, and represent many diverse cultures. Others began more recently, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and have developed rapidly and have attracted many followers.
Individuals gravitate to a healing philosophy that mirrors their personality, culture, and/or worldview. Generally a philosophy offers broad principles and guidelines for practice.
The philosophies and schools of thought included in this chapter are not all inclusive but do contain those most commonly used. Many of the philosophies are derived from Western medicine but are different enough to stand alone. They are:
The term allopathic was originally coined by homeopathic physician Samuel Hahnemann in the nineteenth century, the term allopathic medicine is derived from Greek roots meaning "other than the disease." The term is used most often today to refer to conventional medical practice, as opposed to alternative practice philosophies such as homeopathy and herbal medicine. The thrust in allopathic medicine is to kill bacteria and to suppress symptoms such as fever, coughs, and diarrhea. The mechanism of action is to contradict and override the body's natural response to bacteria and viruses. Allopathic medicine is the most commonly practiced system of health care in America. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, pathogenic organisms were discovered. Much of Western scientific medicine has developed because of this notion. Practitioners of germ theory believe that invading pathogenic organisms, that is, bacteria and viruses, cause most illness and disease. Many of these organisms can be prevented from entering the body with simple preventative techniques such as personal hygiene, public sanitation, and inoculations of vaccines. It is common for people to be immunized with tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, polio, measles, and mumps vaccines. When one does become ill, scrupulous measures are then used to prevent the pathogenic organism from further multiplying. Sterile technique is employed to protect patients from further pathogen assault when the internal body undergoes surgery. Antibiotic and other pharmaceutical remedies are employed to combat the invading pathogens.
Holistic health is a Western system of care directed toward integrating and balancing mind, body, and spirit. The word holism was first coined in South Africa in the mid-1920s and began its renaissance in North America in the 1970s. Holistic practitioners recognize that the causes of illness are complex. Disease is not seen as a purely external event, although environmental factors can be among the causative variables...
Part I: The Concept of Healing. Chapter 1: The Concept of Healing. Chapter 2: The History and Future of Healing. Chapter 3: Driving Market Forces. Part II: Alternative and Complementary Approaches to Healing. Chapter 4: Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Chapter 5: Selected Healing Modalities. Chapter 6: Integrative Medicine. Part III: The Healers and the Healed. Chapter 7: The Process of Becoming a Healer. Chapter 8: Attitudes and Behaviors of Healers. Chapter 9: Healing Ourselves and Our Environment. Part IV: The Body-Mind-Spirit Connection to Health and Illness. Chapter 10: Consciousness and Healing. Chapter 11: Stress and Its Consequences. Chapter 12: Bolstering the Immune System. Part V: Healing Process. Chapter 13: Healing Life's Crisises. Chapter 14: Healing Addictions. Chapter 15: Healing and the Grief Process. Chapter 16: Healing the Dying. Part VI: Healing Resources and Support Networks. Chapter 17: Alternative and Complementary Care Resources. Appendix.