Alternative Health Care Essay

This essay has a total of 973 words and 5 pages.


Alternative Health Care




Alternative Health Care

Alternative health cares, also known as holistic or homeopathic care, are countless ways
of unconventional health care approaches to healing and improving illnesses. Dr. Samuel
Hahnemann discovered homeopathy in the early 1800’s. He was sick of the art of medicine
practiced in his time; he said it was barbaric. He knew there had to be alternatives so,
like any devoted science lover would do, he experimented on himself and his friends.
Hahnemann found that large dosages of herbs increased symptoms so he decreased the dosage
and found that the symptoms decreased and usually ceased (Smith 10). Homeopathy became
popular in the nineteenth century. This may be accounted for because most patients at
that time agreed that them-modern techniques were harsh and didn’t work. The same thing
is happening today. People are resorting to holistic remedies because the “promise of
allopathic medicine has lost its luster” (Smith 10).

Some criticize holistic care as being primitive. According to Joseph Wassesug, “Holistic
medicine…is what we practice when we don’t know the real answer.” For example, years ago
tuberculosis was treated was treated with fresh air and Adirondack chairs, polio was
treated with baths and hub tanks, and rheumatic fever was treated with good nutrition and
bed rest! (Copeland 103) Another problem with holistic care is that the government has no
regulation of holistic practices and who practices them. This makes it difficult to
determine exactly who is really qualified and which alternative medicines are safe. We
have got to use common sense when choosing a doctor. When a person has a M.D. or an R.N.
after his name we opt to trust our life to him! One should check the doctors’ background
before visiting him. “…blind trust of medical degrees is not a replacement for using
common sense” (Copeland 105).

When someone chooses alternative care he must take into consideration its dangers. One
could actually overdose on vitamins or misuse herbal therapies. “Instead of feeling
better, I felt increasingly worse, like a spaced out zombie” complained Carol Copeland, a
former holistic patient who almost lost her life to cancer because her homeopathic
physicians were too proud to think they were wrong thus they neglected an ovarian cyst
(Copeland 104 & Wekesser 95). Another problem with these unconventional health care
alternatives is that they give false relief. What this means is that when someone uses a
holistic remedy and then feels relief he tends to credit the remedy. This method does not
hold water because most ailments resolve themselves (headache for example). Nevertheless,
holistic medicine has strengths. One, it recognizes the psychological, environmental and
social aspects of illness. Two, it involves the patient in his own treatment with
activities etc... And three, it emphasizes preventive medicine as its base (holistic).
Holistic medicine is a practice of health cares that that emphasizes treatment of the
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