Holistic Health Care Essay

Alternative Health Care
Alternative health care, also known as holistic or homeopathic care, is a myriad of unconventional health care approaches to healing and improving ill health.

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).

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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. ?Finally, critics such as Joseph D. Wassersug argue that while alternative practitioners may be more caring, some may not have the education or expertise to effectively treat serious injury? (Wekesser 95). 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 to 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). Barrett says holistic practitioners are quacks. ?The main reason for quackery’s success is its ability to seduce people who are unsuspecting and desperate? (Barrett 112-113).
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 entire patient?body, mind and spirit.

Homeopathic care, compared to allopathic is expensive. There are no doctor’s visit’s, or expensive antibiotic prescriptions necessary. This is not to say that doctors are not useful; obviously, if there were a serious injury one should not hesitate to go to a medical (allopathic) doctor (Smith 10).

Homeopathy is ideal for the homemaker or mother because it enables her to cure common ailments with herbs that she may have around her home (Smith10). Homeopathy is easy to learn. There are workshops for the lay person that wants to understand holistic medicine. The use of many remedies can be performed by anyone; hence homeopathy does not require a medical degree (Smith 10). It makes sense to try alternative care. Some people feel that doctors are too interested in money and not entirely concerned with the patient (Gordon 107).

There is an entirely new faith involved in alternative health care. It is a new approach to tradition and though some may be skeptical there is much reason to have a sound mind towards it. Homeopathy works fast; in most cases the remedies take affect in ten minutes. If by chance a homeopathy remedy didn’t work one could still seek other medical help without worrying that he waited too long (Solovitch 100).

Some people chose alternative care because so many other methods (and doctors) fail to cure them. Others do not like the way they were treated by doctors–whether it is bad bedside manner or neglect of their feelings. Physicians of holistic medicine are oft more attentive to their patients’ needs and not as rushed as medical doctors (Wekesser 95). In the time of need it is most comforting to know that the physician cares and wants to help.

This is a true story of a man diagnosed with colon cancer. The oncologist told him that he had only a few months to live; the tumors were enormous and irreversible. A week after that doctor visit the man, Jon, and his wife were in a car accident. Both were okay yet suffered minor back and neck injuries so they went to a chiropractor. On January 18, 1993 Dr. Gil Logatto saw Jon and his wife Tina for their first visit. He learned of Jon’s illness and instead of feeling sorry for him he was excited for him. Dr. Logatto went on to tell of his own interest in holistic medicine. And a study he had read that carrot juice would shrink the tumors. Jon told Tina and, though skeptical, she bought a juicer and a case of carrots. They began drinking carrot juice three times a day. When Jon went back to the oncologist on March 9, 1993 to everyone’s surprise there was only one small tumor left from the six massive tumors which had afflicted him just two months before!
It is almost five years since Jon was diagnosed terminally ill and he is cancer free. Tina and Jon have a new found faith in holistic medicine; and they also have a baby on the way thanks to Dr. Logatto’s interest in holistic medicine. Dr. Logatto has been a close friend of the family for many years. He is well educated in many fields of medicine.
THESIS: I feel that alternative medicine, such as holistic care and homeopathy, is a great concept. It is safe effective and inexpensive; what more could one want from health care! I am concerned, however, that misused holistic medicine could be dangerous. But then I am reminded that if there were a problem, there would be no dangerous time delay to get an allopathic physician.

I. Background
II. Dangerous and ineffective
A. Primitive
B. Overdose
C. No government regulation
D. False relief
III. Safe and effective
A. Inexpensive
B. Simple
C. New faith
D. Natural
E. Fast
F. Other methods may fail
IV. Personal example
Berrett, Steven. ?Alternative Medicine Should Not Be Considered Standard Medical Practice? 1993 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint p.112-113
Copeland, Carolyn. ?Alternative Medicine Can Be Dangerous and Ineffective? 1991 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint p. 101-105
Gordon, James S. ?Alternative Medicine Should Be Standard Medical Practice? 1993 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint p. 107
Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint Ed. Carol Wekesser. San Diego: Greenhaver, 1994
?Holistic Medicine? American Academic Encyclopedia 1997 ed. Prodigy, Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc.

Smith, Robert. ?The Magic of Homeopathy? Total Health vol. 15 August 1993 p.10
Solovitch, Sara. . ?Alternative Medicine Can Be Safe and Effective? 1992 Rpt. Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint p. 97-100
Wekesser, Carol. ?Is Alternative Medicine Safe?? Health Care in America: Opposing viewpoint 1994 p. 95
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