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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE


For "Informational Use Only".
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  • The Future Overview
  • Health & Adaption
  • Medical Magic Buttets
  • Integrating Ideas & Methods




  • medicines

    Conventional and complementary practitioners need to exchange ideas and cooperate to combine the best drugs, herbs, and other treatment approaches to improve the well-being of their patients/clients. Integration is the key to the best possible health care for the future.


    THE FUTURE OVERVIEW

    The medical establishment is beginning to show increasing interest in complementary medicine, as rising health care costs and the alarming effects of some conventional treatments take their toll on the popularity of standard methods. Already complementary therapies and mind/body approaches are included in some managed care programs. Hope lies in finding new methods of treatment for those conditions when current methods are expensive, intolerable (as in the case of cancer), or ineffective (as in the developed world's epidemic of stress-related diseases). But will complementary medicine be able to contribute?

    Health is more than just a medical issue; other factors in its breakdown include basic needs, such as adequate food and shelter, and strong relationships and communities. It is when body and mind fail to adapt to difficult personal and social circumstances that we become more susceptible to disease. Conventional medicine is starting to recognize that these wider issues have a role to play, and that the search for effective therapies, whether conventional or not, will always take place within this larger context. The incorporation of mind/body techniques; such as biofeedback and yoga, into mainstream health care, but education, supportive relationships, and stable communities will play the greater part.

    mind/body: yoga

    Mind/body techniques such as yoga have already been incorporated into some innovative health care regimes.


    It remains to be seen whether the medicine of the 21st century will include more complementary therapies and whether these therapies can deal with certain problems more effectively, less expensively, and with fewer side effects than conventional medicine.





    HEALTH & ADAPTION

    There is a tendency today to worship the idea of health and to denigrate the failure to be well, as if being ill is a sin. The concept of "mind/body connectedness" is a core tenet of complementary medicine from which has arisen the notion that we should assume responsibility for somehow causing our illness. Although the way in which conventional health care providers can treat disease as if it were a self-contained problem, rather than part of a human being, may depersonalize patients, at least it avoids this peculiar new potential for victim-blaming promoted by some "holistic" practitioners.

    However, there are many ways in which conventional health care does have to improve. New ways of triggering the body's ability to maintain health ("homeostasis") may be the key. Complementary therapies have a good reputation for this, even if scientific research has yet to validate it. The challenge for future health care is to find the middle ground between placing too much onus on the patient/client and conventional medicine's tendency toward technological disempowerment. Health is, after all, about the ability to adapt, which might mean coming to terms with less than perfect functioning of the mind or body. Healthy adaptation can occur even in the face of chronic or terminal disease, but its success is usually dependent on profoundly human factors, such as supportive friends or a loving partner, rather than medicines or treatments. We should avoid the trap of expecting complementary medicines to provide magical cures.





    MEDICAL MAGIC BULLETS

    All forms of medicine search for caused of illness and devise treatments accordingly, but it is only Western medicine that has focused almost exclusively on chemical or cellular causes. With rigid military-style precision, it attempts to combat invading pathogens, destroy malignant cells, and overcome tissue degeneration. To wage this techno-war there must be an identifiable enemy - a germ, or virus, or tumor, or a blocked artery. If tests and X-rays reveal the adversary, treatment can do battle, and anesthesia, life support techniques, and joint replacement are examples of conventional medicine's almost miraculous achievements. Against tumor cells, however, there has been less success, and the use of drugs for cancer, heart disease, and mental disorders is problematical. Nor has much changed in the treatment of certain diseases, such as arthritis or eczema, in the last 15 years. With all this in mind, the medicine of the future will be increasingly concerned with finding ways to optimize the body's resilience and ability to maintain homeostasis.

    The quest for new and more effective "magic bullets" in conventional medicine now seems less adventurous as the costs become clearer, both financially and in terms of potential side effects of a drug or treatment. As a result, medical science is more willing to turn to traditional sources of treatment, such as plants, in the search for new, cheaper, and safer medicines. Since many health care providers also realize that current treatments are often expensive or unsatisfactory, they are beginning to look toward non-conventional approaches for clues to better methods. If research shows which complimentary therapies can fulfill their promises, future medicine will undoubtedly make use of them.


    rainforest

    Natural environments such as the Amazonian rain forests are being explored in the search for medicines that is hoped may be less expensive and safer than some costly pharmaceutical drugs with harmful side effects.





    INTEGRATING IDEAS & METHODS

    Conventional medicine has always adapted to new ideas and methods (although sometimes very slowly), and it will certainly continue to change and develop. It is already taking account of new insights into the connections between body, mind, and society. In areas where some of the most difficult problems are encountered, such as persistent-pain clinics, cancer centers, hospices, or psychiatric and rehabilitation units, groups of practitioners with different specialties are trying to integrate the best of medicine, nursing, and counseling to support individuals in their ability to cope with and adapt to their health problems. Complementary therapies will almost certainly play a part in the future moves toward integrated health care.

    The opportunity for conventional medicine to learn from different complimentary therapies will largely depend on the willingness of both complimentary and conventional practitioners to explore this potential together. This cooperation and dialogue will demand open-mindedness. The current popular attitude of uncritical acceptance of all things complementary, and the pervasive sense that "natural" and "holistic" therapies have the moral high ground, encourages complacency. This may not seem to be a problem for those who regard the future of complementary medicine as an alternative to mainstream medicine, but an attitude of constructive criticism would actually be more helpful where cooperation and innovation are on the agenda. If conventional and non-conventional systems are to integrate what is best in each and thereby truly complement one another, it is important to aim for high standards in education, practice, and research. This process of sharing ideas about health has already begun in universities and on government committees. In modern health care programs, where health care practitioners, psychotherapists, and complementary practitioners work together, the theoretical and practical groundwork is being created for a new style of medicine.



    IDEALS & THE "WHOLE PERSON"

    Complementary medicine appeals not only for practical reasons, but for its associations with gentle, natural methods, and its aim to prevent disease and integrate mental, physical, and spiritual concerns. Conventional medicine can be dehumanizing, viewing a person as a collection of fragments, each to be treated by a different specialist. The desire to be "made whole" has a particular attraction at a time when many communities, families, and even religious groups seem to be falling apart. But there is a limit to what even the most comprehensive health care system can do: the cure of souls and societies is certainly beyond it.

    One danger is that admirable holistic intentions do not necessarily take into account the fact that human beings are vulnerable - they do face limitations and they are not always independent. When health fails to improve miraculously, it can be a small step from open enthusiasm to anger or guilt. At one extreme, the search for well-being becomes a kind of tyranny of the fit - all in pursuit of a beautiful body, psychological balance, and spiritual enlightenment. We should treat these ideals with caution; few of us could achieve such sublime heights, even if we wanted to. The "whole person" is not a superhuman machine, but a balanced individual who has the ability to adjust and cope with life.






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    AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


    Allspice Leaf Oil
    Angelica Oil
    Anise Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Basil Oil
    Bay Laurel Oil
    Bay Oil
    Benzoin Oil
    Bergamot Oil
    Black Pepper Oil
    Chamomile (German) Oil
    Cajuput Oil
    Calamus Oil
    Camphor (White) Oil
    Caraway Oil
    Cardamom Oil
    Carrot Seed Oil
    Catnip Oil
    Cedarwood Oil
    Chamomile Oil
    Cinnamon Oil
    Citronella Oil
    Clary-Sage Oil
    Clove Oil
    Coriander Oil
    Cypress Oil
    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
    Fennel Oil
    Fir Needle Oil
    Frankincense Oil
    Geranium Oil
    German Chamomile Oil
    Ginger Oil
    Grapefruit Oil
    Helichrysum Oil
    Hyssop Oil
    Iris-Root Oil
    Jasmine Oil
    Juniper Oil
    Labdanum Oil
    Lavender Oil
    Lemon-Balm Oil
    Lemongrass Oil
    Lemon Oil
    Lime Oil
    Longleaf-Pine Oil
    Mandarin Oil
    Marjoram Oil
    Mimosa Oil
    Myrrh Oil
    Myrtle Oil
    Neroli Oil
    Niaouli Oil
    Nutmeg Oil
    Orange Oil
    Oregano Oil
    Palmarosa Oil
    Patchouli Oil
    Peppermint Oil
    Peru-Balsam Oil
    Petitgrain Oil
    Pine-Long Leaf Oil
    Pine-Needle Oil
    Pine-Swiss Oil
    Rosemary Oil
    Rose Oil
    Rosewood Oil
    Sage Oil
    Sandalwood Oil
    Savory Oil
    Spearmint Oil
    Spikenard Oil
    Swiss-Pine Oil
    Tangerine Oil
    Tea-Tree Oil
    Thyme Oil
    Vanilla Oil
    Verbena Oil
    Vetiver Oil
    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Aromatherapy
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Aromatherapy
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


    Almond, Sweet Oil
    Apricot Kernel Oil
    Argan Oil
    Arnica Oil
    Avocado Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Black Cumin Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Black Seed Oil
    Borage Seed Oil
    Calendula Oil
    Camelina Oil
    Castor Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Comfrey Oil
    Evening Primrose Oil
    Flaxseed Oil
    Grapeseed Oil
    Hazelnut Oil
    Hemp Seed Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Kukui Nut Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    Mullein Oil
    Neem Oil
    Olive Oil
    Palm Oil
    Plantain Oil
    Plum Kernel Oil
    Poke Root Oil
    Pomegranate Seed Oil
    Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Safflower Oil
    Sea Buckthorn Oil
    Sesame Seed Oil
    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
    St. Johns Wort Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil





    HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS

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