MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
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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 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.
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.
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
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
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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