Thursday, February 19, 2015

Complementary Medicine

      Complementary Medicine is something that is practiced globally and can be seen in many regions of the world, however the United States lacks this inclusive form of whole body treatment and care. Why is that? Typically, we validate healing practices through a western approach to medicine by taking pharmaceutical drugs and carrying on with our lifestyles. Why is it that in china, if you are sick, it would be common for a patient to seek treatment through a medical doctor as well as an acupuncturist? This is due to differences in western and eastern cultures.

         Addressing something like the lack of complementary medicine in a culture must be viewed through multiple lenses. Human and medical biology allow one to consider the effects on a scientific level of the patient and what the integration of alternative therapies accompanied by pharmaceutical options can do to benefit one’s health. Economics must be considered as well while examining this issue because it poses the question “who can afford this avenue of health care?” and also “what is the cost of this medicine in relation to socio-economic status of a patient?” Lastly, anthropology must be applied to this issue because it will focus on cultural reasons regarding whole body health care, such as “why isn't it popular in some regions, but widely used in others?”

    Complementary medicine cannot be viewed by a singular perspective because it impacts not only the treatment of the whole human body, but also the cultural back ground of health and medicine in a society, the economic standing of medical treatment made available to patients, and the medical and biological impact this form of treatment will have a person. 

Human Biology

Helps identify causes relating to human health
How complimentary medicine will impact the human body
The human Body can benefit from the use of complementary medicine
Human life shaped by culture, values relative to culture
What cultural aspects will have an impact on the use of complementary medicine
Culturally, complimentary medicine is offered most places besides the US and is effective in healing patients

 Social science view of mathematical evidence pertaining to consumers

Impact on individuals through economic means
-Who will be able to afford complimentary medicine

-Cost of healthcare and what is affordable for patients
One must be able to have funds for medical costs and alternative forms of healing, who  can afford complimentary medicine

Medical Biology

Identifies impact from medicine and  on the human body

The physiological effect of alternative therapies and western treatments and what they do for the human body
There can be a visible positive outcome on the human body with complimentary forms of medicine.

"Complementary Medicine-Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger.Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. 


  1. A little confusion between complimentary and complementary here, and that makes a big difference in the health care debates! Correct your spelling and define your term more precisely to fix the confusion. Remember, too, that an epistemology is not the same as a definition. An epistemology is the worldview of that discipline, the ideological lens through which it sees the world (revisit Repko for examples). A good start here, but would be worth making some edits to clean it up a bit!

  2. As you said in your post, there is a huge difference in western and eastern medicine and how the individual undergoing treatment is effected. My mother is a nurse, so growing up I had the typical treatments for any of my ailments: headache=ivyprofin, stomachache=tums, etc. So it wasn't until I came to college and learned about alternative and herbal medicines that I actually started practicing them while also quitting what I had always known. When I started doing research of different alternatives for western medicine, I was astonished to find some many legitimate websites and DIY recipes that actually worked for me when I tested them out. I think one of the biggest challenges that arises when people start looking into different ways of treating their sickness is the fact that our society does not acknowledge these wonderful homeopathic remedies that have more of a solidation in history compared to the lifespan of aspirin for example that is derived form the bark of weeping willow trees. I think the disciplines you've weaved into your argument are the exact fit, especially anthropology because it looks at and studies different cultures over time and to find the source for holistic medicine, that would be the best start.