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Alternative Medicine Is on the Rise

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Essay title: Alternative Medicine Is on the Rise

ENG120 Advanced Composition

February 28, 2008

Alternative Medicine is on the Rise

If you knew my mother, you might think that she was a little crazy. She is always swallowing an assortment of pills or dropping some type of solution under her tongue. All I know is this alternative medicine makes her feel better, whether it really works or not.

In 1993, my mother heard through a co-worker about this chiropractor who did some interesting and unusual things to relieve physical and emotional discomfort. She scheduled a visit and has been addicted ever since.

It has been fourteen years and my mother still goes to visit Dr. Joanne Noel on a regular basis. The business with her husband, Dr. Stephen Noel, is now called “Chapel Hill Health Alliance” and has now moved to a new bigger building. They specialize in alternative medicines like Homeopathic treatment which involves “giving a patient with symptoms of illness extremely small doses of substances that produce the same symptoms in healthy people when given in larger doses” (Homeopathy par 2). Those doses my mother drops under her tongue are usually a collection of seasonal pollens that are collected regularly by the staff of Chapel Hill Health Alliance. My mother says that there is no need to advertise the business due to word of mouth advertising by the regular customers. At one point, the business was closed to new customers because they had too many to handle.

My mother, Mary Jane, never even took vitamins before visiting this Chiropractor. Now, you can be sure to find some type of alternative medicine with her at all times. Sometimes I think it might be all in her head. Maybe, the patient has to truly believe in the medicine for it to work.

In 1999, my mother and I were involved in a car accident where our car was totaled. As a result, we visited Dr.’s Joanne and Stephen Noel once or twice a week for our physical and emotional therapy. Dr. Stephen Noel specializes in physical therapy and Dr. Joanne Noel focused on the Homeopathy and the Applied Kinesiology. Applied Kinesiology or AK is a controversial method of diagnosing medical conditions. Wikipedia gives the term this definition.

[AK] purportedly gives feedback on the functional status of the body. Proponents say that when properly applied, the outcome of an AK test, such as a muscle strength test, will provide for a low risk diagnostic method to help determine the efficacy of therapy for patients (Applied Kinesiology par 2).

The most common muscle test is performed on the patients arm. The doctor asks the patients’ body a question as the patient holds his/her arm out at a ninety degree angle. The doctor then lightly pushes the arm down as the patient tries to hold the arm steady. The amount of strength the doctor has to use determines if yes or no is the answer.

Recently, a rash took over my mother’s right arm and continued to get worse despite the Homeopathic Poison Oak/Poison Ivy Oil that was bought at the local retailer of natural and organic foods. My mother eventually went to see Dr. Joanne Noel, who specializes in alternative medicine. Using Applied Kinesiology, the doctor was able to determine that the cause of the rash was poison sumac. It turns out that the poison sumac had gotten into her blood stream and needed to be treated with Steroid pills that were prescribed by a traditional doctor. Dr. Noel confirmed that my mother should follow the advice given by the traditional doctor and also gave her enzymes to reduce the swelling.

I have come to realize that alternative medicine has become more popular and more accepted among the general population and is a practical complementary medicine to traditional medicine.

One of the more recent trends of healthcare today is the use of both traditional and alternative healthcare in a complementary way. Another term for alternative healthcare is CAM (Alternative Medicine par 1). CAM stands for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Alternative medicine is defined as "any of various systems of healing or treating disease […] not included in the traditional medical curricula taught in the United States and Britain" (par 1). Complementary medicine is also defined in Wikipedia as "any of the practices […] of alternative medicine accepted and utilized by mainstream medical practitioners" (par 1). CAM is basically medical practices that are not part of standard traditional care. In other words, complementary medicine is used together with traditional medicine, and alternative medicine is used “in place of” traditional medicine (“The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States” par 18). Traditional

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