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Wayne Adult Community Center

Feature article from the February, 2001 Newsletter

Alternative Medicine is Gaining Acceptance

At one time, many healing methods were in use in the United States.  However, early in this century the orthodox medical community and the pharmaceutical industry launched successful campaigns to have all methods and practitioners other than their own, declared invalid.

For decades afterward, orthodox “allopathic” physicians enjoyed a near godlike status as the sole arbiters of medical treatment.  In recent years, though, the public has begun to question the omniscience and objectivity of those with an MD or DO degree, and in a recent survey nearly half the respondents reported having procured treatment from someone other than a physician in the previous year.  Furthermore, in spite of a relentless crusade to discredit vitamin supplements and herbs, more and more people are using those substances  to promote or restore health.

There is little argument that standard medical methods are the best approach to almost all acute and emergency situations, but for chronic conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression and some others, many people report that they have successfully avoided medication (with its toxic side-effects) and invasive surgery by using alternative resources.

Medical organizations have now begun to grudgingly acknowledge that some alternative methods have value.  There is even a small but increasing number of "complementary physicians", that is, doctors who use both orthodox and alternative modes as they deem appropriate.

The spectrum of methods employed by alternative and complementary physicians include acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, meditation, therapeutic touch, megavitamin therapy, rolfing, imagery, and more.

Unfortunately, the field of alternative medicine has its share of charlatans and sincere but misguided zealots.  Nonetheless, a careful and thorough investigation may lead you to treatment that is both benign and effective.

W. A. Shapiro


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