Alternative Therapies with Western medical model

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    what are your view my dear nursing students colleagues friends, educators and patients on alternative therapies in the health setting .
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    My view is alternative medicine is simply a way of saying medicine that has not been proven to have any effect. (And will usually be found to not be effective).

    If a patient or doctor mentions using alternative medicine or recommending it I keep my views to myself.

    If the patient believes treatment xyz is helping them......well I know the mind is a powerful organ and last I saw your mind is a part your body, so if they think (even though it is "only in their mind") that xyz is helping I won't say it isn't.
    macawake, elkpark, and SummitRN like this.
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    [QUOTE=brownbook;6994976]My view is alternative medicine is simply a way of saying medicine that has not been proven to have any effect...QUOTE]

    No, alternative medicine is something that big name pharmaceuticals have not been able to make money off of, so therefore alternative remedies cannot possibly be a valid form of treatment unless you have some multi-billionare company telling you to buy it (insert heavy sarcasm here). For example, herbal remedies cannot be patented, so big pharm companies cannot make any money off of it, so they have no interest in fronting money on research to show data on how well it works.

    Do you think aspirin is an effective medication? Well it has been around since the time of Hippocrates, long before big pharm, and is derived from the bark of the willow tree.
    IowaKaren, carolinapooh, PNCC2001, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from Pets to People

    No, alternative medicine is something that big name pharmaceuticals have not been able to make money off of, so therefore alternative remedies cannot possibly be a valid form of treatment unless you have some multi-billionare company telling you to buy it (insert heavy sarcasm here). For example, herbal remedies cannot be patented, so big pharm companies cannot make any money off of it, so they have no interest in fronting money on research to show data on how well it works.
    This "big evil pharma" myth is getting old. They aren't certainly the only ones wanting profits. Vitamin and supplement industries are billions-dollar business. Homeopathy businesses and practitioners encroaching everywhere. Shady practitioners of so-called alternative medicine prey on the desperation of sick people and rob them of their fortune and hope. All these are menace to the society... because they can't even be controlled under some sort of standard, let alone regulations.

    If you think alternative therapies don't get enough research, go to the website of "National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine." -- Home Page | NCCAM
    They're spending millions of dollars of NIH funding for researching all those herbs, energies, and whatnot.
  7. 5
    What do you call Alternative Medicine that has many double-blind studies strongly supporting its effectiveness published in highly respected peer reviewed journals?
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    You call it Medicine.
    carolinapooh, MunoRN, macawake, and 2 others like this.
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    Each patient is unique and should be treated as such...when "we" put everybody in a "cookie cutter" mold to treat them...whether science driven or "alternative" we disregard the whole person...of course big (insert pharma/supplement/etc...) is out to make a profit..that too has been the selfish goal of mankind also since the timed of Hippocrates (willow bark or not). Quackery comes in all forms...from the supplement company promising miracle cures for cancer to the M.D> I watched the other day literaly fake a set of vitals and do a half ass job of assessment so he would not be annoyed with the troubling and often time consuming diabetic patient...therefore...the toolbox which should be dedicated to prevention should be full of as many tools as it may take to get the job done.
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    I think non evidence-based treatments are fine but the taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for them.

    The implication that companies who sell allopathic remedies are so spiritually evolved they aren't interested in making a large profit could be based on blind acceptance of an advertising strategy that makes it appear to be so when it isn't so.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Oct 29, '12
    IowaKaren, Sadala, and brownbook like this.
  10. 0
    I think there is a balance. I tell people there is an art and a science to medicine. The science is what we know through research. Art is how that will parlez with an individual, since everyone's body chemistry will react differently. I also think there is some validity to some old remedies but I appreciate peer review to help me understand their efficacy. I am an advocate of using the minimal treatment for the maximum outcome. There are plenty of "home remedies" and old medicines that are very effective, inexpensive and appropriate. I also appreciate the new meds on the market and appreciate the progression of medicine. I think a good provider strikes a good balance and communicates this well with their patients. I want to be that provider (working in primary care).
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    My view on this issue is that we should practise evidence-based medicine. Just like SummitAP says, when alternative "medicine" is proven through studies (that meet scientific standards) it ceases to be alternative and becomes evidence-based. EBM weighs benefits against the risk of harm from various treatments.

    I think that there are many reasons why some people experience that alternative therapies work eventhough no scientific data supports the therapy's healing properties:

    Placebo. Time and the body's natural healing (unassisted by the alternative therapy). Some alternative practioners convince their clients to stop with the medical treatment they are on resulting in the elimination of possible side effects the person was experiencing. They now feel better and attribute that to the alternative treatment, however their underlying illness is now untreated and free to progress. Sometimes the client is recommended a lifestyle change, and more exercise, improved diet etc can lead to an increased sense of well-being and better health. Alternative therapists are often generous with their time. I don't underestimate the effect that has on the clients. There is definitely therapeutic value in being seen and heard.

    I'm only allowed to practise and recommend evidence-based treatment and I think that is ethically correct. I see a very real danger with some alternative therapies, or rather some people who practise it. If a patient who could have been helped or cured by EBM instead seeks out an alternative treatment with no effect their disease might progress beyond the curable stage. Also, I've seen examples of patients who traditional medicine could no longer help (as in cure) who in desperation spend all their money on a "treatment" that will not work. I realize that hope is something that we humans cling to and who am I to say if seeking alternative treatment might offer a patient some solace and hope. Still, I feel that they are being conned and it saddens me.
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    I've worked where massage and acupuncture were both available in the hospital and it was very helpful. 5 years ago, the sacchromyces we give C. Dificile patients was alternative medicine. Acidophilus, now often recommended with antibiotics, were alternative medicine. Fish oil was alternative medicine, and is now prescribed to many with high trigs.

    We should not ignore any of the tools in our tool boxes.

    By the way, here's a great examination of evidence based medicine Ben Goldacre: What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe | Video on TED.com
    veggiestunyc likes this.


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