How to Trust Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine. You’ve likely heard of it, you might even use it, but you might not know exactly what it entails. Over the course of several articles, we plan to address not only some of the more popular modalities of complementary and alternative medicine (or CAM) but also some you may not have heard of yet. But before we dive in, we wanted to talk a bit more generally about CAM.
There is irony in defining ‘traditional medicine.’ Conjure up an image of what medicine traditionally means to you. You’re likely envisioning a medical doctor, perhaps a male figure, stethoscope around the neck, in a white lab coat, writing out prescriptions or walking down a hospital hallway. That ‘traditional’ image of medicine depicts Western, sometimes called allopathic, medicine. But to be truly traditional, we must consider medicine such as that which people commonly refer to as complementary and alternative medicine, without which Western medicine could not have evolved.
Imagine your loved one has a heart condition. Digitalis is prescribed by doctors and nurse practitioners for people with congestive heart failure and atrial arrhythmias. Have you ever stopped to think that this life-saving medication comes from a plant? Foxgloves, to be exact. Most medications come from a plant originally, somewhere in their lineage. There were healers for centuries before there were physicians. Once the scientific method evolved to a point that Western medicine became possible, the focus became stringently upon proving theories and efficacy of medications and surgical procedures. The Middle English spelling of “Helthe” (as in our name) was changed to ‘health’. Traditional medicine, complementary and alternative medicine, was relegated to the sidelines.
That was then, this is now.
There is ever-increasing amounts of research-evidence-based practice (EBP)-behind much of what is considered ‘alternative medicine.’ World-renowned research universities and teaching hospitals routinely conduct scientific investigations into CAM modalities, providing evidence of their efficacy and lending credibility to strategies that are sometimes incorrectly disregarded as unscientific. Through Helthe Connect, we’ll be bringing you more insight into CAM, and the EBP behind it, to bring these valuable services and modalities out of the sidelines and back into general practice, because we truly believe in using every tool in our health toolbox for preventative healthcare. We aim to demystify healthcare to help you be well and be empowered.
Contact us at Helthe Connect with any questions you might have. Plus, be sure to sign up to be among the first to receive news about our Helthe Connect web app that will be launching soon for beta testing. You could be among the forefront of wellness providers or clients using our empowerment tool to learn more about CAM, connect with providers directly, and find out about wellness events in your area.