The Pros And Cons Of Complementary And Alternative Medicine

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Physical pain, psychological distress, disease and many other bodily concerns affect people across the world. Patients often seek the help of a family or specialized doctor to prescribe a form of treatment for back pain, depression, a broken bone, or cancer. The people in this profession hold Medical Doctor (M.D.) degrees and what they are trained to prescribe in their many years of schooling is called conventional medicine or treatment. There are other kinds of treatment that an M.D. cannot perform and/or prescribe himself. This type of medicine is called Complementary and Alternative Medicine or CAM therapies. Complementary medicine is something that an M.D. may suggest in addition to his treatment that he himself cannot perform. Alternative …show more content…
While some conventional medicine is safe, well evaluated, and effective, there are some medications and other forms of treatment that are considered conventional but are also very dangerous. In some of these cases a CAM therapy may be an effective solution to the condition or illness with a lower level of risk. In the case of depression, the typical conventional prescribed treatment is antidepressant medications usually in the form of a pill. However, there are several negative side effects that are attached to the use of antidepressants. Some of these potential dangers include potential relapse, greater risk of non-neurological cancers, damage to neurons needed for cognitive processing, increased risk of stroke, and many more (Andrews, Gott, and Thomson). CAM therapies suggested for treating depression include yoga, meditation, massage therapy, and music therapy. The main focus of these therapies is to increase the level of relaxation which has been shown to help alleviate depression. While these are hard to test on a clinical level, as all treatments for depression are, by case studies and reported personal experiences these types of therapies are beneficial to some people. In an article called “How Yoga Helped Me Overcome Depression” by Alison Smith, she details how “in an act of sheer desperation, [she] went to a yoga class. When [she] walked out of that class, [her] journey to freedom had begun.” There are several articles similar to hers that detail how relaxing helps many people clear their heads and become better connected to themselves. On a personal level and my experience with depression, the antidepressants would work for a couple weeks at a time and then I would fall back into the same state I started in. Upon my therapist’s suggestion, I resorted to music therapy and used music as a

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