Western Views of Non-Traditional Medicines Essay

2538 Words 11 Pages
If you walk into any pharmacy, grocery store, or natural foods store, you cannot avoid the shelves and displays of "alternative" remedies and treatments. Promises of fewer aches and pains, clearer skin, slower aging, better digestion, and more "harmonious" body functions are plastered on store walls and across bottle labels with many, often green, pills and liquids. Ginseng, Echinacea, acupuncture, reflexology, antioxidants, Vitamin A, B, C, E... have all become a familiar part of our culture's vocabulary, and for many, a part of their health regime. The allure of treatments that are as simple as a collection of plants or are based on a well-loved substance like garlic are obvious, particularly in an cultural environment where not only …show more content…
All of the above is the language of Eastern medical philosophy. Whether or not this is reflected in the actual care is debatable, but its prominent place in a large-scale advertisement demonstrates that this is what the public is seeking and moving towards.

Yet despite the strengthening public call for unconventional therapies and medicines, much of the Western medical and scientific establishment rejects alternative treatments across the board as "quackery" or invalid because in has not, and possibly cannot, be proven by Western scientific research methods. Some non-Western medical systems have been in place and effective for thousands of years. For example, "[t]he theoretical framework of [traditional] Chinese medicine was established more than two millennia ago" and has been treating the majority of the vast population of China and other parts of Asia since (hanwei.com). Traditional Eastern medical systems provide one of the best opponents in the debate between Western medicine and alternative schools because, different than many alternative treatments, they are highly developed and sophisticated practical and philosophical systems that stand independent of Western medicine.

Western Experience with and Views of Non-Traditional Medicines

In the last two decades, there has been

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