History of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Complementary&Alternative Therapies Example

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"History of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine" is a good example of a paper on complementary and alternative therapies.   After originating in India thousands of years back, Ayurvedic medicine is said to be one of the oldest systems of medicine still present today. Ayurvedic medicine strives to address the mental perspicuity, physical wellbeing, and spiritual nourishment or fulfillment of an entire being, thus; creating a balance between all three aspects of an individual. The main philosophy behind this type of CAM is that each and every individual is responsible for their health.

This means that individuals are responsible for their energies (physical, mental, and spiritual energies), which then bring out or characterize life’ s entire philosophy (NCCAM 2). This holistic approach used in healing has been seen as a preventive means of medicine that provides healing solutions to countless diseases. It is in ancient texts that the description of Ayurvedic medicine is first seen that point to certain procedures, for example; caesarian sectioning as well as suturing believed to have originated from the West. These texts also point out twenty different microorganisms that are responsible for diseases (NCCAM 3).

Ayurvedic medicine seems to have influenced Greek medicine, which later influenced Western medicine. India, however, seems to have held onto this art of medicine and boasts of having over 300,000 physicians that practice it.           Claims made by Ayurvedic medicine                       There are basically two types of Ayurvedic treatment practices present, and these are; constitutional and therapeutic treatment. The two types of Ayurvedic treatment involved in this type of CAM offer different aspects of treatment for individuals. The constitutional type is more involved in making Ayurvedic preparations in order to preserve, maintain, and enhance exceptional health, and at the same time, make adjustments in an individual’ s lifestyle.

The other type is keen to bring out specific remedial procedures that may be used to fight diseases from an individual’ s body (Pole 13). This is by eliminating a certain substance, identified as ama, which originates from undigested food that blocks energy channels and digestive systems in individuals.                       Ayurvedic medicine claims there are five elements through which all life and matter are formed. These elements are believed to form the basis of life, and Ayurvedic treatment uses these elements to find out the differences in individuals and their various characteristics.

This then provides physicians with the proper idea of how to treat and heal some of the various ailments from which people suffer (Pole 14). This even allows most physicians to find suitable foods for the different people and their characteristics that may allow them to heal, maintain, or even heighten their mental, physical, and spiritual energies.                 Scientific research about Ayurvedic treatment                       Currently, there are countless organizations trying to find out about Ayurvedic treatment and its progress in the medical field.

Organizations such as the National Institute for Health are conducting research trying to establish the success of Ayurvedic remedies in the treatment of arthritis, and even breast cancer (Witt et al. 1+). This institute is also interested in the effects of Ayurvedic regimens on heroin addiction, which would be a tremendous step in the rehabilitation of most addicts. The spread of this type of medicine can be seen with the popularity it is gaining in some parts of the world, for example; England and Japan, where conferences are held to show off the strides or steps taken in the medical field.                       Ayurvedic medicine is recognized by the World Health Organization.

This is through its continued support for the efforts and steps taken to find its footing in conventional and modern medicine. In 2011, treatment for arthritis between Ayurvedic regimens and conventional means produced the same results (Witt et al. 1+). This shows the advancement that this treatment has in the medical field. Turmeric is sometimes used for inflammatory ailments, which is believed to have a positive effect on digestive disorders.

However, this research is limited to have conclusive results.   Benefits of Ayurvedic treatment                       Individuals who prescribe to this type of treatment can find out about some of their underlying natures, and find out what best suits them. The lifestyles of different people in the world often determine the diseases that most are exposed to, and this might prove to be a problem for most people. This treatment provides the right dietary changes for people to make in order to satisfy their characteristics, and thus; live a healthy life.

Individuals who also prescribe to this form of medicine are exposed to a well-balanced state in terms of the emotional, physical, and spiritual parts of their lives (Pole 17).                       Ayurvedic treatment opens most channels through which most individuals’ functions emanate from, giving the individual appropriate movement. This can either be through their minds, digestive systems, and blood circulatory system. All these give the individual an avenue to grow into a holistic individual without the fear of having to face the harsh side-effects associated with certain drugs used in conventional medicine.

This can be through techniques such as yoga and massages. The combination of herbs and breath works may assist an individual in maintaining composure when faced with certain situations in their everyday lives. These cleansing techniques provide the right environment through which individuals can assess their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being (Pole 19). Opinion about Ayurvedic treatment                       Despite this form of treatment is one of the oldest forms of medicine in the world, it is not receiving the right form of exposure it should.

This is unlike medicine and treatment from other well-known and conventional methods of medicine. It is my belief that this should not be the case. If this form of medicine pre-dates Western/conventional medicine, then it is only right that physicians be well aware of the different changes it has made to conventional medicine (Wujastyk and Frederick 36). The lack of conclusive results in the clinical trials conducted should not be something to write home about, especially with the advancement being made in different medical fields.                       If these treatment regimens can work hand in hand with conventional means of medicine, then it would be improper to ignore the impact this form of medicine can have on certain research.

This form of medicine can be used to complement conventional medicine and should not be ignored, because that would be detrimental to the advancement of medical research. Individuals, and indeed the world, need this alternative form of medicine. It is all about having perspective about what is needed and when it is needed. In doing this, individuals will be aware of all the options they have when it comes to taking care of their health; mental, physical, or spiritual (Wujastyk and Frederick 42).


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Ayurvedic Medicine: An Introduction. Washington, DC: Author, 2009. Print.

Pole, Sebastian. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice. London: Singing Dragon Publishers, 2012. Print.

Witt, Claudia M., et al. “Comparative effectiveness of a complex Ayurvedic treatment and conventional standard care in osteoarthritis of the knee – study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.” Trials Journal 14.149 (2013): 1+. Print. .

Wujastyk, Dagmar and Frederick M. Smith. Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and Paradigms. New York: SUNY Press, 2013. Print.

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