About a decade ago, more than 38% of Americans said they sought alternative medicine. Though there is no recent figure, there is a reason to believe that this figure has increased. That’s why you can see an acupuncturist in the middle of Manhattan or a chiropractor in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. The Western world embraced alternative and complementary medicine.
This is the same reason why you can now go to a medical dispensary in Tulsa or other cities where medical marijuana is legal. The medical industry finally opened its eyes to the possibility that marijuana, which used to be illegal, can help reduce certain medical conditions with the right dosage.
So, why are people turning to alternative medicines and treatments? Is there a science to it? Should conventional treatment methods fear these developments?
Patients Are Dissatisfied With Conventional Treatment
Pain makes people turn to all kinds of treatments and medicines. If conventional treatment no longer works for their medical condition, why should people stop seeking other forms of treatment? This is true for patients suffering from a terminal illness such as cancer. They often turn to alternative medicines when they no longer believe in Western medicine.
Although there is no scientific evidence that herbs, therapies, and even acupuncture can heal different types of cancer, what is clear to most patients is that these alternative medicines help alleviate their body pain.
Patients Want More Control Over Their Healthcare Decisions
People suffering from medical conditions often feel disconnected from themselves. At times, it feels like their doctors make all the medical decisions for them. If they want to be more in control of their situation, they usually turn to alternative forms of medicine and treatment.
This allows them to choose what medicines and treatments they think work best for them. Some doctors are okay to guide their patients through choosing the best alternative treatment to try. Other patients, however, completely let go of conventional treatment methods and devote their full-time seeking alternative medicines.
Patients See Alternative Medicine as Conforming to Their Values
There are patients whose values and beliefs don’t conform to conventional treatment methods. There are religious faiths that frown upon the use of science in treating the body. Many of them believe that it is your mental health that suffers when you are sick and not your physical body. There is no way to convince a patient to seek Western treatment and medicines with these as reasons. Many endured their suffering because their values prevent them from taking painkillers.
Instead of frowning at people who use alternative medicine for their treatment, why can’t the medical industry be more compassionate about them? There is little evidence that says alternative treatments are bad for your health. These alternative treatments can be used to complement existing and fact-based Western medicine.
Now, if only the medical field can stop demonizing these alternative medicines and show support to people who want to try it. That’s the most productive way to heal people.