Alternative Medicine Complementary and Alternative Term Paper

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In contrast to other work in this field, this book views alternative health as a social movement, and shows commonalities between the cultural left and the religious right that can help form a new healthcare paradigm.

National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

2000 Expanding Horizons of Healthcare: Five-year Strategic Plan, 2001-2005.

National Institute of Health Publication No. 01-5001. Gaithersburg, Maryland:

National Institutes of Health.

In this report, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) outlines the first ever, five-year-strategic plan covering the years 2000-2005. The report consists of four major sections. In the first, the NCCAM argues the case to take action through research. The second portion discusses future direction for the field. The third section details the strategic plan its self, while the fourth section covers the appendices. The report places the majority of concentration on the strategic plan outline, in which the mission and vision of the NCCAM are discussed at length. Strategic areas include research, training of CAM investigators, expanding outreach, and facilitating of integration.

Micozzi, Marc

2002 Culture, Anthropology and the Return of Complementary Medicine. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 16(4):398-414.

Micozzi delivers the concept that alternative medicine and biomedicine can be better understood by utilizing anthropology and social sciences. In using these fields, unraveling the limitations of the current biomedical model is possible through adding observations brought to the forefront from cross-cultural and diverse perspectives. Micozzi, a physician-anthropologist, works to create science-based tools for health professionals to be better informed and productively engaged in the new and emerging fields of complementary and alternative (CAM) medicines. By fostering communication and cooperation between the two, Micozzi helps to bridge the gap, which benefits both fields of study.

Blair-O'Connor, Bonnie

1994 Healing Traditions: Alternative Medicine and Health Professions, Studies in Health, Illness, and Caregiving. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Blair-O'Connor discusses healing belief systems and the relevance these have on affecting therapies and treatment outcomes. By providing a thorough look at the care, compassion and understanding necessary to effectively gain trust, respect and affect those being cared for, Blair presents a view of the healthcare system that is unique to the field. It is through this careful observation and respect of various belief systems that we may be able to find common ground by addressing specific needs.

Ruggie, Mary

2004 Marginal to Mainstream: Alternative Medicine in America. Cambridge:

The focus of this book is the integration of therapies between complementary, alternative medicine and biomedicine. This newly emerging field of integrative medicine, which combines elements of each (CAM and Biomedicine), is paving the way for legitimate and effective practices. The National Institutes of Health is leading to research and funding the work which will eventually assist in determining which therapies have high efficacy, which bring up issues of safety, and the inefficacy of other therapy.

Snow, Loudell F.

1998 Walkin' Over Medicine. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

Ethnographic study of health beliefs within African-American "traditional medicine." Based on community-based research in Arizona and Michigan over a period of twenty years, Snow, an anthropologist, took the time to become acquainted with the people he was working with, developed life-long friendships and had a deep understanding of these communities and their folklore. His resulting work details the failures of the U.S. healthcare system in terms of minority care as Snow argues that simply supplying health care is not enough in some areas. More importantly, according to Snow, adapting modern medicine to fit traditional cures and practices may be required.

Tovey, Philip

2004 the Mainstreaming of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Studies in Social Context. Oxford: Routledge.

This book discusses the social context of complimentary alternative medicine. Tovey argues the CAM movement functions on two levels. The first level functions as an interest group that lobbies for reform by informing the public and through developing coalitions among many players. The second level functions as a subculture. Tovey approaches the subject by pointing out that CAM is alienated from the standards of biomedicine in modern society, and thus, he argues, those in the field behave as a somewhat disenfranchised society. This is a very informative look at the social forces that play a part in the integration of CAM with traditional medicine.

Waldram, James B.

2000 the Efficacy of Traditional Medicine: Current Theoretical and Methodological

Issues. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 14(4):603-605.

This article critically examines biases inherent in the utilization of biomedical practices, understanding, and methods. Additionally, Waldram offers opinion on how these areas differ from the evaluation and validation of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies and practices. Further, this article examines how the efficacy of traditional medicine is in a constant state of elusiveness, and argues for a need to gather more data on the understanding of traditional medicine.


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