The Use Of Alternative Healthcare Methods In Treating Cancer Between Cultures Research Paper
Some areas such as oncology, which we will discuss in this paper, call for a complex and holistic approach. While the western pratice is based on the cause-and-effect approach and tends to use strictly rational scientific approach to cure the disease with the help of medical or surgical treatment, thus, treating mainly the physically visible symptoms with the help of chemical and mechanical means, the eastern approach has treated body and its soul as one whole. Thus, for ages it has involved natural remedies such as herbs and spiritual practices including meditation and other rituals to help the soul come in the harmony with the body and heal it that way. In this research we will review alternative healthcare practices used in oncology in the cultures of China and India as well as other cultures representing the East.
After having researched and compared the western vs eastern approach we have concluded that the western approach concentrates on treating specific diseases, and organs, provides instant relief with therapy accompanied by the side effects, treats symptoms rather than the illness, while the eastern approach is treating a person as a whole, requires long-term treatment, does not have side effects, and is aimed at the illness itself rather than the symptoms. The alternative healthcare methods have three pros versus one con, whereas the traditional medical approach presents three cons versus one pro according to our conclusion. Thus, we can see why many more people tend to choose using the alternative healthcare methods over the traditional strictly medical approach.
Keywords: psychosomatics, alternative medicine, diagnostics, complex approach, meditation, Ayurveda
The most important difference about the ancient Eastern medicine from the contemporary western healthcare methods is a wide use of various means and methods of healing and harmonizing psyche and restoring the emotional and spiritual health. The ancient healers of the East understood that the main source of energy misbalance of the body, which causes various diseases, is caused by the chronic psycho-emotional tension and loss of peace. That is why the main approach to healing a disease was to restore the spiritual well being at the cause level. Then the body received a way to self-regulate and renew the physiological systems as the inner psychological cause of disease was removed.
The eastern healers have always been convinced that the main source of the illness lay within such spiritual illnesses as arrogance, alcoholism, fear and hatred, greed. As the ancient writing put it poetically the main task of the doctor was to lead the patient towards the forces of Light and renew their connection with the Heaven. Only at that point could the treatment be considered accomplished as only the harmony of the inner emotional and spiritual aspects of the human nature could guarantee integrity and natural flow of the physiological processes, which are partially if not completely dependent on the balance of psychological energy (Vaughn, L., Jachuez, F., and Baker, R., 2009).
The example of the Indian yogis, that mastered practically all the bodily functions, is convincingly expressing that we can control all the processes in our body including those happening at the level of tissues and cells structure and changing those. This method uses person’s own will to cure many diseases and proves to be more successful than a mere physiological cold-water treatment and other medical and physical therapy methods.
The Ancient Eastern Medicine has always been keen on the concept of psychochemical nature of disease. The traditional Chinese medicine considered strong emotions of fear, grief, anger and many others to be the most important factor causing disease. The Ayurveda tradition of India defined “imperil” to be the poison of irritation. According to this definition it is irritation as the negative condition widely encountered by many on a daily basis that provokes the body to develop psychochemical poison that disrupts the normal flow of “living energy” through the energy channels of the human body. This poison as the ancient healers of India and Tibet considered remains on the parries of the blood vessels and nerve trunks and causes abnormalities to the normal blood and energy flow along those (Garodia, P., Malani, N., Sethi, G., and Aggarval, B., 2006).
That is why the Ayurveda healthcare methods still include such unusual for the modern western medicine alternative therapies as aromatherapy, taste and color, as well as musical-dancing therapy. The healing hymns are corresponding to biological and cosmic rhythms and can cause various psychological effects that are rebooting numerous physiological bodily processes in full accordance with the moment of their influence and the body type. However, the alternative methods such as herbal remedies, prayers, music treatment and gem therapy, meditation, yoga and even astrology are also a part of the complex treatment which involves surgical removal of tumor. (Garodia et al., 2006).
The numerous research and experiments of the recent years conducted by the oncological centers are convincing about the fact that the mind is capable of healing practically any disease. The most important is to master the methods of storing psychic energy and harmonizing the psyche. While the focus in Western biomedicine is on the individual, respecting the patient autonomy, requesting his informed consent, and his participation in the decision-making, the focus in Eastern countries is on the family and, for diverse population groups, family welfare often is primary. The patients diagnosed with cancer in the Eastern countries choose to not be hospitalized because it is their deeply rooted cultural belief that the family is responsible for taking care of the illness, and death (Daher, 2012). That is why the proper diagnosis making is the key success factor in helping the patient deal with the illness. Given all discussed in this paper it is not surprising that many patients as well as many doctors during the recent years had numerously addressed the idea of creating the New Medical approach built on the conscious self-regulation of the body. However, it is only recently that they received convincing evidence of the effectiveness of self-healing. During the recent years both healthcare workers and patients receive more and more proof to the fact of psychosomatic nature of diseases and see how much psychological misbalance causes those. That is why more and more patients choose alternative healthcare methods while coping with cancer.
1. Daher, M. (2012). Cultural beliefs and values in cancer patients. Annals of Oncology, 23(3), 66-69. Retrieved January 2, 2014, from http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/suppl_3/66.full
2. Garodia, P., Malani, N., Sethi, G., & Aggarval, B. (2006). From Ancient Medicine to Modern Medicine: Ayurvedic Concepts of Health and Their Role in Inflammation and Cancer.Journal of the Society of Integrative Oncology, 5(1). Retrieved January 1, 2015, from http://www.jivaresearch.org/research/curcumin/From_ancient_medicine_to_modern_medicine-_Ayurvedic_concepts_of_health_and_their_role_in_inflamma.pdf
3. Vaughn, L., Jachuez, F., & Baker, R. (2009). Cultural Health Attributions, Beliefs, and Practices: Effects on Healthcare and Medical Education. The Open Medical Education Journal, 2, 64-74. Retrieved January 3, 2015, from http://benthamopen.com/tomededuj/articles/V002/SI0016TOMEDEDUJ/64TOMEDEDUJ.pdf
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