There’s all this talk making the usual media rounds of alternative therapies vs. conventional, traditional, board-certified yadda yadda, but the conversation just seems to go round in circles. Today we aim to stop the insanity with one simple word, INTEGRATIVE, meaning complementary, meaning there isn’t a cure-all so quit it!
An article in yesterday’s Washington Post explores the controversial cross-breeding of “unconventional” therapies like acupuncture (gasp), tai chi (wha?), and even yoga (crazy!) with traditional medicine and drugs. We know, to some of us this is ancient news, but recently since yoga and other alt/holistic methods have been going POP in culture, the medical industry has obviously been listening (for once). Could it be that we’ll finally see more of the Donna Karan Urban Zen ilk sprouting up in hospitals? We hope so!
Of course, then you have something like the AP story that is more or less along the lines of “oh noes! what’s this new age whack attack?!” citing that hospitals, god forbid, have been employing alternative remedies to supplement traditional care, and that “millions” of people are being led blindly into the dangerous depths of the alternative universe. Where are the lab tests?! where’s the scientific evidence and years of testing and board certification and FDA approval?! (cause lord knows the FDA is a tight laced organization).
Even therapies that may help certain conditions, such as acupuncture, are being touted for uses beyond their evidence.
An Associated Press review of dozens of studies and interviews with more than 100 sources found an underground medical system operating in plain sight, with a different standard than the rest of medical care, and millions of people using it on blind faith.
How did things get this way?
Indeed, for the love of all that is good, how did things get this way? We’re not pointing fingers but perhaps the medical professionals should have embraced such outlandish tactics way back when the people decided they wanted them. We totally believe in tests and such when it comes to health, after all it is somewhat vital to our existence, but stories like this in the mass media casting alternative remedies as the boogie man just make our nadis hurt.
And what say some Medical Professionals? They’re torn! How can this non-prescriptive hippie jazz work? Though some are skeptical, they can’t deny the results, coming straight from the patients’ mouths, and charts. An anesthesia chief in Baltimore, Dr. Richard Dutton, the same Dr. who calls Reiki “mystical mumbo jumbo” is still a fan of the “self-hypnosis” technique. “If you tell yourself you have less pain, you actually do have less pain,” he says. Patients have concurred. (granted we realize not all opinions reflect those of Dr. Dutton.)
“Bottom line: Buyer Beware” is what the AP story finishes with warning us that herbal supplements, and alt therapies are SCARY! Well, ok, sure if you’ve been diagnosed with a disease perhaps you should seek ALL avenues of care, in a uh, ahem, holistic approach, which may include “Integrative medicine”… there’s that weird word again.
Truthfully, we’re SO dancin in our pants to see techniques like Reiki, Tai Chi and Yoga incorporated into hospital settings. We believe it will improve the lives of many. Though there is always a bottom line.
Mainstream Physicians Give Alternatives a Try [Washington Post]