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Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Case Management of Hispanics - Term Paper Example

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Case Management of Hispanics

This topic is being considered in the hope of establishing a clear understanding of the applicability of complementary and alternative medicine in the management of illnesses among the Hispanic population. Concept Complementary and alternative medicine is defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2011) as a diverse and varied medical and health systems and practices which are not normally considered part of conventional or standard medical practice. It is not as widely accepted as conventional medicine, but some of its applications have already been accepted as effective treatments and have therefore formed part of generally applied medicine. Complementary medicine is medicine which is included and used together with conventional medicine (NCCAM, 2011). Alternative medicine, on the other hand is used in place of conventional medicine; in most instances, as the sole treatment, without integration of conventional medicine techniques. CAM includes a wide range of ancient and new-age techniques which claim to treat and to prevent the onset of illness (Barnes, et.al., 2008). In the strictest sense, CAM is not a part of conventional medicine because there is still inadequate proof for its safe and effective use in healthcare. As a result, judgment for the use of these techniques is largely based on discretion and evidence-based support. In general, individuals utilizing CAM are finding ways to improve their overall physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being (Astin, et.al., 2000). Moreover, they often turn to CAM to seek relief from a terminal or chronic illness or from the side-effects of their conventional treatment. Furthermore, they consider CAM as a means of establishing a holistic and transformative management of their body and all its issues (Institute of Medicine, 2005). CAM practitioners often attempt to treat not only the physical chemical symptoms of the disease, but also the psychological, emotional, and mental impact of the illness. Most patients availing of this treatment consider it as a means of complementing their conventional medicine management; seldom is it used as an alternative form of treatment (Barnes, et.al., 2008). Based on a National Health Interview survey (2002), about a third of adults use atleast one form of CAM. Usual CAM therapies include non-mineral natural products, meditation, yoga, massage, deep-breathing exercises, and diet-based therapies (Barnes, et.al., 2002). In the past, CAM has often been used to relieve back aches, headaches, chest colds, neck pain, joint stiffness, and anxiety. Although much less common, the use of these forms of treatment has also been prevalent in the management of symptoms for cancer, lung diseases, and cardiovascular infection (Mao, et.al., 2007). Its use has also been common among women and among adults with higher educational qualifications, including adults who have been suffering from one or two health issues requiring multiple medical consults in a year (Nahin, et.al., 2007). CAM techniques are often categorized into different classifications. One of its categories includes natural products. These natural produces are popularly known as herbal medicines, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements (NCCAM, 2011). Probiotics or ...Show more

Summary

Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Case Management of Hispanics Introduction Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is currently a form of medicine which has gained much popularity in the current medical and healthcare practice. It now rivals traditional medicine in terms of interventions and applicability, however it still has to gain sufficient progress before it can achieve widespread utilization…
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