Alternative Medicine Treatment

Essay #2:

Background: Traditionally, conventional Western medicine has been at the forefront of options for the treatments of a wide variety of aches, pains, disorders, syndromes, and diseases. We, as a nation, are so familiar with a handful of these medicinal options, that they have become synonymous with the ailments that they treat. Once upon a time, we reached for Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Acetaminophen. Now, we choose Vicodin, Percocet, and Norco.

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In the past 60 years, the original 12 diagnosed mental disorders has reached a total of 200+. Popular treatments once included shock treatments, lobotomies, and high doses of Lithium. Now, we have Zoloft, Xanax, Lexapro, and Prozac.

At any given moment, we can buy prenatal supplements, daily vitamins for men/women/kids, pain medications, cold/flu/cough remedies, and an assortment of creams. Since the 1980s, many Americans have chosen to reach for alternative options to the medications that have historically filled our drawers and our medicine cabinets. Bad backs and migraines are being “cured” with massage and chiropractic adjustments. Infertility and sexual dysfunction are being resolved with meditation and acupuncture. Addiction is kept under control through hypnosis, martial arts, and dance classes.

So…what do you think?

Assignment: Choose one or two specific alternative treatments. Your choices should be taken from one specific categorization of remedies. (See options under “Types of Alternative Medicine”.) Using the Cicero Argumentative Arrangement, address one of the following dilemmas:
• Manufacturers of dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure diseases, but they can circumvent this by using creative language to promise more than a supplement can deliver.
• Medical practitioners often operate outside of their personal scopes of expertise. For example, it is against the law in many states for a doctor or nurse to suggest and/or practice alternatives such as guided meditation or self-hypnosis with patients.
• With hard evidence that alternatives have worked for a variety of individuals, naysayers continue to push against CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) with the hopes to discredit and remove these practices from our nation entirely.
• When a patient chooses to forego traditional treatment, it is their right. A doctor can warn against these choices, but without informed consent, a patient is not bound to treatments like chemotherapy, diabetic medications, and pacemakers.

• Patients have made claims that are “farfetched” and often categorized as “mumbo jumbo” or “quackery”. These claims included eating raw bell peppers to cure cancer, regular feet tickling to lose weight, and cocaine to treat male pattern baldness.
• Alternative treatments required limited schooling. Fact: Fewer than 40% of acupuncturists, massage therapists, reiki masters, and homeopathic practitioners are legally licensed in our country.
• Big pharma, a conspiracy theory surrounding the sinister practices of pharmaceutical companies, has been linked to a variety of scandals. Alternative medicine could singlehandedly undermine the breathing entity that exists solely to extort financial gains from patients across the world.

Four – six pages; MLA heading/header/essay format/works cited page; three – four outside academic sources; Cicero’s arrangement

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