Philosophical congruence.

Philosophical congruence.

Philosophical congruence. The alternative methods of therapy are compatible with the patients’ values, worldview, spiritual philosophy, or beliefs regarding the nature and meaning of health/HEALTH and illness/ILLNESS. These therapies are now frequently used by patients with cancer, arthritis, chronic back or other pain, stress-related prob- lems, AIDS, gastrointestinal problems, and anxiety.

Since 1990, Eisenberg and colleagues have studied the trends in the use of alternative medicine in the United States. They reported the results of a na- tional survey of 1,539 subjects in 1993 and reported the findings of a 1997 sur- vey in 1998. They found in 1991 that about a third of all American adults use some form of unconventional medical treatment; this number rose to 42.1% in 1997. A more recent study, in May 2004, CAM Use in America: Up Close, found that, in the United States, 40% of adults are using some form of CAM. The most frequent users in both the early studies were educated, upper-income White Americans in the 25–49 age group who were most likely to live on the West Coast. CAM use presently spans people of all backgrounds. However, according to the 2004 survey, some people are more likely than others to use CAM. Countless research studies regarding the use, efficacy, and costs of CAM are ongoing.

In 2007, adults in the United States spent $33.9 billion out of pocket on visits to CAM practitioners and purchases of CAM products, classes, and materials. Of this total expenditure, $22.0 billion was spent in self-care costs and $11.9 billion (35.2%) in practitioner costs. The major expenditures were for nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products, $14.8 billion; yoga, tai chi, qi gong classes, $4.1 billion; homeopathic medicine, $2.9 billion; and relaxation techniques, $0.2 billion. National Health Iinformation Survey data indicate that the U.S. public makes more than 300 million visits to CAM providers each year and spends billions of dollars for these services, as well as for self- care forms of CAM. These expenditures, although a small fraction of total health-care spending in the United States, constitute a substantial part of out-of-pocket health care costs and are comparable to out-of-pocket costs for conventional physician services and prescription drug use. (Nahin, Barnes, Stussman, et al., 2009, p. 3)

It is difficult to sort out which aspects of complementary and traditional medicine have merit and which are a hoax. From the viewpoint of the patient, if he or she has faith in the efficacy of an herb, a diet, a pill, or a healer, it is not a hoax. From the viewpoint of the medical establishment, jealous of its territorial claim, the same herb, diet, pill, or healer is indeed a hoax if it is “scientifically” ineffective and prevents the person from using the method of treatment the physician-healer or other health care provider believes is effective.

The tensions between allopathic and homeopathic philosophies have been going on since the late 19th century. In this chapter, we have explored tradi- tional ways of maintaining, protecting, and restoring HEALTH; the choices avail- able to patients; and health/HEALTH care philosophies.



HEALTH Traditions ■ 117

■ Internet Sources American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. (2011). Tradition. Re-

trieved from x=44&submit.y=23, March 4, 2011.

Christian Science Publishing Society. (2008). Writings of Mary Baker Eddy. Bos- ton, MA: Author, p. 1. Retrieved from, April 25, 2011.

Dolgan, E. (2006). Addressing Osteopathy: The Osteopathic Home Page. Santa Monica, CA: Osteopathic Physicians, p. 1. Retrieved from http://www., April 25, 2011.

Eddy, M. B. (1875). Science and Health, p. 79: 8–9. Retrieved from http://, April 25, 2011.

Homeopathic Educational Services. Retrieved from http://www.homeopathic. com/, April 25, 2011.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). (2011). Health Information. Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from, April 25, 2011.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). (2004). Herbs at a Glance: Blackcohosh. Washington, DC: National Institutes of

Go to the Student Resource Site at for chapter-related review questions, case studies, and activities. Contents of the CULTURALCARE Guide and CULTURALCARE Museum can also be found on the Student Resource Site. Click on Chapter 5 to select the activities for this chapter.

Explore MediaLink

Box 5–3: Keeping up

There are countless references that may be accessed to maintain currency in the domain of health. Suggested resources include, but are not limited to:

Homeopathic Educational Services

International Chiropractors Association

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://

The Osteopathic Home Page

UCLA online Archive of American Folkmedicine


118 ■ Chapter 5

Place Your Order Here!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *