The Implications Of Alternative Health Beliefs

For the people who participated in this research, health and healing are an ongoing, concomitant process. Their alternative model of health is made up of three fundamental conceptual categories holism, balance, and control. To be healthy under this model means that one experiences and exhibits unity of, as well as balance between, mind, body, and spirit. The category of balance also includes the notions of unity with, and balance between, the self and others, the self and nature, and or the...

Healing The Self

McGuire (1987 376) contends that the very rhetorics of healing in modern Western societies emphasize individual choice and transformation. In particular, alternative approaches to healing have been observed to have this type of self-transformative potential (Glik 1988,1990 McGuire 1983 Pawluch et al. 1994 Stambolovic 1996 Ullman 1979). For instance, Easthope (1993 294) asserts that The healer's task is to reconstruct individuals in a mode that provides them with the ability to manage their...

References

Concepts in alternative medicine. Social Science and Medicine, 22(2) 265-273. Achilles, R. (2001). Defining complementary and alternative health care. In Health Canada, Perspectives on complementary and alternative health care, pp. I.11-15. Achilles, R., Adelson, N., Antze, P., and Biggs, C. L. (1999). Complementary and alternative health practices and therapies A Canadian overview. Toronto York University Centre for Health Studies. Achterberg, J. (1985). Imagery in...

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The individual may self-treat, as Chrisman and Kleinman (1983 571) note, by using patent medicines, prescription medicines which have been obtained from practitioners, pharmacies, or from family and friends. However, they may also self-treat by buying a homeopathic remedy in a grocery store, or by self-diagnosing a weakened immune system for which they compensate by taking vitamin C or garlic capsules. Moreover, what Chrisman and Kleinman (1983) call the folk sector is better conceptualized as...

Managing The Stigma Of Using Alternative Therapies

The people who spoke with me live with discreditable identities which they must manage (Goffman 1963). According to Goffman (1963), the difference between discredited and discreditable identities is that the latter depends on the degree to which individuals can reduce stigma by controlling disclosure of their deviant identity. Likewise, the literature shows that people who use alternative therapies make efforts to conceal their use from others, especially doctors (Montbriand and Laing 1991...

Reconceptualizing The Health Care System

Where conceptualizing alternative therapy within the larger health care system is concerned, the most influential classification in the social sciences has been Chrisman and Kleinman's (1983) model of the local health care system (Sharma 1993 16). Their model is made up of three overlapping spheres representing different sectors of the health care system the popular sector, the professional sector, and the folk sector. The popular sector is composed of health care actions taken by sick persons,...

Dissatisfaction

Many authors argue that people turn to alternative therapies because they have recognized the limitations of Western medicine and or are, in general, dissatisfied with allopathic approaches to health care (Fulder 1996)7- Similarly, almost all of the people who participated in this study associated disillusionment with biomedicine with their first experiences of alternative therapies. In Hanna's words I found traditional allopathic therapy wasn't helping me at all. The dissatisfaction with...