There is a wide variety of perspectives on patient care in today’s world, not only within but also beyond the scope of professional practice. Thus, there is a fair danger for the current agenda that following unproven advice and practices can become a threat to health or generally ineffective. Such problems are most pronounced for homeopathic treatments and the reliance on vaccines, but the fields of alternative medicine are meaningfully broader. This reflection will briefly describe what the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Class means to me and why I find it useful.
The most crucial thing in clinical practice is not to follow the concepts and theories of classical medicine but to create all the necessary conditions for quality, optimal, and most rapid recovery of patients. In this course, I clearly understood that fundamentals of clinical practice are undoubtedly important, but beyond that, there are areas of alternative medicine that can also be effective (MCS, 2019). However, there are no general rules that show whether a particular procedure will be beneficial or not. For a patient, the use of soothing pills may not be as effective as aromatherapy; for example: as long as the practice used has the goal of improving the patient’s condition through a series of constructive actions, it can be considered workable.
Throughout the eight weeks of the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Class, I have consistently studied the concepts and opinions that exist in the fields of non-clinical medicine. Of the most memorable practices whose action research interested me most, I remember Ayurvedic medicine, aromatherapy, ethnic practices, shamanism, and homeopathy. The course clearly showed me the multitude of unconventional healing methods that have been accumulated over the centuries from different cultures. Among other things, it was vital for me to understand that, as a bearer of knowledge and experience of classical medicine, I should not be prejudiced against alternative practices but instead should support the cultural interests of the patient. However, this does not mean that a patient’s visit to the clinic where I will be working must be reduced to the use of Indian or Chinese medicine: it is essential to understand that hospitals and clinics remain supporters of classical, evidence-based treatments, and referring patients to us means working according to our rules.
During classes throughout the course, we repeatedly address the proven efficacy of individual practices in terms of research. This is a crucial strategy to say that therapeutic massage is good, and homeopathy is ineffective (Ratini, 2021). We need to preserve and develop academic research on alternative methods of medicine. If there is a threat of harm to health, the outcome of such practices may become a necessity for visits to classical clinics. Over the course of eight weeks, I wrote two research papers, which were helpful to my academic skills as a professional. Among other things, discussing opinions and perspectives with classmates online was helpful for exploring a diversity of perspectives: the same can be extrapolated for future clinical practice when it will be necessary to work with patients from very different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The best treatment strategy, as it follows from the clinical practice goal I have described, is to find the best opportunities for patients. Among other things, this can be accomplished through an integrative approach, where professionals select best practices from many treatment areas (McCray, 2021). This allows the patient to be treated medically but to use yoga and aromatherapy, for example, as restorative therapy. This approach aims to maximize the beneficial effects of treatment.
McCray, N. (2021). The role yoga plays in integrative and holistic health. IYM.
MCS. (2019). The Mayo Clinic Diet: What is your weight-loss goal? Mayo Clinic.
Ratini, M. (2021). What is homeopathy? WebMD.