“Many academic health centers offer programs that include traditional Chinese treatments or Ayurvedic medicine from India. The University of New Mexico goes beyond that, says management of its new Center for Life. “The uniqueness of our program is that we not only embrace Eastern and Western philosophies, but we try to integrate the traditions of New Mexico,” said Dr. Arti Prasad, the center’s director. Thus, Native American healers and Hispanic curanderas are invited to work with patients at the clinic.
The Center for Life, which opened Friday, offers what Prasad prefers to call “complementary medicine” – augmenting modern medicine with practices and treatments that may go back thousands of years in other cultures. The philosophy has its basis in preventing disease, what Prasad describes as “keeping the body in balance, staying healthy, exercising, eating healthy and doing good things in your life.” Western medicine works to find disease early with such tests as mammograms, while Eastern medicine steps in earlier to try to prevent disease, she said. If there’s an imbalance in the body and a person becomes ill, Eastern medicine tries to get the body back in balance, she said.
The center’s physicians work with yoga instructors, doctors of Oriental medicine or hypnotherapists “to achieve one goal of health and wellness in our patients,” said Prasad, a native of India who graduated from conventional Western medical schools but grew up with traditional folk medicine as part of the Indian lifestyle.”
August 19, 2008 at 10:30 am
Traditional, tradition, thousands of years, traditional – it seems that one of the reasons these non-medical practicies are being introduced into the clinic is that they are old.
There is no relation between information being old and information being not false. False information can be handed down by trained professionals for thousands of years, just like not false information.
What makes science different from non-science, medicine diffeent from non-medicine, is that it is subject to disproof. When a tradition survives thousands of years, it is likely considered not subject to disproof.
Science and medicine cannot tell if a claim is not true before it is tested. All medical claims can be subjected to tests, even if they come from traditions and are thousands of years old. If they pass, they are provisionally kept. If they fail, they join the great majority of medical claims.
Complementary / alternative / Eastern / etc. medicines are kept distinct as a category because they consistantly fail but people want them to be true enough that they are tested again and again and again.
Any port in a storm – if non-medicine makes you feel better then that’s a value all in itself. But if someone turns down the miracle of medicine in favor of medical miracles, they are likely to suffer.
I don’t know if this is a private clinic or if it gets tax dollars. If it is private, it’s their business. If it is funded by taxes, perhaps it should get cut off.
August 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm
“Traditional, tradition, thousands of years, traditional – it seems that one of the reasons these non-medical practicies are being introduced into the clinic is that they are old.”
Yes, and many of the traditions that are thousands of years old were the foundation for our current traditional medical practices.
“There is no relation between information being old and information being not false. False information can be handed down by trained professionals for thousands of years, just like not false information.”
Exactly. I know a few HIndu people that have relied on Ayurvedic medicine since they were born, and they are much healthier than many people I know who rely completely on western traditional medicine. Is it their genes, diet, and Ayurveda all working together? What is it? I also know people who swear complementary medicine doesn’t work for them, and that traditional medicine is the only thing that works. We’re all different. What works for one may not work for another.
I think it’s great that both traditional and complementary medical practitioners are working side by side here. Instead of arguing and bashing each other they’re willing to work together. I believe there needs to be more integrative practices within the medical field. The mind/body link has been proven. If people want to add spirit to the mix and it works for them, then they should have that option.
The clinic is a NPO. It was developed because of the demand for it. Working together, traditional and complementary medicine may be able to discover things that they couldn’t discover working alone.
August 20, 2008 at 1:57 am
Foundations do not matter in science. A total outsider, a trained professional, a shunned superstition – it doesn’t matter where an idea comes from in science. What matters is testing it for falsifiability. That’s why traditions are so counter to science; they are not tested, they are accepted exactly because they are not tested.
Traditional / alternative / etc. medicine is not willing to work side by side with Western medicine. Western medicine is subject to tests, alt.medicine is all about preserving the way things used to be no matter what the tests say works or doesn’t work.
Traditional / etc. medicine can discover things only by ceasing to be traditional / etc.