During the pandemic, more people are exploring complementary and alternative medicine. Some went on chiropractors to ease their physical pains. Others tried therapies like acupuncture treatments to address conditions like gastritis, allergies, and headaches. While nothing can compare to scientific healthcare practices, CAM serves as an excellent opportunity to allow patients to explore other means of achieving their health and wellness goals.
But the question is, why are more people going back to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)? What does CAM have to offer when it comes to public health?
Defining Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Complementary and alternative medicine refers to medical approaches used to treat ailments and aid in treating symptoms instead of mainstream health practices. Doctors would often recommend diagnostic procedures and medical interventions to treat patient conditions. But some people would instead explore complementary and alternative medicine along with traditional healthcare to attain their health goals.
Western medicine doesn’t usually adopt complementary and alternative medicine. But because consumers have different beliefs, preferences, and economic reasons, doctors now recognize the need to appreciate what complementary medicine offers. By opening their minds about Complementary and Alternative Medicine, they can help provide patients with other ways to manage their conditions.
It is essential to understand that there is a big difference between traditional medicine and CAM. We usually use complementary medicine together with conventional medicine. This is when doctors recommend their patients to take their medications and consider yoga, massage, herbal medicine, and other techniques to aid in their recovery.
Alternative medicine, on the other hand, aims to replace conventional medicine. Some people prefer alternative modes of therapy to treat their condition instead of the usual interventions like radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery for cancer cases.
What Role CAM Serves in Public Health
Even in today’s modern world, traditional healthcare practitioners recognize the fact that every patient is different. Everyone has their own needs, cases, preferences, and healthcare expectations. No single treatment will work for each patient since not all will prefer the conventional way of getting treatments.
Today’s healthcare practitioners recognize the need to provide a client-centered experience to every patient. The only way to effectively treat patients is by having a deeper understanding of their beliefs. They try to exhaust every means to realize optimal health and healing.
To do this, they open their minds to other ways they can help patients treat their pain, improve their health, and achieve optimal health. Doctors now turn to meditation and acupuncture to give their patients more freedom on how they can best manage their symptoms. They now recommend a combination of complementary and traditional medicine to generate better health results.
It is crucial that we give the public the chance to choose and explore different healthcare options. This will entice them to do more and find ways to reduce their pain, address health issues, and stay proactive with their health.
Why More People Are Choosing CAM
Today’s modern generation has varying reasons why they are into complementary and alternative medicine. For one, Generation Y, also known as millennials, would like to explore other healthcare options. They don’t want to be restricted to traditional treatments, thinking many of these are not necessary for helping them reach whatever health and wellness goals they might have.
For instance, millennials take dietary supplements as an attempt to improve their health and wellness. They are also less likely to use prescription drugs. Choosing to stay healthy and taking dietary supplements is one way to prevent themselves from getting sick.
Many millennials are also in a difficult financial situation. They can’t afford the rising costs of healthcare, making it hard to take care of their medical bills. It is only natural for them to find other ways that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
There’s also the fact that today’s modern generation demands convenience. They find it more convenient to do online research and find alternative ways to stay healthy and ease their pains. They would rather stay at home and do online research instead of travel to the hospital and clinic and pay a considerable amount of cash to address their health issues.
The changing needs and expectations of consumers are affecting the way they approach health and wellness. By using CAM to complement traditional medicine, healthcare practitioners show patients that they are willing to understand their needs and preferences. Although some options require more studies, they are not closing the doors over the possibility that CAM can help patients reach their optimal health and wellness goals.