Alternatinve medicine is called quackery and is a dangerous fraud. As Tim Minchin says “There is a word for alternative medicine that works… Ah yes. It’s called medicine.”
Some forms of holistic healing come perilously close for blaming sick people for things beyond their control.
By Susan Sered
September 4, 2015
Holistic healing sounds like a good thing. I certainly believe that each of us is far more than a cluster of discrete organs, bones and cells. I also believe that the thigh bone is connected to the hip bone; the mind and the body are a cohesive unit; that every illness experience is embedded in a wider social context; that environment matters; and that the manner in which a healer relates to a patient can result in widely different outcomes. And while we Americans may be suspicious that some brands of healing are nothing but quackery, unless the healer interferes with standard bio-medical treatment (for example, by telling patients they must stop receiving cancer chemotherapy) we tend to see holistic healing as benign” Even if it doesn’t “work” it helps people struggling with pain and disease feel better.
That assumption, I’ve come to see, needs to be looked at a bit more closely.
A number of years ago I conducted interviews with 46 Boston-area complementary and alternative medicine practitioners who told me during an initial phone call that they treat breast cancer patients.
Their healing modalities ranged from acupuncture to Zen shiatsu therapy and from homeopathy to past life regression.
All of the healers explained that bio-medical treatment alone is insufficient because it only targets the symptom (cancer) and not the underlying causes of the disease. (Only a very few of the healers actively discourage their patients from continuing bio-medical treatment.) The deeper, root causes identified by the healers cluster into a few categories:
*Elements of the modern environment or lifestyle that cause or contribute to the rise in rates of breast cancer; for example, air pollution, computers sending out electromagnetic rays which typically are parallel to the level of a woman’s breast, deodorants and antibiotics.
*Food and drink related causes such as alcohol abuse, dairy products, artificial sweeteners and gluten.
*Personal experiences and character traits including trauma, social isolation, lack of self-acceptance and feelings of resentment.
As I listened to healers (almost all of whom I very much liked on a personal level) I began to understand that through invoking these root causes the healers were actually reframing or expanding breast cancer from a discrete physical disease of a body part to a much larger problem potentially involving all areas of a woman’s life (and possibly her past lives as well).