More Eastern and Western medicine and professionals than ever are using social media sites to widen the debate over which is the best. Social media makes worldwide debates and connections possible. This allows for hopefully a new open mindedness and productive, creative idea sharing. The use of crowdsourcing by medical specialists discussing challenging patient cases is growing. Facebook has over 1 billion monthly users. Twitter transmits over 400 million tweets every day.
The development of science is usually thought to have enhanced the quality of many things. However, in certain spheres of life, traditional methods are still being used; medicine is a good example of the co-existence of two approaches. Along with commonly recognized conventional medicine based on science and technology, there also exists so-called alternative medicine, which sometimes includes practices developed thousands of years ago. Each of them have proved its effectiveness. Understanding their advantages and disadvantages is important to make an informed decision.
The first difference between these two systems is their approach to diagnosis. Conventional medicine focuses on the factors that cause the diseases and remedying their symptoms, separate from environment and personality. Unlike alternative medicine that sees a body in balance with its environment and disease is thought to be caused by an imbalance between them.
Alternative medicine assumes that health is a life-long process; therefore, to sustain a healthy body condition a person should continually maintain proper nutrition, daily regimen, body care, mind exercises, and so on. Conventional medicine, while also taking these principles in consideration, still relies mostly on drugs and surgery. This makes it more effective for managing critical situations (or for so-called quick-fixes), but is less efficient in healing chronic diseases. In addition, it is extremely expensive.
On the other hand, alternative medicine is more affordable, it guarantees stronger and more stable results, but is also time-intensive, requiring a commitment to a healing process, and thus may not seem like a reasonable option for quickly healing a patient.
Unlike conventional medicine that relies entirely on chemically synthesized drugs, alternative medicine uses natural components such as herbs as remedying substances. Alternative medicine also uses ancient methods of dealing with diseases, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, and so on. Conventional medicine, in its turn, puts more trust in scientifically approved methods of diagnosing and treatment.
Alternative and conventional medicine have different approaches when it comes to understanding and curing diseases. Whereas conventional medicine often sees a disease as an independent and emphases a quick-fix. Alternative medicine sees a body and its environment as a holistic system; a disease occurs in case of an imbalance between all of the system’s elements. Conventional medicine is more effective for treating critical situations and less suitable for managing chronic diseases. Alternative medicine yields gradual effects, but they are usually more steady and long-lasting, as they often involve the alteration of an individual’s lifestyle. Alternative medicine relies mostly on natural mechanisms and ancient techniques, whereas conventional medicine prefers chemical drugs and scientifically approved methods of diagnosis and treatment.
So the debate goes on and on and hopefully a coming together of the best of both worlds.