Biological Based Approach to Healing
The imbalance is related to the polar opposites yin (female, dark, cold) and yang (male, light, hot) in which one combines the interaction of body fluids and energy channels, or meridians. This vitalistic belief system is widespread in China, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. In the Chinese system, the vital force is called the chi; in the ayurvedic system it is the prana. When vital forces within the body flow in a harmonious pattern, a positive state of health is maintained. Illness results when this smooth flow of energy is disrupted, and therapeutic measures are aimed at restoring a normal flow of energy in the body. In China the ancient art of acupuncture is based on this understanding of the body. Acupuncture needles help restore a proper flow of energy within the body.
Biomedical medicine (also known as allopathic medicine) is based on the mechanical view, or machine view, of the body; when the machine breaks illness occurs. Spirituality is generally kept separate from health and healing matters. Spirituality is usually viewed as a nonscientific approach to health and healing. Mental health problems are generally viewed as disorders of the mind, and physicians tend to treat these disorders by affecting brain physiology with pharmaceuticals or with counseling or behavior modification.
Allopathic medicine is the type of medicine most familiar to westerners today. Allopathy is a biologically based approach to healing. For instance, if a patient has high blood pressure, an allopathic physician might give him or her a drug that lowers blood pressure. A core assumption of the value system of allopathic medicine is that diagnosis and treatment should be based on scientific data. The system is built on a molecular understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease, and this lays the foundation for all medical application, diagnosis, and treatment (Carteret, 2011).
Allopathic medicine quickly rose to dominance in the West, in part due to successful scientific progress in developing specific drugs that treat disease. The discovery of antibiotics also triggered rapid growth of the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacy evolved as an enabling discipline to allopathic medicine, helping it to achieve and maintain its dominance through many successful treatments and cures.
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