Over time, healthcare has become an increasingly important aspect of society. More research is still being done to find better diagnosing, treating, and preventing illnesses and diseases. As a result, the field of medicine has undergone significant change, as new ways of dealing with human and animal health have been developed (Bynum, William, and Roy, 16). This paper will use the Rogerian style of argument to explain modern medicine versus traditional medicine and natural treatment in this context.
Modern medicine is divided into various fields such as pharmacy, surgery, genetics, and drug development. Such division ensures that people who have specialized in various medical fields address all health conditions that emerge accordingly. For modern medicine to be practiced, one has to go to an educational institution to acquire the skills and knowledge that are required to provide modern medicine healthcare. However, traditional medicine and natural treatment do not require any formal education. The skills and knowledge used in traditional medicine are acquired through sharing and passing on of knowledge from one person to another better known as apprentice (Bynum, William and Roy 16). For instance, if a medicineman gives a patient a concoction of Aloe Vera, red pepper and hot water to treat stomach problems, this knowledge will have been passed on to the patient, who may use it at another time on themselves or others, without the presence of the medicineman.
For modern medicine to be practiced, it requires resources such as human power, medical equipments and formal educational qualifications. Additionally, there are rules and regulations put up by governments and the concerned authorities, regarding the practice of modern medicine. In traditional medicine, there are no rules or any formal guidance for one to practice it. Most of the traditional medicine practitioner are uneducated and only rely on the skills and knowledge they acquired through apprentice. For example, most Chinese herbal medicine are famously known for healing illnesses such as headaches, stomachaches, rashes and the common cold. Preparation of such medicines is not taught in any educational institution, but it is passed on from generations to generations, through sharing of knowledge and skills (Pizzorno, Joseph and Michael 18).
Modern medicine helps diagnose, treat and prevent diseases more effectively as compared to traditional medicine and natural treatment. This is because of the complex chemicals compounds contained in drugs that are developed through a combination of scientific research and modern medical technology. These drugs are strong and fight illness faster than the herbs used in traditional medicine and the techniques used in natural treatment (Xue and Ruichao 15). However, modern medicine is not readily available to most people around the world. Given that almost 80% of the worlds population live in developing countries, which have limited access to modern medical facilities provided in hospitals, traditional medicine help in treating the common predominant diseases that affect the poor. Therefore, one cannot deny the relevance of traditional medicine in the world today.
It is important to note that traditional medicine and natural treatment are the foundations of modern medicine. During the ancient years, traditional medicine and natural treatment existed as an art mastered by medicine men. They used herbs, spiritual connections and other philosophical theories that existed in their cultures to treat people. It is through the advancement of science that experts were able to turn traditional medicine and natural treatment into modern medicine. For instance, a conventional drug in China called Artemisinin is the basis for most of the drugs manufactured to cure malaria (Xue and Ruichao 14). It is extracted from the Chinese sweet wormwood. Researchers first became aware of the drug in the 1980s, but the Chinese traditional medicine practitioners had been using it for a long time to treat malaria. In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the use of this particular traditional medicine for manufacturing malaria drugs. This is to show that as much as modern medicine is more advanced, it will always require some knowledge of traditional medicine and natural treatment, to come up with better healthcare services. Thus, none is superior to another.
Additionally, modern medicine requires a lot of testing and before it is used for human treatment. In addition, medical practitioners have to perform consultations where the patient is asked about the symptoms he or she is experiencing. In traditional medicine and natural treatment, there is no need for long tests, as the practitioner already knows the effectiveness of the medicine administered to the patient. Another research by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that only 2% of the total works done by health Research and Development is invested in inventing medicines that deal with diseases affecting the poor. This is quite evident especially in the third world countries (Brown, Marie, and Jennifer 27). This research shows that as much as medicine is the best method of dealing with diseases, traditional medicine is still paramount to societies that cannot access modern medical facilities.
The distinction of natural treatment as a health profession happened at the turn of the 20th century, when a German immigrant by the name Benedict Lust, started using clean food, air, the sun, water, and hydrotherapy to restore good health. The practice of natural treatment began to spread all over the world as governments and scientists in 1970s and 1980s took great notice of it and utilized it as a reliable healthcare alternative. Meanwhile, modern medicine continues to be the most preferred way of controlling diseases. Modern medicine has made remarkable developments in helping people by treating diseases quickly and putting in place significant prevention measures. However, the society has moved from consuming simple meals of fruits, grains, and meat to foods that contain complex carbohydrates and, fats and oils. Such foods bring about nutritional deficiencies that lead to some chronic diseases (Ross 58). As such, natural treatment is used today to maintain the bodys natural nutritional balance. This is something that modern medicine cannot use because they use chemicals compound to develop drugs that tamper with the bodys natural function.
Modern medicine is as a result of science, and science has numerous limitations. Modern medicine involves the use of strong chemicals that help in fighting diseases in the human body. However, some drugs have been known to overpower the human body, at times leading to death when overdosed. For this reason, people and governments became conscious of the boundaries of medical technology and science. This has led to a growing interest in complementary or alternative medicine to restore and maintain health. Most people are increasingly adopting natural treatments procedures such as yoga, massages, and tai chi as an alternative to modern medicine. Traditional medicines such as the Ayurveda and acupuncture are still in use today, for they are considered to be more natural and less toxic as compared to modern medicinal drugs (Xue and Ruichao 23).
Through developments in science, scientists have been able to adopt simple and casual methods used in the traditional medicine to create more complex drugs and treatment facilities used in modern medicine that help in diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases (Brown, Marie and Jennifer 17). As such, the above discussion shows that modern medicine, traditional medicine, and natural treatment are all vital in all the various areas of healthcare provision, and they all complement each other
Xue, Ruichao, et al. “TCMID: traditional Chinese medicine integrative database for herb molecular mechanism analysis.” Nucleic acids research (2012): gks1100.
Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. Textbook of natural medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013.
Bynum, William F., and Roy Porter. Companion encyclopedia of the history of medicine. Routledge, 2013.
Ross, A. Catharine, et al. “The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: what clinicians need to know.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 96.1 (2011): 53-58.
Brown, Marie T., and Jennifer K. Bussell. “Medication adherence: WHO cares?.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Vol. 86. No. 4. Elsevier, 2011.