Coyote Medicine Image by Earthworm A medical student at Stanford in the ‘70s is prompted by a needless death of a patient to question his medical training.
His investigation inspires him to look to his Native American Cherokee roots to discover a holistic view of healing that sees illness as a response to an imbalance in the patient’s life. His journey to his tribal lands and willingness to learn from his elders brings to his readers an appreciation for the techniques of holistic medicine.
Worried that his status as a half breed will impede his acceptance into the tribal ways his story is as much about finding his place in the world as it is about traditional healing methods.
Lewis Mehl-Madrona is also a competent writer able to bring to the page historical background and tales of healing in a compelling manner while moving the story along with his own personal journey. His healing of a woman with endometrial cancer is his coup de grace near the end of his journey.
It also becomes clear that his status between the two worlds of modern medicine and tribal medicine is what allows him to become a bridge between the two though he is too humble to point this out.
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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice.
Complementary medicine is used together with standard medical care. An example is using acupuncture to help with side effects of cancer treatment.
Alternative medicine is used in place of standard medical care. An example is treating heart disease with chelation therapy (which seeks to remove excess metals from the blood) instead of using a standard approach.
The claims that CAM treatment providers make can sound promising. However, researchers do not know how safe many CAM treatments are or how well they work. Studies are underway to determine the safety and usefulness of many CAM practices.
To minimize the health risks of a CAM treatment
Discuss it with your doctor. It might have side effects or interact with other medicines
Find out what the research says about it
Choose CAM practitioners carefully
Tell all of your doctors and practitioners which CAM and standard treatments you use
NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Video Rating: / 5
Australische reportage van het consumentenprogramma The Checkout (http://www.abc.net.au/tv/thecheckout/, 26/05/2013).