Complementary And Alternative Medicine Event

June 2, 2023 | 0 Comments

Complementary and Alternative Medicine [CAM] approaches to healthcare will be the focus of an event set to be held from 11am to 5pm on Sunday [June 4] at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire.

Dr. Kuni Frith said, “The scientific community have been documenting the increased use of CAM therapies for the last three decades or more.

“There are a long list of complaints about our current healthcare system, no one seems to have the answer as to how we should go about fixing it. Those who are tired of complaining about how broken our healthcare system is have set about looking for new ways to address chronic disease conditions.”

“The World Health Organization acknowledges the increased demand for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and has issued the following definition of CAM. “the sum total of knowledge, skill, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.”

“The WHO further acknowledges that globally Traditional Medicine, along with Complementary and Alternative Medicine are far more accessible to people in need of healthcare intervention than allopathic medicine. There are a number of reasons for that, the most common reasons in the Western World are the astronomical increases in doctor visits, diagnostic testing and prescription medications, along with accessibility to good healthcare.

“The WHO have set out a strategy to research alternative modalities and encourage education and training for these practices. The National Library of Medicine confirms the agenda of the WHO [World Health Organization] in promoting CAM therapies and the board of the WHO makes reference to the fact that theses systems of medicine not be undervalued by medical professionals.

“Some of the reasons cited for an uptake in the use of Traditional Medicine and CAM therapies by patients are that doctors are not investing enough time to listen to the patient. There are strict time restraints set out for appointments that does not allow the patient to bond with their medical practitioner. The fact that a prescription is always issued at the end of the short visit without detailed information on the pros and cons associated with the prescription drug further frustrates the patient. Patients complain about numerous appointments scheduled for follow up visits, repeat diagnostic testing, along with referrals to other doctors. More patients are embracing CAM as a more economical way to address health imbalances and often times they are not subjected to debilitating side effects as a result of taking medications for extended periods of time.

“Other reasons given for the use of a more natural or less invasive approach to healing, includes the efficacy of Traditional Medicines and CAM therapies for health imbalances. The maintenance and self care offered between office visits, are fast becoming the reason to opt for CAM over the long-term use of medications. Many patients express they are tired of the same medical routine with little, to sometimes no reduction in their symptoms.

“Bermudians are in search of value for their healthcare dollars these days. Many locals look to paying out of pocket to address healthcare issues with medical practitioners overseas, in countries that provide excellent healthcare for a third, or up to one half the cost of what they would pay on island. This includes airfare, accommodation, food and transportation. Let us not overlook the fact that thousands of Bermudians are either under insured, or simply cannot afford health insurance in Bermuda.

“Having drawn attention to the dismissal of CAM therapies by many medical professionals for the most part, let me not omit the more recent integration of these therapies into mainstream medicine by local medical physicians. We are now seeing an increase in medical doctors embracing CAM as a way of offering more options to their patients. For patients seeking a more holistic, inclusive relationship with their medical doctor, this is a welcomed and refreshing approach to treating chronic disease conditions. It has the potential of shifting the axis from total dependency on prescription drugs and medical intervention, to a partnership between the physician and the patient that can lead to more positive, long-term beneficial outcomes regarding the patients health status.

“Please note that integrated medicine, or CAM applications to chronic diseases is not effective for everyone. Persons who benefit the most must make a commitment to following the CAM regime recommended to them by their practitioner. There are no miracle cures available through the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Life style changes play a major role in reducing or reversing chronic diseases.

“CAM approaches to healthcare can be explored on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at the National Sports Centre, Roberts Avenue, Devonshire. The health forum will focus on Traditional Medicine and Complementary and Alternative Medicine modalities available in Bermuda through Medical Doctors and Alternative Medicine practitioners. The event will be open to the public from 11:00am until 5:00pm, admission is $5.00 per person at the door.”

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