There are a number of people suffering from various health issues that continuously seek solutions to their serious medical problems. Although conventional hard sciences offer a wide array of remedies, many could still not find the best answers to their conditions, and instead of relying heavily on conformist medical practices, some opt to give alternative medicine a chance.
This, perhaps, is the reason why medical treatments in Israel, China, the Philippines, and other parts of Asia, and even of the world, now include non-traditional and non-biomedical modes of healing.
In Israel, alternative medicine is now gaining acceptance and popularity. In fact, in selected universities and healthcare institutions, the practice of CAM or complementary and alternative medicine is now formally introduced.
This is a sign that the society becomes more open in embracing medical procedures that deviate from the traditional and conventional means of addressing health concerns anchored in the principles of biomedical systems.
Complementary or alternative medicine has various fields as it may pertain to (1) the use of natural and organic materials for healing, more commonly known as herbal medicine; or (2) methods of striking a perfect balance among physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual health resulting in having healthier body.
Herbal medicine or herbalism, basically, is the use of plants for medicinal purposes, rooted in the assumption that most mainstream pills used for treating minor and major diseases are derived from the same sources.
Only, in herbal medicine, the process is more natural and not much chemicals are added. The only problem with this approach is that up to now, most of herbal medicines cannot establish therapeutic claims due to lack of studies and scientific evidence pointing to the effectiveness of plants as cures for illnesses.
Apart from herbalism, another variety of complementary medicine in Israel has something to do with spiritual practices to maintain the balance in the body. Unlike most medical procedures which are done after the disease or the illness has been acquired, this form of complementary medicine is performed while the physical body is still considered healthy and the main goal is to prevent any serious health problems by regularly practicing habits that contribute to strengthening the body and the spirit to fight any possible health issue.
Although CAM is welcomed in Israel, there are still problems related to it. For instance, even if it is technically accepted, medical practitioners see it as the last resort. This means that CAM is considered only after all biomedical systems have been exhausted. It still remains to be the “last option,” and taken only when all the hopes of getting cured from medical science approaches have failed.
Another problem is the insurance system which does not very well encourage the use and practice of complementary and alternative medicine. Despite this, there are alternative healthcare institutions that are accredited by HMOs.
Indeed, alternative medicine still has a long way in Israel, but the acceptance of the society is a very good sign telling that in the very near future, CAM may operate at the level where conventional biomedical practices function.