Because our bodies are composed of chemical and physical reactions, holistic practitioners affirm that illness is not directly caused by pathogens such as viruses or bacterium; instead is the consequence of the body's reaction (in an effort to shield and heal itself) to a pathogen. Proponents of alternative healing modalities argue that the medical industrial complex willfully ignores natural, holistic approaches to health care, choosing instead to pursue more profitable treatments such as surgery and pharmaceuticals, treating symptoms and ignoring the cause to ensure that patients return for more procedures and prescriptions.
For all that most ails us, Alternative Medicine offers the balm of song and the salve of the imagination: from the wounds of our stubborn differences of identity, to the pain of alienation in a world of unfeeling technologies, to the shame of the persistent injustices in our society, Campo's poetry displays a deep understanding of hurt as the possibility for healing.
In fact, during the seven year period between 1990 and 1997, the percent of people utilizing alternative medicine strategies in the United States rose from 33.8% to 42.1%. Furthermore, more and more universities are offering coursework and even degrees in alternative medicine practices.
Surveys that evaluate students' knowledge bases and attitudes toward integrative medicine pre and post curriculum implementation may prove useful for assessing student competency and tracking student learning, especially if administered repeatedly over the course of a student's training.
While a patient with a cough would go to a traditional doctor and be advised to take a cough suppressant, for example, an alternative medicine practitioner might look into the underlying causes of the cough and help prevent it from coming back again.