Complementary while they wait for a surgery or

            Complementary and alternative medicine should be formally
provided as part of the mainstream health care. These methods are only helpful
to the patient, as they increase the recovery time and prevention of the issue for
the patient in healthy natural ways. Mainstream health care is a system in which
doctors follow to treat the patient’s illness or injury using techniques
involving drugs, radiation or surgery. Canada’s mainstream health care system not
only provides beneficial advantages for the population, but also has disadvantages
which may alter the publics’ decisions for health care treatment. On the rise, complementary
and alternative medicine are “diverse systems of diagnosis, treatment and
prevention based on philosophies and techniques other than those used in
conventional western medicine” (Strohschein, Weitz p.191). Three examples of
this treatment therapies are natural health products, mind and body practices,
and other complementary health approaches like homeopathy and naturopathy. In
order to better the mainstream healthcare system, complementary and alternative
medicine would give Canadians multiple resources to better their health.

            Canada’s mainstream health care system now involves only
a few standard ways of curing illness and injury which includes, drugs,
radiation and surgery. Under the health care system individuals are provided
with these methods along with dental surgery no matter what income, medical history
or standard of living is. Having complementary health care is lucky for Canadians;
however, the government should offer complementary and alternative medicine as
part of the standard mainstream health care system. This is where the
disadvantages of the mainstream health care come into play and could be fixed
if they incorporated alternative medicine. The mainstream health care may be
free but also suffers from long wait times to see a doctor, to get into
emergency rooms, etc. and even longer wait time for the problem to be solved. These
wait times may put the specific individual at risk while they wait for a
surgery or their condition may deteriorate with these long hours, or sometimes,
even days. These waits could be solved through the idea of adding alternative medicine
to the basic health care plan, as it would provide other remedies for treatment
at a faster pace – there is more than one option for alternative treatment,
therefore not everyone would be at the same place. The Canadian health care
system has only little disadvantage, however complementary and alternative medicine
can improve it significantly.

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            Unlike mainstream medicine, which is scientifically based
and focused on evidence, often using randomized trials to demonstrate the benefits
and harms of a treatment or procedure, alternative medicine consists of
practices claimed to have healing effects similar to medicine. Complementary
and alternative medicine is defined as any medical system, product or practice
that is not thought of as a standard form of care. There has been a significant
increase of some of the forms of alternative medicine, comparing the years of
1997, 2006 and 2016 (see Appendix A). Studies show that more than 70% of
Canadians regularly use complementary and alternative health care therapies
such as vitamins and minerals, herbal products, homeopathic medicines and other
health products to stay healthy and improve their quality of life. It is easy
to see numerous benefits of an individual choosing to use alternative medicine
to better their health. An advantage of this is something termed as “whole body
care”. Professionals and specialists of alternative medicine claim that not
just the physical body is affected by these practices but also the individuals
emotional and spiritual health. Another simple advantage of alternative medicine
is its focus on prevention. Traditional medicine often focuses on the aspect to
cure diseases as present, where as many types of alternative medicine encourage
individuals to get treatment which prevents disease before it can occur.

The
one of few disadvantages to alternative medicine is the lack of scientific
research – the main reason for limited information is because of the high
expense for research. Also, many types of alternative medicine have not yet
been scientifically proven, therefore there any many unanswered questions which
makes individuals uneasy about using these forms of medicine. Some people may
have doubts about complementary and alternative medicine but many people trust
the various amounts available as they have helped them significantly. From the
many types of complementary and alternative medicines available, the most
common are natural health products, mind and body practices, and other
complementary health approaches such as homeopathy and naturopathy.

Natural
health products are a popular alternative medicine that people are using in
order to restore and maintain a good, healthy lifestyle. These supplements are
known as vitamins and minerals, herbal medicines, probiotics, and amino acids,
among many others. Natural products can come in multiple forms, but widely
known in the types of tablets, capsules, creams and ointments. It is important
to know possible risks that are accompanied by such natural health products,
which may include manufacturing problems such as contamination, unproven claims
which may lead people to misuse the product, not enough information, or even
unwanted side effects such as an allergic reaction. However, it is important to
note that the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) of Health Canada has
developed regulations to ensure that all Canadians have ready access to natural
health products which are safe, effective and of high quality, all while respecting
freedom of choice and philosophical and cultural diversity.

Mind
and body practices is another type of complementary and alternative medicine. These
methods are used to enhance the health and well-being or manage health symptoms
and problems. Some methods of this are meditation, yoga, spinal manipulation,
acupuncture and massage therapy. Mind body practices has had studies done and
it shows that yoga can benefit cancer patients as this technique lowers
distress and improves quality of life. Some specific example is that it
improves their sleep causing them to be less tired and lower levels of the
stress hormone causing them to be happier just by doing yoga.