Alternative Medicine is becoming more and more popular. Two of the options available are Osteopathic And Homeopathic Medicine. This article compares the differences between osteopathic and homeopathic medicine. There are additional links within the article and at the end offering information about Alternative Medicine.
osteopathic- A system of medicine based on the theory that disturbances in the musculoskeletal system affect other bodily parts, causing many disorders that can be corrected by various manipulative techniques in conjunction with conventional medical, surgical, pharmacological, and other therapeutic procedures.
Osteopathic medicine is a branch of the medical profession in the United States. Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states and are recognized in fifty-five other countries, including all Canadian provinces.
Frontier physician Andrew Taylor Still founded the profession as a radical rejection of the prevailing system of medical thought of the 19th century. Still’s techniques relied heavily on the manipulation of joints and bones to diagnose and treat illness, and he called his practices “osteopathy”. By the middle of the 20th century, the profession had moved closer to mainstream medicine, adopting modern public health and biomedical principles. American “osteopaths” became “osteopathic physicians”, gradually achieving full practice rights as medical doctors in all 50 states, including serving in the U.S. armed forces as physicians.
In the 21st century, the training of osteopathic physicians in the United States is very similar to that of their M.D. counterparts. Osteopathic physicians attend 4 years of medical school followed by at least 3 years of residency. They use all conventional methods of diagnosis and treatment. Though still trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM), the modern derivative of Still’s techniques, a minority of osteopathic physicians use it in actual practice.
Osteopathic medicine is considered by some in the United States to be both a profession and a social movement, especially for its historically greater emphasis on primary care and holistic health. However, any distinction between the M.D. and the D.O. professions has eroded steadily; diminishing numbers of D.O. graduates enter primary care fields, fewer use OMM, holistic patient care models are increasingly taught at M.D. schools, and increasing numbers of osteopathic graduates choose to train in non-osteopathic residency programs.
Discussions about the future of osteopathic medicine frequently debate the utility of maintaining a separate, distinct pathway for educating physicians in the United States. Studies have repeatedly shown that many recent osteopathic medical graduates are either uninterested in or reluctant to embrace an identity distinct from their M.D. counterparts. The rapid expansion in the number and size of schools has raised questions as to the quality of education at certain newer private osteopathic medical schools. Leaders within the osteopathic community have referred to the present situation as a crisis. Another contentious topic has been for-profit medical education, which osteopathic accreditors permit.
homeopathic- A system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in massive amounts produces symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease itself.
Homeopathy (also spelled homoeopathy or homœopathy; from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- “like-” + páthos πάθος “suffering” ) is a form of alternative medicine originated by Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), based on the hypothesis that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure that disease in sick people. This hypothesis is known as “the law of similars” or “like cures like”. Scientific research has found homeopathic remedies ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action implausible. Conventional medicine generally considers homeopathy to be quackery.
Homeopathic remedies are prepared by serial dilution in alcohol or distilled water, followed by forceful striking on an elastic body, called “succussion”. Each dilution followed by succussion is assumed to increase the remedy’s potency. Homeopaths call this process “potentization”. Dilution usually continues well past the point where none of the original substance remains. Apart from the symptoms, homeopaths consider the patient’s physical and psychological state and life history, consult homeopathic reference books known as “repertories”, and select a remedy based on the “totality of symptoms” as well as traits of the patient.
The low concentrations of homeopathic remedies, often lacking even a single molecule of the diluted substance, lead to an objection that has dogged homeopathy since the 19th century: how, then, can the substance have any effect? Modern advocates of homeopathy have suggested that “water has a memory”—that during mixing and succussion, the substance leaves an enduring effect on the water, perhaps a “vibration”, and this produces an effect on the patient. However, nothing like water memory has ever been found in chemistry or physics. Conventional medicine has found that higher doses usually cause stronger effects, whereas homeopathy claims the opposite.
Homeopathic remedies have been the subject of numerous clinical trials, which test the possibility that they may be effective through some mechanism unknown to conventional science. These studies have generally found that homeopathic remedies perform no better than placebos, although there have been a few positive results. Because of the extremely high dilutions, most homeopathic remedies are, at least, harmless. Patients who favor homeopathic cures over conventional medicine do, however, incur some risk of delaying diagnosis and effective treatment.The regulation and prevalence of homeopathy vary greatly from country to country.
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