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Alternative therapy: Separating the wheat from the chaff

terapia-alternativa

Recently the Minister of Health for Valencia, Carmen Montón, caused a stir by calling certain therapies “medical pseudo sciences”, including phytotherapy (plant based medicine) which is actually the foundation for today’s medicine.


Our understanding is that so-called alternative therapy can be divided into 3 categories:


1. Those that include the use of products that have a physiological effect and have been scientifically proven (phytotherapy, micotherapy and scientific aromatherapy). Obviously, we are not talking about products that you can find in the supermarket or in a health food shop but rather those that have the TPM approval (traditional plant based medication) that are only sold in pharmacies.


2. Secondly, there are techniques that do not have any direct physiological effect, only indirect. These are techniques that aim to reduce stress, improve your body posture and your approach to life, they also help to establish a better quality of life in order to reduce the chances of developing certain illnesses. These types of therapy are effective on a physiological level in the mid-term, not immediately and should never substitute scientifically proven treatment. These are therapies such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi etc.


3. Thirdly, there are therapies that are a health risk which are offered by supposed professionals capable of playing with something as precious as someone’s health when they are seriously ill. These people have no training of any kind or none that is officially recognised and will go so far as to promise that leukaemia can be cured by taking vitamins for 3 months.

Unfortunately, health care workers have detected a growing number of people that will believe anything they hear when their health is suffering.


If we normallybelieve what qualified health workers tell us, we should also think about the occasional lack of empathy they can show towards patients and how quick they are to reject trusted methods and therapies. At the same time, the patient should also be aware of two things: that illness and death are part of life and when we are feeling vulnerable we should be aware that the person telling us what we want to hear is not necessarily the person that is going to help us get better.

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

English translation: Nicola Mcgrath

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“VICTORIA GONZALEZ DE BUITRAGO MARTINEZ ha sido beneficiario del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional cuyo objetivo es mejorar el uso y la calidad de las tecnologías de la información y de las comunicaciones y el acceso a las mismas y gracias al que ha desarrollado un proyecto de Presencia web a través de página propia y de Servicio de promoción online mediante sistema de pago (SEM), para la mejora de competitividad y productividad de la empresa. 08/01/2019. Para ello ha contado con el apoyo del programa TIC Cámaras de la Cámara de Comercio de Valencia.” - Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional - Una manera de hacer Europa.

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