African American Alternative Medicine: Using Alternative Medicine to Prevent and Control Chronic Diseases

African American Alternative Medicine: Using Alternative Medicine to Prevent and Control Chronic Diseases

African American Alternative Medicine: Using Alternative Medicine to Prevent and Control Chronic Diseases

African American Alternative Medicine: Using Alternative Medicine to Prevent and Control Chronic Diseases

Synopsis

The author examines past and present traditional healthcare practices among African Americans from a research-based perspective. A cultural-historical review of the traditional African American alternative healthcare practices provides the framework for understanding current African American ethnomedical practices. New data from a variety of African American alternative health practitioners serving the community share their perspectives.

Excerpt

African American Alternative Medicine: Using Alternative Medicine to Prevent and Control Chronic Diseases is another teaching text and resource guide for students, health care professionals, health care researchers, health care policy makers, and the general public that examines alternative medical belief systems and practices from an African American perspective.

As I completed my first book with Greenwood Publishing (Bergin & Garvey imprint, 2000), Medical Anthropology and African American Health, I realized a unique opportunity to examine another compelling research issue associated with African Americans—alternative medicine. Although I had become aware of this issue years earlier when I was collecting my qualitative and quantitative health data among Detroit African Americans from 1984 to 1987 in a hypertension/health belief study, I was not aware of its significant role in health care seeking, health disparity, and, in particular, preventive health care maintenance among African Americans.

In addition, after I gave presentations, talks, and discussed the major themes of that book with individuals, groups, reporters, and other experts, I saw the “desperate need” to research alternative medicine in the United States, especially from an African American perspective. Thus, this book is actually an outgrowth of research issues related to my last book, as well as of comments, questions and inquiries from the public, and the general lack of serious public dialogue, public policy, and research agenda for African American alternative medicine and its potential in reducing and preventing major chronic diseases in the United States. Therefore, the major goal of this book is to examine African American alternative and complementary therapies from a clinical and cultural relativistic perspective.

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