Time for Healing: Integrating Traditional Therapies with Scientific Medical Practice

By Carl Becker | Go to book overview

3.
The Integration of Holistic and
Conventional Health Care
Restraining Forces,
Impelling Forces, and Lessons Learned

R. Paul Thomlinson, Ph.D.

Burrell Behavioral Health


Introduction

Health care innovators and change agents have always been the target of the dominant sector of the establishment, whose goal often appears to be condemnation of any clinical approaches or philosophies that fall outside the prevailing paradigm. Many well-known historical exemplars support this contention; Andreas Vesalius was condemned as a heretic for correcting erroneous sixteenth century anatomical dogma, and the “father of modern surgery,” Ambroise Paré, was ridiculed for his precocious use of ligature instead of cauterization during surgical procedures. So it should not be surprising that many attempts to move the biomedical-oriented health care establishment to a more holistic enterprise have been a source of debate, denunciation, and controversy.

Recently, for example, Barrett (2000) condemns alternative medicine proponents for having “…strayed from scientific thought. The factors that motivate them can include delusional thinking, misinterpretation of personal experience, financial considerations, and pleasure derived from notoriety and/or patient adulation.” According to Cohen (1998), “In recent years, holistic providers have

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