The Meaning of Natural Medicine. An Interpretative Study.
Having served as an educator in natural medicine in Australia for close to three decades, I have for most of that time grappled with the paucity of documented material that describes and elucidates just what it is that practitioners of natural or complementary medicine offer to patients.
Having taught in such areas as Western herbal medicine, history and principles of osteopathy, history and philosophy of medicine, and qualitative research methods in several theatres throughout that time, I was acutely aware of the limited scope and nature of the documented resources that were then available to both educators and students in the complementary medicines.
I therefore leapt at the opportunity to further my own knowledge and understanding of the philosophical and pragmatic bases of natural medicine when offered entry into a Master of Health Science by Research program at Victoria University during the 1990s. At that time, Victoria University had developed undergraduate programs in traditional Chinese medicine and osteopathic medicine and had in place a strong and committed undergraduate program in holistic nursing.
There were also available a small number of graduate programs in complementary medicine, and there was a receptive attitude to the development of further such programs within the Health Sciences Department.
This thesis provided the framework around which the book “Holism and Complementary Medicine” was constructed. It is offered as a further resource to students, practitioners and lovers of natural medicine. It provides an early and tentative exploration of the understandings of a number of educator/practitioners of several modalities of natural medicine regarding what they do and why they do it.
It is hoped that by making this thesis more widely available, senior and graduate students of the modalities of complementary medicine who are particularly drawn to qualitative epistemologies and modes of research will find encouragement to pursue their passion. It is hoped that this will thereby further the development of a new way of medicine that is more focussed upon the human than the technical, the empathic than the cerebral, the holistic than the symptomatic dimensions of the healing project.
The Story Behind this Story
The Therapeutic Relationship in Natural Medicine
The Therapeutic Mission
Holism and Reductionism in Medicine
Paradigms in Transition?
Effectiveness and Validation in the Natural Medicines
Education in the Natural Medicines
Professionalism and Regulation in the Natural Medicines
The Renewal of Medicine
The Meaning of Natural Medicine