I can't help but think about those of us that don't use or believe in Western medicine. Will people be penalized for rejecting the medical paradigm of Western medicine?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a fairly loaded question because it encompasses so much.  I would suggest that any answer that forces a choice between traditional medicine and Western medicine might be missing the point.  If the debate comes down to having to choose one or the other, it seems to me that this is an binary paradigm where there is nothing new being offered. In the end, I do believe that the pursuit of wellness is nothing at which there should be a policy of closing off any and all alternatives.  One thing that globalization has taught us is that there can be integration.  One can have temples that are over 3000 years old next door to a Domino's Pizza.  Integration of what is considered "East" into what is considered "West" is entirely possible.  This might be where better health can be generated.  There is a way to integrate both paradigms in health wellness.  The rapid proliferation of yoga clinics and Ayurvedic health centersthroughout the West and the emergence of more clinics and areas where Tylenol and Advil are sold in the East demonstrate this.  Wellness is not something where avenues and opportunities can be closed off. Instead, there can be a way in which there is an integrative approach in which people can examine elements of both paradigms and use informed decision making to determine which approach works best for them.  Naturally, this will require research, thoughtful analysis, and consultation.  There will be resistance, for a Doctor in the West might not understand the need or purpose of a Shaman or in Guru Raghavendra's mrithika sand.  In much the same way, I am not sure a practitioner of the traditional Chinese approach to health will automatically embraced the need for ADHD medicine.  Yet, the patient must decide through their own understanding of their needs and what is best the path to choose.  In this demonstration of informed decision making, I think that some level of synthesis can be designed.  The saddest of stories exist when someone had an opportunity to embrace medical wellness, regardless of culture, and chose not to take it with sickness as the result.  This is the predicament that should be avoided and in embracing an approach that seeks to understand as many viable health options as possible, there might be a greater chance where neither paradigm is fully rejected and better wellness is the result.