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Alternative Medicine - Definitions

by Vivienne Bradshaw-Black(more info)

listed in alternative medicine, originally published in issue 14 - August 1996

Orthodox medicine, which sees mind and body as separate entities, is based on Pasteur’s germ theory which has resulted in the £ multi-billion pharmaceutical industry which funds and controls modern medicine.

(In short – we are the random victims of external microbes and are dependent upon healing via external intervention – drugs, invasive techniques, surgery etc.)

Alternative medicine describes treatments which are not orthodox (main stream medicine). It is based on Bechamp’s polymorphism and terrain theories which acknowledges and works with the body’s own built-in healing mechanisms.

(In short – we are responsible for our health,  a cause and effect relationship.)

Wholistic [holistic] medicine addresses the individual whole person and not fragmented parts such as liver, bones, heart etc. Well people are seen as integrated, interactive whole entities on all planes. By its nature all holistic medicine is alternative (to orthodox) but not all alternative medicine is holistic.

(In short – holistic medicine has a different premise to orthodox, alternative or complementary medicine although some alternative medicine can have a holistic basis for its use.)

Complementary medicine is complementary to something else – usually orthodox treatment. Being complementary to orthodox, it comes from the alternatives and is the nearest to a foot in both camps of alternative and orthodox.


Complementary medicine is usually isolated alternative therapy/s in addition to orthodox treatment and is no threat to pharmaceutical profits or orthodox status quo and is generally tolerated. (If the patient wants it, it can’t do any harm.)

Alternative medicine tends to be drastically opposite to orthodox medicine and in some areas cannot be compatible with it. For example, this type of health care, using its own diagnosis and treatment, could be involved with tissue detoxification (e.g. of dental materials, drugs, vaccines, pesticides, chemicals), and with nutritional and metabolic restoration.

Whether practised by doctors or independently trained practitioners, this type of health care has met the wrath of the drug, dental and food processing industries. Orthodox medicine, dentistry and the food processing industries are BIG business (hundreds of billions of £s annually) and anything which would dent profits (and subsequent government revenue) is not tolerated lightly.

This in no way imputes motives of individuals, especially practitioners, many of whom are sincere and caring. However, many of these same individuals have had to go private in order to practice the type of medicine and dentistry that THEY see fit to practice. The history of how modern medicine got into this state makes very interesting reading.

Many have written books to make known their concerns:

BETRAYAL OF TRUST – Dr. Vernon Coleman.
RACKETEERING IN MEDICINE (Suppression of Alternatives) – Dr. James P. Carter
and many, many more.

This is not a knock at orthodoxy. The purpose of this talk is an explanation of alternative medicine which cannot make sense without a background. Information is all individuals need to make their own judgements. Information and not judgement is the purpose of this talk but information must be factual to be beneficial.

Because of the attempts to eradicate alternative medicine, much misinformation and ridicule has been aimed at the alternative health sector. It has had its enemies within, too, with defragmentation and the weird and whacky. The average person in the street has had little contact with the results of real alternative medicine and is sadly lacking in exposure to accurate information as far as health and sickness goes. This is slowly changing with a more open climate in the press and television. (However, the press and broadcasting companies can be, and have been, legally bound by the Department of Health [orthodoxy] on health matters!!) This scenario is international and the same in Britain, the United States, Australia, Europe etc.

Alternative and complementary medicine can both be used in the same way that orthodox medicine is used. That is to home in on the symptom and get rid of it as soon as possible using harmless methods instead of drugs (all of which have side effects). This is beneficial in that no harm is done, but just as useless in the long term if the message which the symptom carries has not been heeded.

Our Innate Blueprint

We are designed to be whole and healthy. Our bodies have built in repair and maintenance programmes. If you want to see one in action, look what happens next time you cut yourself. Why don’t you bleed to death? With this in mind, it is not difficult to understand that there is a cause for every effect, that is contrary to health.

Whereas orthodox medicine labels sickness with complicated terms and Latin names and tries to suppress symptoms with drugs, alternative medicine likens the symptoms to warning lights (like on a car dashboard) and looks for the cause of the warning. In this way symptoms are seen as innate safety and communication mechanisms to be understood rather than enemies to be feared and silenced. Then, working with mind and body with natural means (homeopathy, herbs, nutrition, stress release, lymphatic stimulation, toxin removal, lifestyle and attitude changes etc.) addresses the cause along with resulting alleviation of symptomatic problems.

Life is a journey on an individual basis. None of us has the same start. Our symptoms are as unique as our finger prints. Some we can broadly pigeon-hole, others are exceptions to the ‘rules’. For example:

a) all headaches do not have the same cause
b) mercury poisoning does not give the same symptoms in all people.

When dealing with people, one has to assess what is required. It may be that a person is wanting the warning light (symptom) switched off but is not yet ready to face the cause of that (warning) symptom in his/her life. A practitioner who understands this also has to assess what kind of help he/she is willing and/or able to give to others.

Unless we, as practitioners, are attempting to take responsibility for others (most unwise), we have to find out what service we can provide for those who seek out our help. Knowing that we will not prove suitable practitioners for all, is not only realistic but essential if we are not to feel burdened by ‘failures’.

Because we are all unique and are born and move at different rates, a narrow minded viewpoint on health matters is not very realistic.

The Health Practitioner

Any alternative practitioner has to learn the basics of anatomy and physiology along with other disciplines they will use. Alternative practitioners may learn homoeopathy, herbalism, kinesiology, electrodiagnosis, chiropractic, osteopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, body works, iridology, cymatics, gem therapy, electromagnet therapy, colour therapy, nutritional therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, stress release, counselling etc.

There is more than one way to skin a cat (horrible expression) so you may find individual alternative practitioners to be very different in their approaches.

As with typists to mechanics, there are the good, the bad and a range between. Ask plenty of questions if you are looking for a practitioner. Know what help you want whether it be from orthodox or alternative sources. Take responsibility for your own health and find the appropriate person to help and assist you.

Hopefully, you are a little more aware of the availability of choice in health matters:

Orthodox, complementary, alternative or holistic. The only way to know what you will get is to investigate before you partake. You would do that before buying a car – why not be just as involved with your health? There is a wealth of information available for a little time and effort.


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About Vivienne Bradshaw-Black

Vivienne Bradshaw-Black Cert Ed produced a health information course. She believes that the understanding of what causes health and what causes sickness can cut through the maze of confusion which dominates the sickness industry. Her desire is to teach this to those who choose health and offer contacts and support to individuals and groups taking responsibility for their own health choices. She can be contacted initially by email at

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