In developed countries, physical well-being is predominant, with little emphasis on the mental aspects. This means that the people in these countries spend less time talking about their feelings, feeling better or taking responsibility for their health. Health care in the United States is very expensive and most people do not have a clear idea as to how much they are paying for it. It is difficult for an insured individual to obtain adequate information about the cost of health care and the benefits that he or she may receive. Very few Americans have been aware that health insurance is available to them through private companies, and this has led to a situation where most people are uninsured.
Mental health is closely associated with physical health. It is very important for the society to develop good medical and mental care because only then can people survive in the long run. The modern world has introduced a number of sophisticated technologies, most of which are alien to our lives. Despite these technological developments, medicine and its role in providing well-being remain a mystery to most people.
People know that modern medicine offers treatments for diseases but many still do not understand how it works or what it does to their bodies. People should be made aware that biomedical research is continuing at a rapid pace to unravel the mysteries surrounding medicine and its impact on the human body. Advances in modern medicine have helped mankind fight numerous health problems and disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. There is also a widespread use of technology in medicine, especially in diagnosing and treating the various diseases and disorders. In fact, there are more computerization and analysis of data in medicine today than there is in previous centuries.
All the advances in medicine do not mean that patients’ health is safe. Some diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV and AIDS are incurable. However, advances in modern medicine have made it possible to treat such diseases with precision and successfully. However, some health professionals use pharmaceuticals to suppress the symptoms of a disease while conventional medicine tries to cure it. This leads to a vicious cycle wherein the patient’s health deteriorates while the health professionals use pharmaceuticals to suppress his or her symptoms.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) on the other hand, treats health problems by using natural products that help the patient achieve a balance of mind, body and spirit. CAM may consist of herbal remedies, naturopathy, meditation, acupuncture, yoga, Reiki, qi gong, homeopathy, nutrition, home prescribing, physical exercises and other alternative methods such as fasting, diet, food supplements and lifestyle counseling. Many other practitioners also believe that CAM is just as good as modern medicine. However, CAM remains controversial and much depends on the culture in which it is practiced. Although there is no clear-cut answer as to whether CAM is more effective than modern medicine, both complementary and traditional modes of medicine are still widely used by health care professionals.