Issues in complementary and alternative medicine
Issues in complementary and alternative medicine

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Issues in complementary and alternative medicine

2.4 Ownership, control and ideas about the body

This section focuses on the extent to which a person becomes invisible when a practitioner rigidly adheres to a specific view of health and disease, and fails to accept that others (specifically the person they are treating) may have different ideas about illness or, indeed, about their body. The imposition of a fixed view of illness and disease can be extremely disempowering for people seeking help.

Activity 7: Conflict over treatments

0 hours 25 minutes

Think about times when you visited orthodox health care practitioners and CAM therapists or were a hospital inpatient. Make notes on situations when you thought the treatment you received was not what you wanted, or you were ‘out of control’, or your personal views and wishes were ignored.


At some time in their lives most people experience unease at receiving medical treatment or advice they are not very happy with. It can feel as though you have disappeared behind your symptoms, especially if what you say is not taken seriously or you are left out of discussions about your own body. Also, it can be hard to insist on what you want when the ‘professionals’ seem to have a fixed view about what is the appropriate form of treatment. Examples of this include being prescribed drugs you are not happy with; being forced to submit to examinations or procedures that you do not want; and being treated in a way that makes you feel your body and your symptoms, rather than you as a person, are of much more interest to the practitioner.


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