There are two major philosophical differences between allopathic medicine and “alternative” medicine: 1. Allopathic medicine constantly treats the disease, not the individual whereas “alternative” holistic approaches maintain the connectedness of the human being to its environment, both internal and external; and 2. Allopathic medicine believes in simple, one cause disease states whereas “alternative” holistic medicine purports a multifactorial etiological model of disease. Simply put, stress causes disease and so does bad water, bad air, bad food, bad parenting and bad society.
Allopathic medicine relies heavily on research-based practice, or they say they do. Much has been written about the lack of evidence-based practice and iatrogenic causes of disease states. (Inlander, et al. 1988). Proof of the effectiveness of any alternative to allopathic approaches comes in the form of clinical trials, wherein controversial techniques and methods are subjected to the “rigorous” scientific methods used by western scientists. The ability for any scientific experiment to render absolute results is, of course, questionable, as we learn more and more about the nature of physical reality. Modern physics has dashed any hope of ever disassociating scientific observation (the observing mind) from the observed (matter). How this nearly one hundred year-old discovery will translate into the philosophy of allopathic medicine practice is yet to be seen.
Hippocrates’ discomfort with the prevailing belief of his day, that supernatural possession causes disease, made him an adamant proponent of the natural cause of disease states. He was most comfortable with the notion that within man resides an innate healing capacity. This he observed and endeavored to promote in his method and system of disease prevention and cure. Hippocrates is considered the father of western medicine; his view informed the practices of physicians for over two millennia and still informs the philosophies of most healing systems of our day with the exception of modern western medicine, the main driving force behind the allopathic model.Conventional Allopathic Vs. “Alternative” Holistic Health Care — Alison Hazelbaker, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA, CST-T, RCST, PPNE