PERSUASIVE SPEECH- Alternative Medicine

Outline purpose: To persuade my audience to consider alternative medicine over conventional medicine.

Conventional medicine offers the best medicine in surgeries or trauma care and treats immune health-related conditions routinely consisting of prescribed drugs or recommended medical procedures, which are often invasive. While sometimes this is necessary, they can lead to long-term management with an improvement in symptoms at the cost of side effects, which often require more drugs. Conventional medicine targets treating symptoms, not the underlying causes. It treats the human body in parts, and not as a whole.

On the other hand, alternative medicine approaches medical treatment by placing its focus primarily on proactive measures. It treats the conditions not the symptoms; this treatment is holistic, it targets the whole body and attempts to treat the root cause of the health issue so that the body can ultimately heal itself. The results can be measured as a reduction or elimination of drugs, improved vitality and/or a complete reversal of disease. Alternative medicine is also cost effective. Other names for alternative doctors are: naturopathic doctors and holistic practitioners.

The mainstream view of medicine has convinced American women that menopause is a medical condition and that childbirth is a medical emergency. It has convinced parents that antibiotics should be given to children at the slightest sign of a cold, even though there are no drugs for viral infections, which cause the vast majority of colds. Mainstream medicine has also convinced most people that death itself is a medical emergency, a medical condition that must be monitored, controlled, and regulated. The gateways to and from life itself seem to have been claimed as the private property and domain of one special type of health care.

Chemotherapy is used widely to treat cancer and tumors. The theory of this powerful toxin “attacking” tumors is the illusion used to sell the procedure to frightened, panicked cancer patients: that this poison will kill the tumor. However, there are two problems with this analogy. First, no chemotherapy has ever been invented that is specific for the tumor; the whole body is subjected to poison. That is why people get sick; lose their hair and their digestive systems. The second problem is that the tumor regresses a little, but when the chemo wears off, the tumor returns with a vengeance.

A study was done in 1994; a 12-year period of study was conducted on adult cancer patients. They did a meta-analysis of all the people around the world who had developed cancer and were treated with chemo. They published the results in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. They results revealed shockingly that 97% of the time, chemo does not work. Why is it still used? Peter Glidden, a doctor and author of ‘The MD Emperor Has No Clothes’ blows the whistle on chemotherapy and says that it is still used purely because of money. He explains that when a doctor prescribes an antibiotic, the doctor gets no financial kickback. However, if he prescribes 5000 of the antibiotic in one month, the drug company might send him a package but he does not get any direct payments. With chemotherapy and drugs, it is different. Chemotherapeutic drugs are the only classification of drugs that the prescribing doctor gets a direct cut off. (Awareness Act, 2016)

Alternative medical therapies provide patients with the generous rhetorical embrace of a benevolent “nature.” In alternative medicine, nature is innocent and wholesome and is the symbol of virtue (Twigg, 1979). The belief encodes a clear set of moral polarities: natural versus artificial, pure versus toxic, organic versus synthetic, low-technology versus high-technology, and coarse versus processed. Nature is the defining metaphor for many alternative medicines. The health food movement articulates the superiority of “natural food” (Whorton, 1982) Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Alternative medicine also offers a person threatened by illness or disease a connection with fundamentally gentle, lawful, coherent, potent, and even meaningful powers (Kaptchuk, 1996). When illness isolates, alternative health care allows a rescuing connection to life-supporting cosmic forces. This vital energy takes many forms: homeopathy speaks of a “spiritual vital essence” (Hahnemann, 1980), chiropractic refers to the “innate” (Palmer, 1910) and acupuncture is said to involve the flow of “qi”(Unschuld, 1985). Ayurvedic medicine is based on the power called “prana”(Filliozat, 1964) while new age healing practices work with “psychic” or “astral” energies (Glik, 1988). The alternative alliance routinely claims that its methods rely on enhancing “life forces” as opposed to “destroying” them with artificial drugs and surgery (Brown, 1995).

Participants in alternative healing create a form of religiosity in their quest for health. Vitamins, dietary supplements, and exercise regimens become daily activities of affirmation, assurance, and commitment (Kaptchuk and Eisenberg, 1998).Dietary regimens, which can seemingly rely on brown rice or raw fruit juices, become liturgical acts of recognition with deeper implications for social, moral, and spiritual redemption (Dubisch, 1981).

Therefore, instead of being influenced by the health systems that may at times not always have our best interests at heart, we should take a personal initiative in investing in our health and lifestyles. Our supermarkets are full of artificial foods that could potentially harm us in the long-term. Knowing about good nutritional values, the importance of certain herbs and regular physical activity and sufficient sleep are all key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

by Liz Ngichiri