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Non-Western Therapies for Affective Disorders: In Pursuit of Open-Minded Considerations of Concepts and Applications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014

Abstract

Introduction: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities are gaining popularity among patients in Western countries. They are especially popular among patients seeking treatment for mental and mood symptoms. Some CAMs are according to current Western approaches but have not achieved approval by regulatory agencies. Some other modalities are acording to non-Western concepts of mental order and disorder. This installment of “The Well-Rounded Brain” will illuminate some non-Western concepts with an example of treatment modality for affective disorders, and compare them to conventional Western approach.

Methods: Principles of the Chinese concept of affective disorders and acupuncture modalities for their treatments are briefly described from a culturally sensitive perspective.

Results: Traditional Chinese medicine and current conventional Western medicine substantially differ in underlying concepts, development of treatment modalities, as well as their goals and implementation.

Conclusion: Some non-Western concepts and treatment modalities have been meticulously and rigorously developed through trial and error, though the evidence for their efficacy and efficiency is not necessarily according to current Western standards. The consistent epidemiological demonstrations of the demand for CAM among patients suffering from mental disorders call for an open-minded, unbiased assessment of efficacy of non-Western treatment modalities for specific clusters of affective symptoms.

Type
The Well-Rounded Brain
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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