Social Interactions Between Alternative Therapists and Patients Thesis

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Social Interactions Between Alternative Therapists and Patients

The goal of the research in this work has as its focus interactions that take place among natural and social groups. This work will study a social group in its natural state and natural setting; ethnography seeks to describe culture in its terms. The statement of thesis in this work is that 'The holistic nature of the practice of acupuncture occurs within a paradigm that critically requires effective communication between the patient and the physician in order to effect successful results from this form of treatment and this is because this type of treatment is 'whole' patient treatment geared toward balance within the individual's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self in what is a 'whole' body treatment method. First impressions of the social interaction upon observation lends a view that this social system is what makes acupuncture so popular and while this is true there is more than meets the eye as this social interaction between the patient and practitioner is the very 'enabler' of this method of treatment which is dependent upon effective communication and a level of trust that the patient vests in the practitioner as the practitioner attempts to address the problems that the patient is coping with on several levels which includes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of the individual presenting for acupuncture treatment.' The literature reviewed in this study indicates that communication is increased between patients and practitioners during the course of acupuncture and other alternative holistic forms and methods of treatment as compared to communication between patient and doctors in conventional methods of treatment. Frank and Stollberg (nd) state findings that include a variation in the relationship of physician and patient exists across the various forms of alternative treatment and that the differences in these relationships are due to "the social standing and the conceptual features of each form of complementary medicine..." It is likely as noted in this study that the increase of patient-physician interaction is very much market-based and derived from the knowledge that patients desire more communication and interaction from physicians than traditionally and historically experienced with traditional physicians. Lack of study in this area is attributed to the lack of measures by which to assess the layers of evidence existing within the paradigm of this type of alternative treatment form. The limitations of this study include the inability to find but only a few reliable sources to give evidence and reason to the popularity of acupuncture in Southern California- which is still something the researcher desired to focus on.

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS BETWEEN ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS and PATIENTS

OBJECTIVE

The goal of the research in this work has as its focus interactions that take place among natural and social groups. This work will study a social group in its natural state and natural setting; ethnography seeks to describe culture in its terms.

STATEMENT of THESIS

The holistic nature of the practice of acupuncture occurs within a paradigm that critically requires effective communication between the patient and the physician in order to effect successful results from this form of treatment and this is because this type of treatment is 'whole' patient treatment geared toward balance within the individual's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self in what is a 'whole' body treatment method. First impressions of the social interaction upon observation lends a view that this social system is what makes acupuncture so popular and while this is true there is more than meets the eye as this social interaction between the patient and practitioner is the very 'enabler' of this method of treatment which is dependent upon effective communication and a level of trust that the patient vests in the practitioner as the practitioner attempts to address the problems that the patient is coping with on several levels which includes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of the individual presenting for acupuncture treatment.

SETTING

This study will take place at AAA Acupuncture Clinic in West Hollywood, California. This clinic has been in business for more than 10 years in this particular location. The researcher will observe at the waiting room, front desk, doctor's office, and inside the treatment room.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Questions addressed in this research study include the questions of: (1) What are the social mechanism between patients and therapists at the AAA Acupuncture Clinic and how that may help to explain the phenomenon of acupuncture's (and perhaps other alternative medicine) popularity in Southern California? (2).Why do people come in to the clinic in the first place? How did they get here? (Doctor recommendation, ads, etc.) Why are they interested in acupuncture to treat their ailments? What attracted them to acupuncture? And (3) Do the patients normally visit "regular" doctors? or, do they usually get acupuncture treatments? - or, in what situations do they visit "regular" doctors as opposed to acupuncture doctors? What are the medical differences in treatments? Are there social differences in treatment? (i.e. How much face interaction time is spent? How much time they get to talk to the doctor about their problem?)

PARTICIPANTS

Participants will be comprised by all individuals who are employed at AAA Acupuncture Clinic including the acupuncture doctor, two massage therapists, and secretary. Also, participants include any patients who come in while I was there at the clinic to make observations for this study. The researcher will fill the role of participant-as-observer by participating in getting acupuncture treatments, moxibustion, cupping, and massage.

APPARATUS/INSTRUMENT voice recorder has been used in this study for the purpose of taping the interviews for personal use, and which were deleted after the concluding the study. During the observation, notes were recorded on paper and typed up on the computer to document personal feelings and observations. A question list was used to guide the interview.

PROCEDURES

The researcher went to the clinic whenever the researcher had available time to make observations. The researcher asked each patient there whether they were willing and had the time to answer some questions for the study being conducted about acupuncture. The researcher interviewed all the patients who were willing. Additionally, the researcher asked the participants whether they were willing to let the researcher record them on tape... some people felt uncomfortable with the recording but the researcher was able to get most interviews recorded.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK/RATIONALE

The researcher in this study desires to provide an explanation for the reason that acupuncture along with other alternative medicine and holistic practices is a growing trend. The paradigms of micro- and macro-theory and the third of symbolic interactionism are examined in this study and from much the same perspective of inquiry as utilized by qualitative researcher Mary P. Guerrera in hopes of 'filling in the blanks' through the experience of 'being' through observation of the acupucturer through attempting to observe the process in which Guerrera is one of healing that is derived in the interaction that takes place between the medical practitioner and the patient.

INTRODUCTION

Acupuncture is an ancient method of healing that has its roots in China but is increasingly being utilized as well as "growing in popularity and acceptance in the U.S. As a complement or an alternative to western medicine." (Dower, 2003) Dower (2003) defines acupuncture as "a treatment modality and broadly described as a comprehensive approach to health and healing." According to Dower acupuncture "means the stimulation of certain point or points on or near the surface of the body by the insertion of needles to prevent or modify the perception of pain or to normalize physiological functions, including pain control for the treatment of certain diseases of dysfunctions of the body and includes the techniques of electoacupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion." (Dower, 2003)

The diagnostics utilized within the realm of acupuncture "take into consideration the personal as a whole, not just isolated systems." (Dower, 2003) Upon licensure by the legislature, acupuncture has been recognized as "a comprehensive healing system and the legislative act provides a "framework for the practice of the art and science of oriental medicine through acupuncture." (Dower, 2003) the licensed acupuncturist is authorized "to engage in the practice of acupuncture and also "[t]o perform or prescribe the use of oriental massage, acupressure, breathing techniques, exercise, heat, cold, magnets, nutrition, diet, herbs, plant, animal, and mineral products, and dietary supplements [but not including synthetic compounds, controlled substances or dangerous drugs] to promote, maintain, and restore health." (Dower, 2003)

BACKGROUND to the STUDY

The American Medical Association states of acupuncture as follows:

Acupuncture is a component of the health care system of China that can be traced back for at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture is used to correct imbalances of qi flow at identifiable anatomical locations on and just below the skin, the acupuncture points, by the stimulation of a variety of techniques. The most… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Social Interactions Between Alternative Therapists and Patients.  (2008, September 9).  Retrieved December 12, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-interactions-alternative-therapists/177487

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"Social Interactions Between Alternative Therapists and Patients."  9 September 2008.  Web.  12 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-interactions-alternative-therapists/177487>.

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"Social Interactions Between Alternative Therapists and Patients."  Essaytown.com.  September 9, 2008.  Accessed December 12, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-interactions-alternative-therapists/177487.