How do we understand health in relation to society? What role does culture play in shaping our experiences of, and orientation to, health and illness? How do we understand medicine and medical treatment within a sociological framework?
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
[Page 175]Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a form of medicine that is commonly juxtaposed with biomedicine. The introduction of the 1858 Medical Registration Act in England defined and regulated the diversity of ideas and practices that formed the basis for scientific medicine. The Act established a General Council of Medical Registration and Education (the GMC), distinguished qualified from unqualified practitioners, and provided the former with legal rights and duties. Mesmerism, spiritualism and other therapeutic approaches, as well as a vast range of ‘cures’ and patent medicines that competed for the public's attention, were now grouped together ...