Thursday, 20 March 2014

RESEARCH CAN PAY DIVIDENDS

Experience from the CAMs
Consider 'integrative medicine'

One way in which to think of Conductive Education is as a 'CAM' (complementary and alternative medicine). Doing so is not without its problems but it does at last offer people in the heath sciences and health professions a potentially helpful vantage point from which to consider CE. It also offers people in Conductive Education access to a broad range of variously analogous experiences, especially in the grim struggle of 'seeking recognition'.

An important analogous experience, with commonalities across the CAMs is the matter of 'research', something regarded as rather important in seeking recognition and an area in which CE remains fairly undeveloped. People in Conductive Education might therefore be interested to read a recent overview article by Peggy Welch, published today in the free online magazine Positive Health:


Onwards and upwards

CAMs have come a long way in the United Kingdom in terms of mainstream recognition, further than many may realise, and research has played a role in this progress –
Here in the UK, this has resulted in an increased acceptance of CAM within the NHS and even led to an endorsement of some as therapies recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence). The recent launch of the CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) means that the NHS now endorses properly trained practitioners as accepted for referral by NHS doctors representing a number of therapies: 
This is leading to a greater level of integration of some therapies by medical practitioners, creating a whole new vision of delivery, now often referred to as ‘Integrative Medicine’.

A brief but most useful directory of data bases in included, so you can judge the relevant research evidence available for yourselves.

All this takes time, measured better perhaps in generations rather than years – and a lot of hard work (not just from 'researchers'). Peggy Welch's upbeat and factual article offers refreshing encouragement on the long way.

Integrative medicine

Peggy Welsh's article also invokes the notion of 'integrative medicine', a concept that could perhaps benefit Conductive Education – especially if reconstrued, if only for the purposes of argument, in the form of 'integrative education'. This is now a not-insubstantial academic field, potentially highly heuristic for the successful development of CE in the modern world, not least the modern developing world.

For example, Paul Kadetz's recent cross-cultural analysis of the very different histories of integrative medicine in China, Cuba and the Philippines, offers background insights that throw considerable light upon the apparent ready 'recognition' of 'Oriental Conductive Education' in Mainland China and elsewhere in the Chinese world. Food for thought there, too, for those thinking of professional development and recognition in the developed economies –
...integration may ultimately be practised in as many ways as there are contexts. Furthermore, these contexts cannot be universalised, merely in order to adhere to a biomedical convention or standard, as illustrated in the research conducted in the Philippines. Thus, for health care integration to be successful, or at least not harmful, the particular may need to be given precedence over the universal...

The policy and processes of health care integration are not solely shaped by a biomedical agenda, but are very much a product of specific political, economic, philosophical, and cultural forces that may not be replicable from one context to another...

Thus, a universalised conception of health care integration must ultimately be reconsidered and reformulated to better accommodate local levels and ultimately provide improved access to health care, as was intended in the WHO's original conceptualisation of health care integration.

And almost as an afterthought, at the fundamental level of learning and healing, which is what tends to matter most to users and practitioners, there seems an affinity between the concepts of 'integrative' and 'conductive', whether they be applied to pedagogy or to therapy.

As ever, I have been slow to pick this up. I am sure, though,  that I have seen and heard in Germany the term integriert used in relation to the practice of konduktive Förderung. Have I been missing something?

As they say, more research is needed...

Reference

Kadetz, P. (2014) Challenging a universal approach to health care integration: China, Cuba, and the Philippines, European Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 5, no 1, pp. 54-61

Welsh, P. (2014) Research – the key to developing good practice, Positive Health, no 213, April
http://www.positivehealth.com/article/clinical-practice/research-the-key-to-developing-good-practice


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