Masters Thesis

Can complimentary, alternative medicine aid Kern County?

The question under investigation in this research is: what complimentary, alternative medicine (CAM) services are offered to under-resourced individuals by local healthcare organizations in Kern County? Eastern medicine is synonymous with unconventional medicine or CAM. CAM is a type of unconventional medicine. It encompasses a variety of medical and health care systems, practices, products, and treatment. In the past many people doubted the efficacy of traditional eastern medicine due to the nature of its development and implementation. Over time many of the methods associated with eastern medicine are now to refer to as CAM due to a paradigm-shifting article published in 1993 and changed perspectives. The purpose of this study was to ascertain if CAM services are offered to the under-resourced by the major healthcare organizations in Kern County. When conventional measures are too costly or do not work, people can turn to CAM. Kaiser, GEMCare, CSV, and Omni are large healthcare organizations in Kern County that serve the under-resourced. This study used a hermeneutic approach to discover that the major healthcare organizations offer varying discounts on acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage, herbs, vitamins, and supplements. There are also common themes of age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and income/poverty level with those with prevalent CAM use and the under-resourced in Kern County. There are hundreds of businesses offering CAM therapies and/or products in Kern County also. Through community outreach CAM use may increase in the under-resourced community.

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