Practising complementary medicine in context: Spirituality, culture and healing practice

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Publication details

Grant, A 2004, 'Practicing complementary medicine in context: spirituality, culture, and healing practice', Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 10-12.

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In the Western world, we live in a culture heavily influenced by the pursuit of happiness. We raise children with fairy tales that conclude “…and they lived happily ever after” and we are bombarded daily with images for successful lives that are largely about material acquisition. “Happiness” appears to be largely determined by an omnipresent advertising industry, with a message designed to deny the possibility of any kind of unhappiness. According to the dominant mythology of prevailing culture, a new car, a new couch, or a new figure will make us happy. Common sense tells us that this is not true. It is, however, very hard to resist the desire for new clothes or set of sporting equipment when the message, repeated constantly through advertising, is that you will have more fun, be loved, and be more successful if you simply acquire those new possessions!

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