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Ellen's Choice

Can Alternative/Complementary Medicine Make a Difference?


Elizabeth Harper
Biology Department
Monmouth University


This case encourages students to explore various aspects of alternative and complementary medicine that might be helpful in treating a woman who is suffering from scoliosis. The case was developed for use in a variety of settings, ranging from an introductory anatomy and physiology course to a general health class where there is an interest in alternative/complementary medicine.

  • To reinforce spinal anatomy.
  • To establish the significance of normal spinal curvature.
  • To explore complications due to abnormal curvature.
  • To establish the relationship between vertebrae, nerve, and organ function.
  • To reinforce the changing nature of bone due to age, physical and gravitational forces, and lifestyle.
  • To reinforce basic concepts of immunity and inflammation.
  • To introduce mind/body connection.
  • To encourage a deeper understanding of alternative/complementary medicine, both its strengths and weaknesses.
  • To encourage techniques in exploring and critically evaluating one's own choices in health care.
Keywords: Spinal cord; spine; spinal curvature; scoliosis; inflammation; immunity; alternative medicine; complementary medicine; yoga
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Dilemma/Decision
Language: English
Subject Headings: Anatomy   Biology (General)   Medicine (General)  
Date Posted: 04/03/01
Date Modified:
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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