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Offshoring – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: August 23, 2016 at 9:31 am

Offshoring is the relocation of a business process from one country to anothertypically an operational process, such as manufacturing, or supporting processes, such as accounting. Typically this refers to a company business, although state governments may also employ offshoring.[1] More recently, offshoring has been associated primarily with the outsourcing of technical and administrative services supporting domestic and global operations from outside the home country (“offshore outsourcing”), by means of internal (captive) or external (outsourcing) delivery models.[2]

India has emerged as a key offshoring destination over the past 15 years. The term is in use in several distinct but closely related ways. It is sometimes used broadly to include substitution of a service from any foreign source for a service formerly produced internally to the firm. In other cases, only imported services from subsidiaries or other closely related suppliers are included. A further complication is that intermediate goods, such as partially completed computers, are not consistently included in the scope of the term.[3]

Offshoring can be seen in the context of either production offshoring or services offshoring. After its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the People’s Republic of China emerged as a prominent destination for production offshoring. Another focus area has been the software industry as part of global software development and developing global information systems. After technical progress in telecommunications improved the possibilities of trade in services, India became a country leading in this domain,[citation needed] though many parts of the world are now emerging as offshore destinations.

The economic logic is to reduce costs, sometimes called labor arbitrage, to improve corporate profitability. Jobs are added in the destination country providing the goods or services (generally a lower-cost labor country), but are subtracted in the higher-cost labor country. The increased safety net costs of the unemployed may be absorbed by the government (taxpayers) in the high-cost country or by the company doing the offshoring. Europe experienced less offshoring than the United States due to policies that applied more costs to corporations and cultural barriers.[4]

Offshoring is defined as the movement of a business process done at a company in one country to the same or another company in another, different country. Almost always work is moved because of a lower cost of operations in the new location. More recently, offshoring drivers also include access to qualified personnel abroad, in particular in technical professions, and increasing speed to market.[2] Offshoring is sometimes contrasted with outsourcing or offshore outsourcing. Outsourcing is the movement of internal business processes to an external organizational unit. Outsourcing refers to the process by which an organization gives part of its work to another firm / organization and makes it responsible for most of the applications as well as the design of the enterprise business process. This process is done under restrictions and strategies in order to establish consistency with the offshore outsourcing organizations. Many companies nowadays outsource various professional areas in the company such as e-mail services, payroll and call center. These jobs are being handled by other organizations that specialize in each sector allowing the offshoring company to focus more on other business concerns . However, subcontracting in the same country would be outsourcing, but not offshoring. A company moving an internal business unit from one country to another would be offshoring or physical restructuring, but not outsourcing. A company subcontracting a business unit to a different company in another country would be both outsourcing and offshoring.

Related terms include nearshoring, which implies relocation of business processes to (typically) lower cost foreign locations, but in close geographical proximity (e.g., shifting United States-based business processes to Canada/Latin America); inshoring, which means picking services within a country; and bestshoring or rightshoring, picking the “best shore” based on various criteria. Business process outsourcing (BPO) refers to outsourcing arrangements when entire business functions (such as Finance & Accounting, Customer Service, etc.) are outsourced. More specific terms can be found in the field of software development – for example Global Information System as a class of systems being developed for / by globally distributed teams.

A further term sometimes associated with offshoring is bodyshopping which is the practice of using offshored resources and personnel to do small disaggregated tasks within a business environment, without any broader intention to offshore an entire business function.

Production offshoring, also known as physical restructuring, of established products involves relocation of physical manufacturing processes to a lower-cost destination. Examples of production offshoring include the manufacture of electronic components in Costa Rica, production of apparel, toys, and consumer goods in China, Vietnam etc.

Product design, research and the development process that leads to new products, are relatively difficult to offshore. This is because research and development, in order to improve products and create new reference designs, require a skill set that is harder to obtain in regions with cheap labor. For this reason, in many cases only the manufacturing will be offshored by a company wishing to reduce costs.

However, there is a relationship between offshoring and patent-system strength. This is because companies under a strong patent system are not afraid to move work offshore because their work will remain their property. Conversely, companies in countries with weak patent systems have an increased fear of intellectual property theft from foreign vendors or workers, and, therefore, have less offshoring.

A major incentive for physical restructuring arrived when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made it easier for manufacturers to shift production facilities from the US to Mexico. This trend later shifted to China, which offered cheap prices through very low wage rates, few workers’ rights laws, a fixed currency pegged to the US dollar, (currently fixed to a basket of economies) cheap loans, cheap land, and factories for new companies, few environmental regulations, and huge economies of scale based on cities with populations over a million workers dedicated to producing a single kind of product. However, many companies are reluctant to move high value-added production of leading-edge products to China because of lax enforcement of intellectual property laws.[5] CAFTA has increased the velocity at which physical restructuring is occurring.

The growth of IT-enabled services offshoring is linked to the availability of large amounts of reliable and affordable communication infrastructure following the telecommunication and Internet expansion of the late 1990s. This was seen all the way up to the year 2000. Coupled with the digitization of many services, it was possible to shift the actual production location of services to low-cost countries in a manner theoretically transparent to end-users. Services include administrative services, such as finance and accounting, HR, and legal; call centers; marketing and sales services; IT infrastructure; application development; and knowledge services, including engineering support, product design, research and development, and analytics. General criteria for choosing IT outsourcing development partner commonly include: communication and language proficiency (both oral and written), previous work experience in client’s industry, expertise in defined technologies needed, cost-effectiveness of offshore web development services, clients that are similar in size to the client’s company, company longevity, company time zone.[6]

India first benefited from the offshoring trend, as it has a large pool of English speaking people and technically proficient manpower.[7] India’s offshoring industry took root in low-end IT functions in the early 1990s and has since moved to back-office processes such as call centers and transaction processing. This spawned the neologism Bangalored, used to indicate a layoff, often systemic, and usually resulting from corporate outsourcing to lower wage economies derived from Bangalore in India, where some of the first outsource centers were located.[8]

Currently, India’s low-cost labor has made it an offshoring destination for global firms like HP, IBM, Accenture, Intel, AMD, Microsoft, Oracle Corporation, Cisco, SAP, and BEA[disambiguation needed].

Because of inflation, high domestic interest rates, robust economic growth and increased IT offshoring, the Indian IT sector has witnessed 10 – 15% wage growth in the 21st century. Consequently, Indian’s operations and firms are concerned that they are becoming too expensive in comparison with competition from the other offshoring destinations. To maintain high growth rates, attempts have been made to grow up the value chain and diversify to other high-end work in addition to software and hardware engineering. These jobs include research and development, equity analysis, tax-return processing, radiological analysis, medical transcription, and more.

The choice of offshoring destination is often made according to cultural concerns. Japanese companies are starting to outsource to China, where large numbers of Japanese speakers can be found particularly in the city of Dalian, which was Japanese-occupied Chinese territory for decades (this is discussed in the book The World is Flat). German companies tend to outsource to Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine, where the most number of IT professionals in CEE work (90000 IT specialists in 2016),[9]Poland and Romania, where proficiency in German is common.[10] French companies outsource to North Africa for similar reasons. For Australian IT companies, Indonesia is one of the major choice of offshoring destination. Near-shore location, common time zone and adequate IT work force are the reasons for offshoring IT services to Indonesia.

Other offshoring destinations include Mexico, Central and South America, the Philippines, South Africa and Eastern European countries.

The Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) made nearshoring more attractive between the Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic and the US.

Once companies are comfortable with services offerings and started realizing the cost savings, many high-tech product companies, including some in Silicon Valley, started offshoring innovation work to countries like Belarus, South Africa, India, China, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine. Accessing the talent pools in these countries has the potential to cut costs or even shorten product lifecycles. Developing countries like India are also involved in this practice.

When offshoring knowledge work, firms heavily rely on the availability of technical personnel at offshore locations. In order to secure access to talent, Western firms often establish collaborative relationships with technical universities abroad and thereby customize university programs to serve their particular needs. Examples include universities in Shanghai, such as Tong-Ji University, where German firms and scholars co-sponsor labs, courses, and provide internships. Similar examples of collaborative arrangements can be found in Eastern Europe, e.g. Romania.[10] Additionally, EU companies looking for IT innovation often setup collaboration with universities in countries such as Belarus and Ukraine, which have a high percentage of ICT graduates and overall a very skilled IT labor.[11]

“Re-shoring”, also known as “backshoring”[12] or “inshoring”[13] is offshoring that has been brought back onshore.[14]

John Urry (distinguished professor of sociology at Lancaster University) argues that the concealment of income, the avoidance of taxation and eluding legislation relating to work, finance, pleasure, waste, energy and security may be becoming a serious concern for democratic governments and ordinary citizens who may be adversely affected by unregulated, offshore activities. Further, the rising costs of transportation could lead to production nearer the point of consumption becoming more economically viable, particularly as new technologies such as additive manufacturing mature [15]

Offshoring is often enabled by the transfer of valuable information to the offshore site. Such information and training enables the remote workers to produce results of comparable value previously produced by internal employees. When such transfer includes protected materials, as confidential documents and trade secrets, protected by non-disclosure agreements, then intellectual property has been transferred or exported. The documentation and valuation of such exports is quite difficult, but should be considered since it comprises items that may be regulated or taxable.

Offshoring has been a controversial issue spurring heated debates among economists, some of which overlap those related to the topic of free trade. It is seen as benefiting both the origin and destination country through free trade, providing jobs to the destination country and lower cost of goods and services to the origin country. This makes both sides see increased gross domestic product (GDP). And the total number of jobs increases in both countries since those workers in the origin country that lost their job can move to higher-value jobs in which their country has a comparative advantage.

On the other hand, job losses and wage erosion in developed countries have sparked opposition to offshoring. Experts argue that the quality of any new jobs in developed countries are less than the jobs lost and offer lower pay. Economists against offshoring charge that currency manipulation by governments and their central banks causes the difference in labor cost creating an illusion of comparative advantage. Further, they point out that even more educated highly trained workers with higher-value jobs such as software engineers, accountants, radiologists, and journalists in the developed world have been displaced by highly educated and cheaper workers from India and China. On May 1, 2002, Economist and former Ambassador Ernest H. Preeg testified before the Senate committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that China, for instance, pegs its currency to the dollar at a sub-par value in violation of Article IV of the International Monetary Fund Articles of Agreement which state that no nation shall manipulate its currency to gain a market advantage.[16] Traditionally “safe” developed world jobs in R&D and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields are now perceived to be endangered in these countries as higher proportions of workers are trained for these fields in developing nations. Economists such as Paul Craig Roberts claim that those economists who promote offshoring misunderstand the difference between comparative advantage and absolute advantage.

The Economist reported in January 2013 that: “High levels of unemployment in Western countries after the 2007-2008 financial crisis have made the public in many countries so hostile towards offshoring that many companies are now reluctant to engage in it.”[17] Economist Paul Krugman wrote in 2007 that while free trade among high-wage countries is viewed as win-win, free trade with low-wage countries is win-lose for many employees who find their jobs offshored or with stagnating wages.[18] Two estimates of the impact of offshoring on U.S. jobs were between 150,000 and 300,000 per year from 2004-2015. This represents 10-15% of U.S. job creation.[19] U.S. opinion polls indicate that between 76-95% of Americans surveyed agreed that “outsourcing of production and manufacturing work to foreign countries is a reason the U.S. economy is struggling and more people aren’t being hired.”[20][21]

The increased safety net costs of the unemployed may be absorbed by the government (taxpayers) in the high-cost country or by the company doing the offshoring. Europe experienced less offshoring than the U.S. due to policies that applied more costs to corporations and cultural barriers.[4]

Japanese companies often exploits the foreign labors, particularly Chinese and Vietnamese, by violating the Employment Security Act, and Labor Standard Act set by ministry of health and labors in Japan using the name of offshoring.

Article 44 of Employment Security Act in Japan implicitly bans the domestic/foreign workers being supplied by unauthorized companies regardless of their operating locations. Law will apply if at least one party of suppliers, clients, labors reside in Japan, and if the labors are the integral part of the chain of command by the client company, or the supplier.

No person shall carry out a labor supply business or have workers supplied by a person who carries out a labor supply business work under his/her own directions or orders, except in cases provided for in the following Article.

Employment Security Act

Those deemed to violate will be punished with

A person who falls under any of the following items shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than one year or a fine of not more than one million yen

Employment Security Act states, Article 64

as well as the punishment defined by the article 6 of Labor Standards Act in Japan,

Unless permitted by act, no person shall obtain profit by intervening, as a business, in the employment of other

Victims can lodge a criminal complaint against the CEO of the suppliers and clients in the Labor Standards Inspection Office (only applicable to Labor Standards Act) or Public Prosecutor’s Office of the respective company location. Due to the risk of the CEO’s arrest, Japanese company accustoms to the private settlement with financial package in the range between 20 and 100 million JPY (200,000 – million USD).

With the offshoring of call-center type applications, debate has also surfaced that this practice does serious damage to the quality of customer service and technical support that customers receive from companies who do it. Many companies have caught much public ire for their decisions to use foreign labor for customer service and technical support, mostly because of the apparent language barrier that it creates. While some nations have a high level of younger, skilled workers who are capable of speaking English as one of their native languages, their English skills have caused debate in North America and Europe.[citation needed]

Criticisms of outsourcing from much of the American public have been a response to what they view as very poor customer service and technical support being provided by overseas workers attempting to communicate with Americans.

Some claim that companies lose control and visibility across their extended supply chain under outsourcing, creating increased risks. A 2005 quantitative survey of 121 electronics industry participants by Industry Directions Inc and the Electronics Supply Chain Association (ESCA) found that 69% of respondents said they had less control over at least 5 of their key supply chain processes since the outsourced model took hold, while 66% of providers felt their aggregate risk with customers was high or very high.[citation needed] 36% of providers responded that they felt an increased risk of uncertainty compared to their uncertainty risk before the rise to prominence of the outsourced model.[citation needed] 62% of respondents described as “problematic” at least two core trading partner management practices, which included performance management and simple agreement on results.[citation needed] 40% of all respondents encountered resistance to sharing risk in outsourced partnership agreements, according to the research.[citation needed]

The transfer of knowledge outside a country may create competitors to the original companies themselves. Chinese manufacturers are already selling their goods directly to their overseas customers, without going through their previous domestic intermediaries that originally contracted their services. In the 1990s and 2000s, American automakers increasingly turned to China to create parts for their vehicles. By 2006, China leveraged this know-how and announced that they will begin competition with American automakers in their home market by selling fully Chinese automobiles directly to Americans. When a company moves the production of goods and services to another country, the investment that companies would otherwise make in the domestic market is transferred to the foreign market. Corporate money spent on factories, training, and taxes, which would otherwise be spent in the market of the company is then spent in the foreign market. As production increases in the foreign market, qualified and experienced domestic workers leave or are forced out of their jobs, often permanently leaving the industry. At some point, dramatically fewer domestic workers are left who are qualified to perform the work. This makes the domestic market dependent on the foreign market for those goods and services, thereby strategically weakening the “hollowed-out” domestic country. In effect, offshoring creates and strengthens the competitive industries of the foreign country while strategically weakening the domestic country.[dubious discuss]

However, employment data has cast doubt on this claim. For example, IT employment in the United States has recently reached pre-2001 levels[23][24] and has been rising since. The number of jobs lost to offshoring is less than 1 percent of the total US labor market.[25] According to a study by the Heritage foundation, outsourcing represents a very small proportion of jobs lost in the US. The total number of jobs lost to offshoring, both manufacturing and technical represent only 4 percent of the total jobs lost in the US. Major reasons for cutting jobs are from contract completion and downsizing.[26] Some economists and commentators claim that the offshoring phenomenon is way overblown.[26]

One solution often offered for domestic workers displaced by offshoring is retraining to new jobs. Some displaced workers are highly educated and possess graduate qualifications. Retraining to their current level in another field may not be an option because of the years of study and cost of education involved. Anecdotal evidence also suggests they would be rejected for being overqualified.

According to classical economics, the three factors of production are land, labor, and capital. Offshoring relies heavily on the mobility of two of these factors. That is, how offshoring affects economies depends on how easily capital and labor can be repurposed. Land, as a factor of production, is generally seen to have little or no mobility potential.

The effects of capital mobility on offshoring have been widely discussed. In microeconomics, a corporation must be able to spend working capital to afford the initial costs of offshoring. If the state heavily regulates how a corporation can spend its working capital, it will not be able to offshore its operations. For the same reason the macroeconomy must be free for offshoring to succeed. Generally, those who favor offshoring support capital mobility, and those who oppose offshoring call for greater regulation.

Labor mobility also plays a major role, and it is hotly debated. When computers and the Internet made work electronically portable, the forces of free market resulted in a global mobility of work in the services industry. Most theories that argue offshoring eventually benefits domestic workers assume that those workers will be able to obtain new jobs, even if they have to obtain employment by downpricing themselves back into the labor market (by accepting lower salaries) or by retraining themselves in a new field. Foreign workers benefit from new jobs and higher wages when the work moves to them.

In the developed world, moving manufacturing jobs out of the country dates to at least the 1960s[27] while moving knowledge service jobs offshore dates to the 1970s [28] and has continued since then. It was characterized primarily by the transferring of factories from the developed to the developing world. This offshoring and closing of factories has caused a structural change in the developed world from an industrial to a post-industrial service society.

During the 20th century, the decreasing costs of transportation and communication crossed with great disparities on pay rates made increased offshoring from wealthier countries to less wealthy countries financially feasible for many companies. Further, the growth of the Internet, particularly fiber-optic intercontinental long haul capacity, and the World Wide Web reduced “transportation” costs for many kinds of information work to near zero.[29]

With the development of the Internet, many new categories of work such as call centres, computer programming, reading medical data such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging, medical transcription, income tax preparation, and title searching are being offshored.

Before the 1990s, Ireland was one of the poorest countries in the EU. Because of Ireland’s relatively low corporate tax rates, US companies began offshoring of software, electronic, and pharmaceutical intellectual property to Ireland for export. This helped create a high-tech “boom” and which led to Ireland becoming one of the richest EU countries.[29]

In 1994 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect. As concerns are widespread about uneven bargaining powers, and risks and benefits, negotiations are often difficult, such that the plan to create free trade areas (such as Free Trade Area of the Americas) has not yet been successful. In 2005, offshoring of skilled work, also referred to as knowledge work, dramatically increased from the US, which fed the growing worries about threats of job loss.[29]

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Used Offshore Yachts for Sale – Offshore Yachts MLS

Posted: at 9:31 am

OFFSHORE HISTORY & OVERVIEW

Established: 1948 Located: Taiwan Construction: Fiberglass Category: Powerboats, Motor Yachts, Luxury Yachts Worth Noting: In 1945, Richard Hunt, Offshore Yachts founder, worked with the U.S. Navy to develop FRP application for boats.

Richard O. Hunt founded Offshore Yachts in 1948. The companys roots date back to Word War II, when Richard pioneered the use of laminated fiberglass for the construction of auxiliary U.S. navy boats due to steel shortages.

After the war, Richard built the first laminated fiberglass pleasure cruisers, which started at 14 feet in length. The production of fiberglass boats was a milestone for Offshore, since fiberglass was becoming the replacement for wood due to its strength and durability.

Richards sons joined the family business in 1958, and son, Robert Hunt, still runs the business today. Shortly after, in 1960, Offshore built FRP cruising boats using a modified deep-vee hull, influenced by legendary boat-builder, Richard Bertram. This design technique creates a hull bottom capable of handling rougher waters.

Naval architect, William Crealock, designed powerboats for Offshore Yachts, developing the deep-fore-foot design, which became popular in the Offshore 48 model. Through the early 1980s, the introduction of the first Offshore 48 models established the maxim, The softest ride on the water.

Offshores philosophy of maximum comfort, safety, and convenience stems from the use of the latest technology in yacht building. Utilizing hand-laminating techniques and intricate molds to prevent leaking windows, Offshore has an impressive model line ranging from 52 to 92 feet.

Denison Yacht Sales specializes in helping clients buy and sell used Offshore Yachts for sale.

Buying Your Next Offshore Yacht: Denison Yacht Sales offers you the entire Offshore Yachts MLS results, including listings of other yacht brokers, even Offshore Yachts located outside the country. You will find used Offshore 48 Pilothouse, Offshore 58 Pilothouse, Offshore 72 Pilothouse, Offshore 80 Voyager, and Offshore 90 Voyager yachts for sale.

Selling Your Current Offshore Yacht: Denison Yacht Sales would love to help you sell your Offshore Yacht! With a team of over 100 licensed yacht brokers in 18 locations worldwide, Denison is ready to provide your Offshore Yacht with true national exposure. Denisons comprehensive Offshore Yachts email and web marketing programs will provide your Offshore Yacht with global exposure in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia.

Offshore Yachts Market Reports: As an Offshore Yachts Buyer, or a Seller, if you would like to receive an up-to-the-minute Offshore Yachts market report, reflecting the latest Offshore Yachts sales data, contact a Denison Yacht Broker at 954.763.3971 or Sales@DenisonYachtSales.com.

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Is Atheism a Worldview ? – Common Sense Atheism

Posted: at 9:23 am

Quick note: I gave a brief interview at Fallen and Flawed.

Clearly, atheism is not a religion, but there has been much talk in the comments about whether or not atheism is a worldview.

So, lets check the definitions of atheism and of worldview and see if one might be a species of the other.

atheism disbelief in the existence of a god or gods

worldview1. a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world 2. a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group

I do not see how atheism can be a worldview.

I have compared atheism to a-unicornism: disbelief in the existence of unicorns. How is a-unicornism a worldview? Its not. Atheism and a-unicornism are each a single belief about one thing. Neither of these positions tell you anything else about the person who holds them: their morals values, their political views, their driving purpose, their explanations for life or the universe, their beliefs about magic or ghosts or elves, their rationality or their intelligence.

But, Bobmo wrote:

In other words, if there is no God, then x must be true (e.g. matter is eternal, or a multiverse exists; there is no absolute morality, etc.) The same cannot be said for A-unicornism, since the non-existence of unicorns carries no serious implications.

I deny that atheism has such implications. None of Bobmos examples follow from the non-existence of gods. They may be true, but they are not entailed by atheism. As toweltowel replied: Supposing that theism implies p, and that atheism is the denial of theism, it obviously does not follow that atheism implies [not-p].

Neither an atheist nor an a-unicornist must believe in eternal matter, a multiverse, or moral relativism. And in fact, Id bet millions of them dont.

Adiel Corchado has another try:

The difference between atheism and [a-unicornism] is that unicorns provide no answers to why the world exists, why we exist, whether morality is objective or subjective, what happens after you die, etc. If unicorns dont exist that changes nothing. If unicorns do exist that changes nothing. Gods existence or non-existence on the other hand changes everything.

I have never seen a definition of worldview that uses Adiels criteria for something being a worldview. Both bare atheism and bare theism have no answers to why the world exists, why the world exists, whether morality is objective or subjective, or what happens after you die. For you to start answering those questions you have to adopt a worldview, like a particular brand of worldview naturalism or Christianity or extropianism.

Yes, even theism in the bare sense that is the opposite of atheism is not a worldview. Like atheism, theism is a single belief about one thing: the existence of a god or gods.

What else is entailed by belief in a god or gods? Absolute morality? The origins of life or the universe? The afterlife? The purpose of life? None of these things are entailed by theism, not even the origins of the universe. Not all gods are thought to be eternal, or creative. And not all theistic religions think that the gods can explain the origins of the universe, for example many varieties of Buddhism.

Atheism is the mere opposite of theism, and neither of these entail a long list of beliefs like a worldview does.

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Offshore JOBS – RIGZONE

Posted: August 21, 2016 at 11:17 am

Company / Job Title Location Date Leap29 Electrical Manager – Offshore Wind Farm Zwijndrecht, Belgium June 27, 2016 T & NB STAFFING INTERNATIONAL Offshore Utility Worker / Catering GULF OF MEXICO , US July 26, 2016 ARCHELONS Consulting Drilling Supervisor – offshore 10002 , Kuwait July 26, 2016 ARCHELONS Consulting Drilling Engineer – Offshore 10002 , Kuwait July 26, 2016 Worldwide Recruitment Solutions Steward Vlissingen, Netherlands July 22, 2016 XstremeMD Remote Offshore Paramedic LA, US August 10, 2016 PROJECT CONTROL MANAGER Doha , Qatar August 14, 2016 Lofton Energy Services Offshore Well Test Operators LA, US June 15, 2016 Advance Global Recruitment Limited Offshore Installation Manager (Marine CoC) Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates May 29, 2016 Transocean Senior HSE Advisor TX, US August 2, 2016 Spencer Ogden Rope Access 6G Welder / NDT Tech LA, US August 1, 2016 Oceaneering Shop Foreman, Service, Technology, & Rentals-Decommissioning LA, US June 24, 2016 MPH Global Head, Project Engineering (Tops/Manif/Umbil) Qatar , Qatar August 4, 2016 Fircroft Maintenance Mechanical Supervisor Malaysia, Malaysia August 15, 2016 Fircroft Discipline Engineer (Electrical&Instrumentation) Atyrau August 15, 2016 INPEX Operations Australia Pty Ltd Offshore Hook Up Manager WA, Australia August 19, 2016 International Development Company Head of Engineering Core Team Qatar August 3, 2016 Amine Operator – Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Mexico , US August 1, 2016 G.A.S Unlimited Commissioning Manager – Offshore TX, US August 8, 2016 Leap29 QHSE Engineer – Offshore Wind Project Zwijndrecht, Belgium June 24, 2016 Grand Isle Shipyard SCADA TECH Port Fourchon , US July 25, 2016 Fircroft Welder Hartlepool , United Kingdom July 1, 2016 Teekay Offshore Production HSEQ & Compliance Lead Rio de Janeiro , Brazil July 29, 2016 BW Offshore Operations Control Room Operator United Kingdom , United Kingdom August 16, 2016 Ably Resources Barge Engineer – Jack Up Saudi Arabia , Saudi Arabia June 13, 2016 Spencer Ogden 2nd Assistant Engineer TX, US August 17, 2016 Spencer Ogden QMED/Motorman TX, US August 17, 2016 NES Global Talent Mechanical Technician Scotland, United Kingdom August 19, 2016 Sofomation Senior Contracts Engineer Doha , Qatar August 6, 2016 International Development Company FEED Manager Qatar , Qatar August 7, 2016 Fircroft Project Instrument Engineer Norwich August 1, 2016 MPH Global Sr. Process Engineer Qatar , Qatar August 4, 2016 BW Offshore Marine Control Room Operator United Kingdom , United Kingdom August 16, 2016 Head Structural Engineering Doha , Qatar August 2, 2016 BW Offshore Senior Operations Technician United Kingdom , United Kingdom August 19, 2016 Fircroft start up engineer Aberdeen-Offshore August 1, 2016 Worldwide Recruitment Solutions Principal Electrical Engineer Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia August 4, 2016 International Development Company Risk Coordinator Qatar August 3, 2016 Fircroft Onshore Material Controller Baku August 1, 2016 Trainor Asia Ltd Chief Officer offshore vietnam , Vietnam July 11, 2016 Offshore Instrumentation & Electrical Technician GOM , US July 13, 2016 Teekay Offshore Production Supply Chain Lead – Brazil Rio de Janeiro , Brazil July 29, 2016 SOS HR Solutions Rigger Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates June 26, 2016 Amec Foster Wheeler Workpack Coordinator Aberdeen, United Kingdom August 19, 2016 BW Offshore Operations Technician United Kingdom , United Kingdom August 19, 2016 Raeburn Recruitment Senior Project Engineer (Safety and Utility Systems) Aberdeen, United Kingdom August 18, 2016 Complete Logistical Services, LLC Electricians LA, US June 17, 2016 Complete Logistical Services, LLC Senior Subsea Engineer Louisiana, United States , US June 17, 2016 Oceaneering Inspector I TX, US June 17, 2016 Oceaneering Inspector II TX, US June 17, 2016

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Alternative Medicine | Glaucoma Research Foundation

Posted: at 11:12 am

Alternative medicine may be defined as non-standard, unconventional treatments for glaucoma.

Use of alternative medicine continues to increase, although it must be noted that some of these treatment alternatives have no proven clinical effect.

Regular exercise and relaxation techniques can be beneficial for lowering eye pressure and may have a positive impact on your overall health and other glaucoma risk factors including high blood pressure.

Always talk to your doctor before starting any alternative therapies.

Proponents of homeopathic medicine believe that symptoms represent the bodys attack against disease, and that substances which induce the symptoms of a particular disease or diseases can help the body ward off illness.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not tested homeopathic remedies for safety or effectiveness. There is no guarantee that they contain consistent ingredients, or that dosage recommendations are accurate. It would be a mistake to use homeopathic remedies and dismiss valid therapies, delaying proven treatment for serious conditions.

Holistic medicine is a system of health care designed to assist individuals in harmonizing mind, body, and spirit. Some of the more popular therapies include good nutrition, physical exercise, and self-regulation techniques including meditation, biofeedback and relaxation training. While holistic treatments can be part of a good physical regimen, there is no proof of their usefulness in glaucoma therapy.

No conclusive studies prove a connection between specific foods and glaucoma, but it is reasonable to assume that what you eat and drink and your general health have an effect on the disease.

Some studies have shown that significant caffeine intake over a short time can slightly elevate intraocular eye pressure (IOP) for one to three hours. However, other studies indicate that caffeine has no meaningful impact on IOP. To be safe, people with glaucoma are advised to limit their caffeine intake to moderate levels.

Studies have also shown that as many as 80% of people with glaucoma who consume an entire quart of water over the course of twenty minutes experience elevated IOP, as compared to only 20% of people who dont have glaucoma. Since many commercial diet programs stress the importance of drinking at least eight glasses of water each day, to be safe, people with glaucoma are encouraged to consume water in small amounts throughout the day.

The ideal way to ensure a proper supply of essential vitamins and minerals is by eating a balanced diet. If you are concerned about your own diet, you may want to consult with your doctor about taking a mulitvitamin or multimineral nutritional supplement.

Some of the vitamins and minerals important to the eye include zinc and copper, antioxidant vitamins C, E, and A (as beta carotene), and selenium, an antioxidant mineral.

An extract of the European blueberry, bilberry is available through the mail and in some health food stores. It is most often advertised as an antioxidant eye health supplement that advocates claim can protect and strengthen the capillary walls of the eyes, and thus is especially effective in protecting against glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. There is some data indicating that bilberry may improve night vision and recovery time from glare, but there is no evidence that it is effective in the treatment or prevention of glaucoma.

There is some evidence suggesting that regular exercise can reduce eye pressure on its own, and can also have a positive impact on other glaucoma risk factors including diabetes and high blood pressure.

In a recent study, people with glaucoma who exercised regularly for three months reduced their IOPs an average of 20%. These people rode stationary bikes 4 times per week for 40 minutes. Measurable improvements in eye pressure and physical conditioning were seen at the end of three months. These beneficial effects were maintained by continuing to exercise at least three times per week; lowered IOP was lost if exercise was stopped for more than two weeks.

In an ongoing study, glaucoma patients who walked briskly 4 times per week for 40 minutes were able to lower their IOP enough to eliminate the need for beta blockers. Final results are not available, but there is hope that glaucoma patients with extremely high IOP who maintain an exercise schedule and continue beta-blocker therapy could significantly reduce their IOP.

Regular exercise may be a useful addition to the prevention of visual loss from glaucoma, but only your eye doctor can assess the effects of exercise on your eye pressure. Some forms of glaucoma (such as closed-angle) are not responsive to the effects of exercise, and other forms of glaucoma (for example, pigmentary glaucoma) may actually develop a temporary increase in IOP after vigorous exercise. And remember — exercise cannot replace medications or doctor visits!

The long-term effects of repeatedly assuming a head-down or inverted position on the optic nerve head (the nerve that carries visual images to the brain) have not been adequately demonstrated, but due to the potential for increased IOP, people with glaucoma should be careful about these kinds of exercises.

Glaucoma patients should let their doctors know if yoga shoulder and headstands or any other recreational body inversion exercises that result in head-down or inverted postures over extended periods of time are part of their exercise routines.

The results of studies regarding changes in IOP following relaxation and biofeedback sessions have generated some optimism in controlling selected cases of open-angle glaucoma, but further research is needed.

However, findings that reduced blood pressure and heart rate can be achieved with relaxation and biofeedback techniques show promise that non-medicinal and non-surgical techniques may be effective methods of treating and controlling open-angle glaucoma.

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Alternative Medicine | Glaucoma Research Foundation

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Alternative Medicine – Christian Research Institute

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Summary

Over the past decade, governmental agencies, medical schools, influential voices in the media, and the public at large have seen a remarkable surge of interest in alternative medicine in the United States. While many therapies focus on unproven but otherwise spiritually neutral approaches (for example, nutritional supplements), others arise from or validate worldviews especially the monism (All is One) of the New Age movement that are hostile to the teachings of Scripture. The cultural developments that have brought alternative (still often called holistic) therapies into the cultural mainstream are complex and often understandable. However, a number of general cautions are still in order regarding this movement.

Twenty years ago a nurse tending to pediatric patients at Santa Monica Hospital handed me a rather unassuming publication bearing the title, Journal of Holistic Health. Along with more than 2,000 health-care professionals and other interested parties, she had just attended a conference in San Diego entitled, The Physician of the Future. In more ways than one, she had got religion at this meeting, and spoke with great enthusiasm about the new paradigm that would soon revolutionize our understanding of health and disease.

The future of health care, she explained, lay in the concept of holism, understanding the whole person body, mind, and spirit who was in fact a great deal more than the sum of several organ systems. It would become much more important to understand the patient who had the illness, not merely the illness that had the patient. Prevention, lifestyle, stress reduction, and self-awareness would displace the invasive and often destructive approaches specifically, drugs and surgery that had for so long dominated Western medicine. Eventually, we would begin to define health in more uplifting terms: not merely as the absence of disease, but as a state of increasing energy, productivity, insight, and personal transformation.

RISE OF HOLISTIC HEALTH

It sounded intriguing. After all, I was training as a resident in family practice the specialty whose interest extended not only to the whole patient, but also to her or his family, work, relationships, and even the community where she or he lived. I glanced through the articles in this home-grown journal (which actually was a transcription of the previous years conference), and then began to read more carefully, with increasing concern. This movement appeared to have more on its mind than changing dietary habits, encouraging exercise, and coping with stress.

The conference director, David J. Harris, who bore the title Founder and President of the Association for Holistic Health, had rhapsodized in his opening remarks that this gathering is part of a process that is bringing about a new way of thinking, a new science merged with religion. James Fadiman, Ph.D., at that time Director of the Institute of Noetic Sciences at Stanford University, declared that we are not primarily physical forms. We are primarily energy around which matter adheres. Richard Svihus, M.D., President of the California Academy of Preventive Medicine, proclaimed that the holistic health movement is desired by higher forces and consciousness within the universe. Harold Bloomfield, M.D., a psychiatrist who had written the best-selling TM: Discovering Inner Energy and Overcoming Stress, extolled the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. Dr. Elisabeth Kbler-Ross, widely recognized as the worlds authority on the dying process, stated unequivocally that death does not exist, and that after transitioning from this life, you will have the opportunity not to be judged by a judgmental God, but to judge yourself. Many others with strings of initials after their names and impressive titles used engaging anecdotes that described healing through aligning the bodys invisible energies, developing psychic abilities, and most important altering, expanding, and transforming consciousness.

The pediatric nurse really had gotten religion but not a gospel that would set well with Luke, the doctor who followed Jesus. It was, instead, a gospel better suited to Luke Skywalker, master of the Force, the impersonal energy allegedly pervading the universe. The holistic health movement, it turned out, appeared to be yet another banner under the We are all energy / All is One / I am God / You are God / We are all God / Aint that great? spirituality of the New Age movement. Such spirituality was storming the gates of Western culture and hoping to be welcomed with open arms.

In my subsequent explorations of the holistic phenomenon I attended two of the annual Association for Holistic Health conferences in San Diego. For the most part, the speakers were interesting, energetic, and sincere in their desire to promote health and healing, while the audiences were far more attentive than many I had observed at other medical conferences. These total immersion experiences left no doubt in my mind that the spiritual agenda of the new medicine at least as presented by its most active proponents was of utmost importance. Furthermore, a few direct questions to some of the speakers made it abundantly clear that this spirituality, which presented itself as generously inclusive of all religious traditions, did not in fact harbor warm and fuzzy feelings about such concepts as the sinfulness of humankind, Christs atoning death on the cross, or our need for individual repentance.

Ask a speaker about Jesus, and you would hear He was a Master Teacher, Enlightened Healer, Bearer of the Christ Consciousness, and so forth. Mention atonement, and you would be gently corrected, for Jesus demonstrated at-one-ment an understanding of His (and our) unity with God. Bring up repentance, and you would be told that what we really need is enlightenment a direct experience of our own divinity. Bear down on that distasteful event at Golgotha, and the air would suddenly become rather chilly.

Over the next several years, I both wrote and spoke of my concerns about the holistic health movement in a variety of settings, and while doing so, made a few observations:

First, a number of conventional medical practitioners were miffed over the idea that unorthodox healing systems were promoted as treating the whole person more effectively. Indeed, even the most narrowly focused subspecialist could truly keep the patients entire life in focus, attending to the mind and spirit as well as the body. Furthermore, there was no guarantee that an unorthodox practitioner might not see a patient as little more than a tangled wad of energy fields needing to be balanced through some esoteric formulation. (Take these supplements/herbs that I have chosen for you through the most inscrutable and subjective criteria, and call me in the morning.)

Second, many people including committed Christians who would go to the mat over the interpretation of a grammatical detail in a passage of Scripture appeared quite willing to lay critical thinking aside while dealing with unorthodox healing methods. Does it work? or, more specifically, Does it make me feel better? were often far more important questions than Does it make any sense? or Is there any empirical proof? or On what world view is this healing system based?

Third, the holistic health movement appeared to be having little impact on the practices of mainstream physicians. It had somewhat greater success among nurses, particularly with a specific healing technique known as therapeutic touch (see below).

Fourth, the new medicine also seemed to be making little headway within medical schools, government bodies, and insurance companies. Holistic health proponents repeatedly expressed a desire to leave the fringes and enter the cultural mainstream via research, public policy, and finance, but for many years this goal proved elusive.

Indeed, the persistent inability of holistic practices to gain widespread acceptance by the powers that be was undoubtedly a sore point for this movement for a number of years. Despite the grandiose optimism expressed during the San Diego conferences and others during the late 1970s and early 1980s, holistic health seemed to sputter through the 1980s, keeping itself alive primarily through paying clients who beat a path to the doors of unconventional practitioners. I concluded that there would always be holistic voices crying in the wilderness, but that our culture would probably keep them there.

My unspoken prediction, however, was proven wrong by some startling developments over the past few years. A dramatic turnabout has brought the gamut of holistic therapies including those with New Age and Eastern mystical flags fully unfurled squarely into the mainstream of American culture under a new banner: alternative medicine. Some proponents prefer the more conciliatory term complementary medicine, while a few describe themselves as promoters of integrative medicine, seeking to unite all forms of health care into a coherent system. Alternative medicine, however, is the most widely used term.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE TODAY

It is difficult to pinpoint when or how this reversal began. Promoters of alternative health care would likely argue that this movement hasnt actually enjoyed a revival, but that it has been alive and well all along, and that the power elites of the press, government, and medicine have only recently noticed. This idea is supported to some degree by a now-famous 1993 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, a publication not exactly known for tabloid excesses.

The report detailed the findings of a 1990 survey of health care utilization in the United States, suggesting that more than 30 percent of American adults availed themselves of at least one form of alternative therapy that year, paying an estimated 425 million visits to providers of such treatments about 40 million more than the number made to primary care physicians! The tab for this care was nearly $14 billion, of which more than $10 billion was not covered by insurance and thus was paid out of pocket. The survey indicated that unconventional therapies were used mostly for chronic rather than life-threatening conditions, that most people using these alternatives didnt discuss them with their physicians (no great surprise since conventional practitioners tended to dismiss such options with eye-rolling disdain), and that the elderly represented a significant proportion of the clientele.1

A RECENT SURGE IN PUBLIC INTEREST

It would not be surprising if a survey taken today showed even more widespread involvement in alternative practices. Recent indications of a surge in public interest include the following:

A Time cover story entitled Faith and Healing (24 June 1996) painted its subject with broad strokes, encompassing traditional faith in God, meditative techniques, and biochemistry. It described controlled studies designed to determine whether patients who were the recipients of prayer defined in a variety of ways fared better than others.

A bumper crop of books on alternative therapies now line the shelves of the Health and Medicine section of the typical neighborhood bookstore. No longer limited to the off-label and self-published material that was once the staple of New Age outlets, the newer titles come from mainstream publishers, and place unconventional treatments on equal footing with Western medicine. One prominent example is The Medical Advisor: The Complete Book of Alternative and Conventional Treatment,2 published last year by Time-Life Books. This handsome volume describes health problems in encyclopedic detail, noting for each the conventional medical approach and then listing several alternatives: ancient Chinese, homeopathic, herbal, and so on.

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has repeatedly broadcast presentations of alternative healing. Bill Moyerss 1993 series, Healing and the Mind, attracted almost twice the normal PBS viewing audience. Andrew Weil, M.D., a popular author who now teaches Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, has offered articulate distillations from his book Spontaneous Healing on a program of the same name. Deepak Chopra, M.D., a publishing hot-ticket and Americas foremost purveyor of Indias ancient healing system known as ayurveda, captivated viewers in the PBS specials, Body, Mind and Soul: The Mystery and the Magic and The Way of the Wizard.

Websites devoted to alternative therapies abound on the Internet. If one tells the Yahoo search engine to look for alternative medicine, he or she will be escorted to more than 200 sites, many of which provide links to dozens of others. On the other hand, cautionary notices and critical analyses by organizations such as the National Council against Health Fraud and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP, a humanist think tank that publishes Skeptical Inquirer) are few and far between.

Periodicals promoting alternative therapies are now available both for the general public (for example, Natural Health) and health care providers. The monthly journals Alternative and Complementary Therapies and Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine contain articles and studies of variable quality, which in some cases (unlike standard medical journals) freely wade into metaphysical and promotional material.

The most striking foray into the realm of conventional medicine occurred last November when American Family Physician, the official journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians (normally a reliable resource), published as its cover article, Alternative Medicine and the Family Physician.3 Authored by James M. Gordon, M.D., who directs the Mind-Body Center in Washington, D.C., the article offered a bland overview of alternative care, admonished family physicians to convey a sensitive acceptance and an openness to.their patients interest in alternative therapies, and encouraged practitioners to explore this realm themselves starting with Gordons own book, Manifesto for a New Medicine. An accompanying editorial strongly endorsed physician involvement in alternative therapies, and a duplicable information sheet did likewise for patients. Nowhere in these materials was there a note of caution or concern about any of the approaches mentioned.

NEW LINKS WITH CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE

Manifestations of increasing interest in alternative health care have not been limited to the general public and news media. In 1991, Congress mandated the formation of the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM), now permanently established within the National Institute of Health (NIH). OAMs mission is to encourage and support the investigation of alternative medical (AM) practices, with the ultimate goal of integrating validated alternative medical practices into health and medical care (emphasis added).4 To this end, 10 exploratory centers have been established at institutions such as the University of Minnesota Medical School, Stanford University, and Columbia Universitys College of Physicians and Surgeons. NIH guidelines for these centers call for a systematic analysis of alternative treatments and their effect on major diseases, health, and wellness.5

It remains to be seen whether the centers, each of which will focus on a specific health care issue, will approach alternative therapies with open arms along with open minds. Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, for example, has already established the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the first of its kind at an American medical school. A quote in the Rosenthal Centers brochure from Woodson Merrell, M.D., sounds less than dispassionate: The fact that medical schools are beginning to incorporate alternative modes of healing into their curriculum is a major step in medical education. It is very exciting.

The enthusiasm for alternative medicine displayed by those involved with OAM certainly raises some doubt that its programs will provide evenhanded analysis of the therapies they study. Representative John E. Porter (R-Ill), Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services Education Subcommittee, which oversees funding for NIH, not only supports OAM but also sees it as fulfilling a specific mission: As I see it, the most important contribution the OAM can make to the practice of medicine is to provide that link between alternative and conventional medicine.Therefore, it is important to continue making contacts on Capitol Hill and to deliver the message: alternative medicine is integral to biomedical research, provides effective results, and is a priority for spending decisions.6 James Gordon, M. D., who wrote the above-noted Manifesto for a New Medicine, also serves as Chairman of the Program Advisory Council for OAM.

WHY THE INTEREST?

What might explain this surge of interest in alternative therapies? There are many possible reasons, but the heart of the matter is this: for all of its technological prowess, especially with acute and critical conditions, Western medicine continues to bump against the limits of its effectiveness when dealing with many disabling chronic conditions especially those related to aging, such as degenerative arthritis as well as complex diseases, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. A massive tide of baby boomers is now facing mid-life and menopause, and, having challenged the status quo at every stage of life, this generation is not about to accept a just deal with it approach to the health problems of its golden years.

Moreover, stress and common lifestyle-induced problems, such as chronic fatigue and depression, do not always find sympathetic ears and definitive solutions in the doctors office. Many conventional practitioners drive large numbers of people to alternative therapists by spending as little time as possible with their patients and by clinging to outmoded authoritarian roles (I know whats best for you, so dont ask me those irritating questions.). Alternative practitioners may listen more attentively to their patients, and they frequently promote themselves as encouraging a more collaborative relationship.

Yet encouraging mutual respect, open communication, and informed decision-making are not the exclusive province of alternative therapies. In fact, many conscientious doctors within the conventional model have inadvertently contributed to the popularity of alternative therapies by candidly admitting the limits of their capabilities and carefully explaining the pros and cons of treatment options. Maintaining this evenhanded approach requires using words such as might, maybe, and I dont know. Furthermore, an increasing and appropriate emphasis on informed consent over the past few decades requires physicians to present both the risks and the benefits in connection with a given medication or surgery.

As a result, in many situations a physician may not be able to bring the power of positive expectation to bear on the patients problem. Alternative therapies, on the other hand, are typically brimming with optimism, often inversely proportional to their ties to reality. After hearing more than one doctor say, I dont know what is causing your problem or what we can do about it, someone with a complex illness may feel a breath of hope when the alternative practitioner announces, I can find out why you feel so poorly, and I have a specific plan that will get you on the road to recovery.

Other reasons for the rising interest in alternative therapies include:

1.) The appeal of natural approaches often touted as helping the body to heal itself over drugs and surgery. There is no question that ounces of prevention are better than pounds of cure, and positive lifestyle choices (regular exercise, prudent eating habits, and avoidance of harmful substances) are very likely to reduce medical problems in the future. But all too often the term natural is misapplied to bizarre, illogical treatments or the use of huge (and unnatural) amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements. Eating a variety of wholesome foods every day is natural; taking a tackle-box full of supplements is not.

2.) The current cultural enthronement of choice the need to have options, to have it my way has become a national credo. The word alternative implies that there is a choice to be made regarding health care, as opposed to simply following doctors orders.

3.) Skyrocketing costs, especially related to high-tech procedures and expensive medications, continue to plague the conventional health care system. Because alternative therapies tend to be relatively lowtech and often stress activities that the individual can do for himself or herself, some managed care/HMO systems are investigating their potential for lowering health care bills.

4.) A deep and widespread spiritual hunger. A number of therapies serve as a gateway to spiritual technologies and world views that address needs for meaning, knowledge, and power.

So what is the problem with alternative medicine? Before addressing that question, it is important to state what is not at issue.

1.) Turf battles. As a conventional, Western-trained practitioner, I can readily affirm that any concerns that I or others raise about alternative practices are not driven by possessiveness for patients or the income derived from them. Furthermore, it is important to counter an allegation that circulates with variable fervor in alternative circles: The A.M.A., the medical establishment, the pharmaceutical industry, or some other nefarious conglomerate is suppressing effective alternative treatments especially for cancer as part of an evil scheme to keep people sick so that billions of dollars can be made treating them. This paranoid delusion has as much basis in reality as a Stephen King novel, and begs the obvious question: What do these plotters do when any one of them or a loved one develops cancer? This rumor needs to be given a decent burial.

2.) Optimizing lifestyle. Many alternative devotees pay close attention to their daily living habits and make wise decisions (although sometimes for odd reasons). Primary care physicians are always delighted to have low maintenance patients who make wholesome dietary choices, exercise regularly, shun harmful substances, and deal effectively with lifes stresses. If this were the sum of alternative or holistic health, there would be little to be concerned about and much to applaud.

3.) Effective treatments based on rational thinking and solid research. One of the potential benefits of the Office of Alternative Medicine is the sponsorship of studies to separate alternative wheat from chaff. For example, the Rosenthal Center is conducting a double-blind, randomized study to determine whether a specific Chinese herbal preparation is effective in treating menopausal hot flashes. If such research validates this particular herbal remedy as a useful therapeutic tool and provides guidelines for its appropriate use, many women will be grateful beneficiaries.

4.) Recognizing the spiritual dimension to health. Human beings are indeed more than a collection of complex biochemical reactions, and their spiritual values can play an important role in both health and illness. Research psychiatrist David Larson, M.D., at the National Institute for Healthcare Research has collected a large number of studies that indicate that regular churchgoers are, among other things, more likely to have a reduced risk of coronary artery disease, lower blood pressure, less depression, and fewer anxiety-related illnesses. Furthermore, these benefits appear to be independent of lifestyle decisions (such as abstaining from smoking) that might arise from spiritual commitments. However, a number of alternative therapies and conceptions of health embrace metaphysical orientations overtly hostile to the teachings of the Old and New Testaments.

PROBLEMS WITH ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Presenting a detailed critique of even a sampling of alternative therapies is beyond the scope of this article. The following basic problem areas are presented, however, as a caution to those involved in this realm.

Excessive promoting. To say that the realm of alternative medicine is characterized by optimism is an understatement, and undoubtedly much of its success is due to its unabashedly positive outlook. Unfortunately, this buoyancy tends to pervade even its serious journals, such as Alternative and Complementary Therapies, raising doubts about the willingness of alternative practitioners to engage in any serious form of peer review. For all of its faults, Western medicine has progressed by honoring skepticism and doubt, and by demanding that the efficacy of its interventions be validated by controlled studies. Even the extensive advertising to physicians and patients by the pharmaceutical industry is governed by strict guidelines regarding claims that can be made about a given product.

There is no similar oversight for the myriad of herbal formulations, supplements, homeopathic remedies, and other concoctions heavily promoted in magazines, health food stores, and infomercials. (On weekends, some Christian radio stations literally transform into alternative therapy flea markets, without any apparent regard for the credibility of the material emanating on their airwaves.) Expansive claims abound for restoring energy, improving digestion, and solving a variety of poorly defined ailments (heart problems, kidney disease, etc.), all unspecified. Testimonials and anecdotes serve as proof positive, and any attempt by the Food and Drug Administration to bring some order to this Dodge City are met with howls of protest from merchants and buyers alike.

Everything you know is wrong. A number of alternative therapies also postulate alternative realities convoluted explanations of how things work in the human body (or the universe in general) that are totally at odds with the most basic facts of physiology. These are politely referred to in OAM literature as traditional and ethnomedicine therapies, and include such far-flung systems as ancient Chinese medicine and its offshoots (classical acupuncture and acupressure, among others), ayurvedic medicine from India, and homeopathy. Each operates as a self-contained system with its own internal logic, and while they seem to coexist happily under the big tent of alternative medicine, each is quite incompatible with the others. Questions about the validity of each systems basic assumptions are usually deflected with references to the accumulated wisdom of thousands of years of careful observation or the hundreds/ thousands/millions of treatment successes/satisfied customers or (best yet) the many scientific studies documenting the effectiveness of _____ . What proof is there, for example, for the ancient Chinese notion that invisible energy called chi circulates in equally invisible channels called meridians, and that disease results from disturbances in that flow?

The reference to many scientific studies is the most ironic because the methodology of modern scientific inquiry clearly came up with an understanding of health and disease that bears absolutely no resemblance to the precepts of these systems. For a quick reality check, imagine for a moment the reception that would greet an alternative system of mechanical engineering, aeronautics, or navigation based on ancient Eastern mysticism. Imagine, for that matter, an effort by your local emergency room to revive Hippocratess doctrine of the four humours as the basis for diagnosis and treatment.

Postmodern thinking. The fact that fanciful healing systems thrive in industrialized nations is partly due to the fact that postmodernism has penetrated Western cultures to a significant degree. This world view rejects both scientific rationalism and biblical notions of absolute truth, and substitutes for them intense subjectivism: Truth is defined by my experience/my feelings/my understanding. The scientific method and all that it entails rational hypotheses, logical deductions, controlled studies, and revising ones opinions based on this arduous process are seen as no more valid a way of understanding the world than any individuals mystical experiences or intuitive hunches. Any claim that one approach to obtaining knowledge might, in fact, be better than another, or that there is any absolute truth especially a transcendent God who is the truth is viewed as a power play, an attempt by one person to suppress and oppress someone else.

One alternative well suited to a postmodern culture is therapeutic touch, a practice that has continuously gained in popularity among nurses since its introduction in 1975 by New York University Professor Dolores Krieger, R.N., Ph.D. Now taught at more than 80 universities and hospitals, therapeutic touch purports to detect and adjust invisible energies supposedly flowing within and emanating from the human body. This involves entering a meditative state, moving the hands slowly about two inches above the patients skin in an effort to detect subtle sensations such as tingling or heat, using the hands to sweep away excess energy that might have been detected, creating mental images of desirable energy states, and then directing these images to the patient through the hands.

Aside from its misleading title (it should be therapeutic nontouch), the utter lack of objective validation for an invisible human energy field and the spectacular subjectivism of its technique (how in the world can anyone tell whether someone is doing it correctly?), therapeutic touch possesses a mystical heritage that should chill any practitioner who possesses even the faintest belief in the veracity of Scripture. Dr. Kriegers book The Therapeutic Touch makes it clear that she views Eastern mysticism and the Hindu concept of a universal energy called prana as the cornerstone for her therapy. She writes, The idea that prana might be transferred from one individual to another may not be so readily apparent to us unless we have gotten into the practice and literature of hatha yoga, tantric yoga, or the martial arts of the orient.7

Whenever therapeutic touch is called into question, a chorus of protest even from some Christian nurses who embrace this technique (often erroneously equating it with the laying on of hands in the New Testament) is a virtual certainty. But regardless of the benign intentions of its practitioners and its frequent proclamations of validation by some scientific studies, this technique represents a florid invasion of Eastern mysticism into the corridors of Western medicine.

The hijacking of prayer. Alternative medicine has embraced prayer as a healing modality, and in doing so, it has repeatedly fooled even mature Christians. This has occurred in two ways. One is exemplified by a 1988 study reported in the above-noted Time article, Faith and Healing. Nearly 400 patients in the coronary care unit at San Francisco General Hospital were randomly assigned to two groups. Patients in the experimental group were prayed for by born-again Christians, while those in the control group were not. Neither group of patients knew this was being done. Lo and behold, the prayed-for group had one-third the number of complications. Some Christians who become aware of such studies are thrilled: Finally science is validating what the Bible says about prayer.

But is God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, an appropriate subject for a controlled study? Is the potter going to be subject to a randomized protocol of the clay? Is prayer merely a form of spiritual technology? This type of experiment encompasses the worst of both worlds misdirected science and presumptuous theology and indirectly validates the misguided assumption (prevalent even among many Christians) that prayer is a cosmic call button, in response to which an omnipotent butler automatically fulfills human desires.

The other fake-out, involving some inventive verbal sleight of hand, is exemplified by the writings of Larry Dossey, M.D., author of the bestselling Healing Words and the more recent Prayer Is Good Medicine. Dossey is widely quoted even in reputable Christian publications because of his encouraging thoughts about the role of prayer in healing. But his notions of prayer extend well beyond the basic concept of communication between a human being and the omniscient, omnipotent, and loving Creator. He views prayer as a nonlocal extension of human consciousness: Prayer actually enlarges the reach of human consciousness. It is a way for us to transcend our physical limitations to be nonlocal, like gods.8 It doesnt matter much whether one prays to Jehovah or to the entire universe, or merely extends positive thoughts in another persons direction. To him its all prayer and its all good.

In the Bible, however, the importance of worshiping and honoring the one true God is of paramount concern. It does matter to whom we pray, and with what attitude. Furthermore, doing so requires that we have a clear understanding that God is God, and we arent which brings us full circle to the last and most serious problem with alternative medicine.

Health is godhood. As noted at the beginning of this article, the holistic health movement of 20 years ago embraced a concept that was in fact deeply embedded in many of its therapies: Matter and energy are different forms of the same reality. We are all congealed energy the same energy that fills the universe, which some call God. Therefore we are God. Alternative medicine in the 1990s has in no way distanced itself from this world view.

Perhaps the most successful proponent of this philosophy in the United States is Deepak Chopra, M. D., author of numerous best sellers including Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and The Way of the Wizard, ubiquitous endorser of other alternative medicine books, and favorite of PBS viewers and movie stars. Originally trained in Western-style endocrinology and once the prime promoter of Maharishi Mahesh Yogis foray into health care, Chopra is now in command of his own Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California.

Chopra shouts the virtues of ayurveda from the media housetops. He promotes the notion that we are all local nodes in the infinite, universal energy field (call it God if you wish): All of us are connected to patterns of intelligence that govern the whole cosmos. Our bodies are part of a universal body, our minds an aspect of a universal mind.9 So when the physical body dies, we have nothing to fear. As he explains in a recent column in Natural Health, Once our physical body disintegrates, we go through a period of deep slumber as an astral body.after which we gradually awaken to experiences that we need to work out. Eventually we get in touch with our karmic software and then re-emerge on the physical plane with a higher level of awareness. With each cycle of life and death we move into a higher or more refined vibratory frequency of consciousness.10

THE SAME OLD LIE

This is, of course, the old reincarnation shuffle, presented to reassure readers of this alternative health magazine that all will be well during their next several appearances on earth, until ultimate health a final unity with the universal mind takes place. Obviously, in such a scenario there is no need for God to have become a man to become a ransom for many, and no need for repentance, but only a need for each of us to experience our godhood.

These are yet another presentation, in all of their primal seduction, of the two most basic lies ever told to human beings: You shall be as gods, and you will not die. Unfortunately, despite an abundance of optimism and good intentions, many who are involved in alternative medicine especially those who claim to detect and manipulate invisible energies are unwittingly distorting Gods true identity as creator and Lord, and our true identity as creatures who need first to be saved by Him and then to serve Him.Paul Reisser, M.D., is a family physician in private practice in Southern California. He is the coauthor of several books, including New Age Medicine (InterVarsity Press, 1988) and the upcoming Focus on the Family Complete Book of Baby and Child Care (Tyndale). He is a member of the Focus on the Family Physicians Resource Council and medical commentator for the radio broadcast Family News in Focus.

NOTES

1D. M. Eisenberg, R. C. Kessler, C. Foster, F. E. Norlock, D. R. Calkins, and T. L. Delbanco, Unconventional Medicine in the United States: Prevalence, Costs and Patterns of Use, New England Journal of Medicine 328 (1993): 246-52.2The Medical Advisor: The Complete Book of Alternative and Conventional Treatment (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1996).3James M. Gordon, Alternative Medicine and the Family Physician, American Family Physician 54,7 (1996): 2205,124Exploratory Centers for Alternative Medicine Research, NIH Guide, vol. 23, no. 15 (RFA: OD-94-004), 15 April 1994.5Ibid.6John E. Porter, OAM Funding: A Shared Responsibility, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 1,3 (1995): 80.7 Dolores Krieger, The Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your Hands to Help or Heal (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1979), 13.8 Larry Dossey, Prayer Is Good Medicine (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996), 79.9Emperor of the Soul, Time, 24 June 1996, 68.10Deepak Chopra, Soul Searching, Natural Health, January/February 1997, 192.

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Alternative Medicine – Christian Research Institute

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Depression (major depression) Alternative medicine – Mayo Clinic

Posted: at 11:12 am

Alternative medicine is the use of a nonconventional approach instead of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is a nonconventional approach used along with conventional medicine.

Make sure you understand the risks as well as possible benefits if you pursue alternative or complementary therapy. Don’t replace conventional medical treatment or psychotherapy with alternative medicine. When it comes to depression, alternative treatments aren’t a substitute for medical care.

Examples of supplements that are sometimes used for depression include:

Nutritional and dietary products aren’t monitored by the FDA the same way medications are. You can’t always be certain of what you’re getting and whether it’s safe. Also, because some herbal and dietary supplements can interfere with prescription medications or cause dangerous interactions, talk to your health care provider before taking any supplements.

Complementary and alternative medicine practitioners believe the mind and body must be in harmony for you to stay healthy. Examples of mind-body techniques that may be helpful for depression include:

Relying solely on these therapies is generally not enough to treat depression. They may be helpful when used in addition to medication and psychotherapy.

.

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Depression (major depression) Alternative medicine – Mayo Clinic

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About complementary medicines – Live Well – NHS Choices

Posted: at 11:12 am

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are treatments that fall outside of mainstream healthcare.

These medicines and treatments range from acupuncture and homeopathy, to aromatherapy, meditation and colonic irrigation.

This page covers:

Defining CAMs

Deciding to use complementary or alternative treatments

Availability on the NHS

Finding a CAM practitioner

There is no universally agreed definition of CAMs.

Although “complementary and alternative” is often used as a single category, it can be useful to make a distinction between the two terms.

The US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) uses this distinction:

There can be overlap between these two categories. For example, aromatherapy may sometimes be used as a complementary treatment, and in other circumstances is used as an alternative treatment.

A number of complementary and alternative treatments are typically used with the intention of treating or curing a health condition.

Examples include:

Tounderstand whether a treatment is safe and effective, we need to check the evidence.

You can learn more about the evidence for particular CAMs by reading about individual types of treatment see our index for a list of all conditions and treatments covered by NHS Choices.

Some complementary and alternative medicines or treatments are based on principles and an evidence base that are not recognised by the majority of independent scientists.

Others have been proven to work for a limited number of health conditions. For example, there is evidence that osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture are effective for treatinglower back pain.

When a person uses any health treatment including a CAM and experiences an improvement, this may be due to the placebo effect.

The availability of CAMs on the NHS is limited, and in most cases the NHS will not offer such treatments.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidanceto the NHS on effective treatments that are value for money. NICE has recommended the use of CAMs in a limited number of circumstances.

For example:

If you think you may have a health condition, first see your GP. Don’t visit a CAM practitioner instead of seeing your GP.

It’s particularly important to talk to your GP if you have a pre-existing health condition or are pregnant. Some CAMs may interact with medicines that you are taking.

The practice of conventional medicine is regulated by laws that ensure that practitioners are properly qualified, and adhere to certain standards or codes of practice. This is called statutory professional regulation.

Professionals of two complementary and alternative treatments osteopathy and chiropractic are regulated in the same way.

There is no statutory professional regulation of any other CAM practitioners.

Osteopathy and chiropractic are regulated in the same way as conventional medicine.

Apart from osteopathy and chiropractic, there is no professional statutory regulation of complementary and alternative treatments in the UK.

This means:

If you decide to use a CAM, it’s up to you to find a practitioner who will carry out the treatment in a way that is acceptable to you.

Professional bodies and voluntary registers can help you to do this. See below.

Some regulated healthcare professionals such as GPs also practise unregulated CAMs. In these instances, the CAM practice is not regulated by the organisation that regulates the healthcare professional such as the General Medical Council but these organisations will investigate complaints that relate to the professional conduct of their member.

Many CAMs have voluntary registerssome of which are accreditedby the Professional Standards Authorityfor Health and Social Care (PSA) or professional associations, that practitioners can join if they choose.

Usually, these associations or registers demand that practitioners hold certain qualifications, and agree to practise to a certain standard.

Organisations with PSA-accredited voluntary registers include:

This means that these organisations have met the PSA’s demanding standards, which are designed to help people make an informed choice when they’re looking for a practitioner.

Find more information on the PSA’s accredited registers.

Once you’ve found a practitioner, it’s a good idea to ask them some questions to help you decide if you want to go ahead with treatment.

You could ask for:

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About complementary medicines – Live Well – NHS Choices

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Human Cloning: What is cloning? How to clone. Is cloning …

Posted: August 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm

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Human Cloning: What is cloning? How to clone. Is cloning …

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CIA World Factbook: Bahamas – Central Intelligence Agency

Posted: August 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking, and investment management. Because of its location, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.

chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba

24 15 N, 76 00 W

Central America and the Caribbean

total: 13,880 sq km

land: 10,010 sq km

water: 3,870 sq km

slightly smaller than Connecticut

0 km

3,542 km

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream

long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills

mean elevation: NA

elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Alvernia on Cat Island 63 m

salt, aragonite, timber, arable land

agricultural land: 1.4%

arable land 0.8%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 0.2%

forest: 51.4%

other: 47.2% (2011 est.)

10 sq km (2012)

0.02 cu km (2011)

hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage

coral reef decay; solid waste disposal

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabited

noun: Bahamian(s)

adjective: Bahamian

black 90.6%, white 4.7%, black and white 2.1%, other 1.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.)

English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

Protestant 69.9% (includes Baptist 34.9%, Anglican 13.7%, Pentecostal 8.9% Seventh Day Adventist 4.4%, Methodist 3.6%, Church of God 1.9%, Brethren 1.6%), Roman Catholic 12%, other Christian 13% (includes Jehovah’s Witness 1.1%), other 0.6%, none 1.9%, unspecified 2.6% (2010 est.)

324,597

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)

0-14 years: 22.98% (male 37,838/female 36,747)

15-24 years: 17.15% (male 28,195/female 27,459)

25-54 years: 44.08% (male 71,528/female 71,555)

55-64 years: 8.58% (male 12,429/female 15,436)

65 years and over: 7.21% (male 8,981/female 14,429) (2015 est.)

Population Pyramid

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab.

total dependency ratio: 41.2%

youth dependency ratio: 29.6%

elderly dependency ratio: 11.7%

potential support ratio: 8.5% (2015 est.)

total: 31.5 years

male: 30.4 years

female: 32.6 years (2015 est.)

0.85% (2015 est.)

15.5 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

7.05 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

urban population: 82.9% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.53% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

NASSAU (capital) 267,000 (2014)

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

80 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

total: 11.92 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 11.75 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

total population: 72.2 years

male: 69.77 years

female: 74.7 years (2015 est.)

1.96 children born/woman (2015 est.)

7.3% of GDP (2013)

2.82 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)

improved:

urban: 98.4% of population

rural: 98.4% of population

total: 98.4% of population

unimproved:

urban: 1.6% of population

rural: 1.6% of population

total: 1.6% of population (2015 est.)

improved:

urban: 92% of population

rural: 92% of population

total: 92% of population

unimproved:

urban: 8% of population

rural: 8% of population

total: 8% of population (2015 est.)

3.22% (2013 est.)

7,700 (2013 est.)

500 (2013 est.)

36.6% (2014)

NA

total: 30.8%

male: 29.6%

female: 32.2% (2012 est.)

conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Link:

CIA World Factbook: Bahamas – Central Intelligence Agency

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