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  1. Read the text and give the meaning to the following: kinds of medical treatment based on “wild’ theories not accepted as scientifically proved by orthodox doctors, orthodox medicine, the same as crank, moving, greatly respected, laugh at, treat as ridiculous, a regular column in the Observer, treatment by sticking needles into the body at certain points, treatment by manipulation (handling) of the bones and muscles, treatment of disease by “natural” methods, including attention to diet and general way of life, treatment by plants, forms of treatment which are “on the edge” of orthodox medicine, nonsense, making the body insensitive to pain in order to operate, disagreement, value in curing disease, old Egyptian manuscript.


  1. Speak on the underlined parts of the text.


In treating disease, the frontier between “establishment” medicine and “alternative” medicine seems to be shifting. In recent years, certain beliefs and views that seemed to be part of “crank” territory have moved across into the hallowed regions of accepted practice. So what’s next? What are the ideas which we currently pooh pooh which by next year we’ll have begun to accept?

YOU asked Michael van Straten – who practices acupuncture, osteopathy, naturopathy and herbalism – to report on past developments, and to predict what may be on the way.

It is undoubtedly true that some of yesterday’s fringe therapies are becoming part of everyday medical routine, and I believe that a number of today’s unorthodox ideas will tomorrow appear in the textbooks as standard practice.

Foe example, acupuncture has existed in China for seven thousand years, the earliest writing dates back to 3000 BC, to the Yellow Emperor. But in the West acupuncture was regarded as mumbo jumbo until President Nixon’s visit to China. One of the American newsmen, James Reston, was taken ill on the tour and while in hospital witnessed an operation under acupuncture anaesthesia. He described what he had seen in the New York Times and started a story of controversy.

Allegations of hypnosis, auto-suggestion and even the secret use of pain-killing drugs poured from the medical Press, until the American Medical Association was invited to send an investigating team to China. Doctors were forced by the evidence of their own eyes to accept acupuncture anaesthesia; even so, most still disregard its therapeutic value.

It’s easy to understand the scientists’ caution, as Aldous Huxley has pointed out: “That a needle stuck into one’s foot should improve the functioning of one’s liver is obviously incredible, it makes no sense. Within our system of explanation there is no reason why the needle prick should be followed by an improvement of liver function. Therefore we say it can’t happen. The only trouble with this argument is that as a matter of empirical fact, it does happen.”

But acupuncture has proven uses in the treatment of many diseases – from drug addiction to migraine, from eczema and psoriasis to high blood pressure, from arthritis and rheumatism to ulcers. But widespread acceptance of this lies in the future. The development of sensitive electronic apparatus which can trace the course of the Chinese “meridians” or lines of energy flow, and which can also measure changes in current when specific points are pricked, may help.

Another therapy which is now crossing into established practice is naturopathy. Again it is very old. In 1550 BC the Ebers Papyrus gave a remedy for nightblindness – “roasted ox liver crushed to a paste.” This remedy is certain to have been effective, because of the Vitamin A content of the liver and its relation to nightblindness. But that relationship is a discovery of recent times.

from the Observer



  1. Listen to the text “Pet Therapy” and take notes to expand on the following statements:

Pets improve the health of their owners.

The difference a dog made.

A pioneering new method of treatment.

Pets linked to longer lifespan.

A new view of the world.

Pets are not for everyone.

Healing physical and mental scars.

Prison relations improved by animals.

Animals ease tension.


  1. Discuss the medical benefits of keeping pets.
  2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a pet.
  3. Listen to the text about Qigong, a type of therapy. Complete the sentences and expand on your choice :

Qigong is perfect for those who……. (a) do not like vigorous exercise; (b) enjoy jogging; (c) are exhausted; (d) do not enjoy routines.

Qigong….. (a) is a type of body building; (b) helps the body fight disease more effectively; (c) is a form of acupuncture; (d) is like aerobics.

Qi is believed to be…… (a) the training of energy; (b) a channel in the body; (c) the life-force; (d) the circulatory system.

Some governments approve Qigong because…. (a) they are keen on it; (b) it is cheap; (c) they have been persuaded that it works; (d) it is better than conventional methods.

In Europe, Qigong has mainly been used….. (a) for serious conditions; (b) for those who can’t afford private treatment; (c) for easily treated ailments; (d) for those with allergic reactions to drugs.

What made a French air stewardess nearly die? (a) cancer; (b) Qigong; (c) the established way of treatment; (d) limited life expectancy.

According to the conclusion of the passage, Qigong…… (a) will definitely make you live longer; (b) will only cure you if you believe in it; (c) has miraculous effects; (d) is ineffective.


5. Talk about the benefits of Qigong.


Do you know anything about other forms of alternative medicine? Do you believe they work?


6. Make 5-7 min. reports on forms of alternative medicine (choose one from active vocabulary).



Date: 2015-01-12; view: 646

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