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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

TESSER, Charles Dalcanale. Complementary practices, medical rationalities, and health promotion: some overlooked contributions. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.8, pp. 1732-1742. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009000800009.

This article presents some key contributions to health promotion by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). After contextualizing CAM, the article proposes a scheme for viewing the challenges and tensions in health promotion, organized along four thematic lines: (1) actions impacting the collective (social, collective "empowerment") versus the individual; (2) inter-sector versus sectorial actions; (3) positive and expanded conception of health versus health as absence of disease; (4) directive versus dialogical pedagogy. The paper argues that the contributions of CAM to health promotion are oriented towards individuals and groups and to the sectorial pole of promotion; they are centered on positive conceptions of health, especially vitalist medical paradigms, including health-strengthening practices; and with "empowering" pedagogical potential. The article highlights the relevance of these contributions, largely overlooked in the past, and the difficulties and guidelines for enabling them in Brazil, related to their non-scientific and poorly institutionalized configurations and their steady commodification.

Keywords : Complemetary Therapies; Health Promotion; Professional Practice.

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