An Explanation on Six Alternative Medicines

Alternative medicine is any treatment approach that is not included in Western medicine. However, there are many different therapies out there that it is impossible to perceive them as similar approaches. There are some that focus on the whole body (with mind, heart, and soul), exercise, diet, the use of needles and even herbs or oils to treat medical conditions. Some patients follow these practices instead of following standard Western medicine or may also be used at the same time.

Over the years, many studies have been conducted to attempt to prove or disprove these therapies, as their benefits and effectiveness are highly disputed. Despite the lack of clear evidence, many individuals still believe that they are better or they improve the effectiveness of Western medicine. Some do it out of traditional beliefs and others because traditional Western medicine has failed them. Here are 6 of the most popular alternative medicine practices out there.

  1. Herbology

This approach moves away from medicine that is manufactured with chemicals, opting instead for more natural sources like herbs, flowers, probiotics, even stems, fruits, seeds, and roots. Herbology has been around longer than Western medicine because it can be traced thousands of years back. Before the advent of the antibiotics and vaccines, this was used as the main approach to healing disease in earlier cultures. This is also practiced by other alternative medicine advocates like traditional Chinese medicine. However, though you might think that these are only herbs, they may also be quite powerful and react with other medication. It may also lead to having allergic reactions.

  1. Traditional Chinese Medicine

Undoubtedly one of the most well-known therapies out there, this has been around for centuries. The approach is holistic, seeing the body, mind, and soul as one whole system. Therefore, any disease might mean an imbalance in any of these. However, it aims not to treat the symptoms, but the underlying condition itself. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses different treatments like acupuncture, herbology, and much more.

  1. Aromatherapy

This therapy draws on the essential oils from plants to heal a patient. More than that, these oils are most popular for relaxation and as treatment for anxiety, stress, and pain. Patients either inhale these highly concentrated oils or are used in the body while massaging. Some may also be added to a bath or a compress. Practitioners believe that they are beneficial for the brain’s waves and the other neurological system.

  1. Massage Therapy

Though more popular as a way to relax, this is also a form of alternative therapy. The belief is that the physical touch has a healing power and it can be used to relieve stress in the body and treat medical conditions as well. Trained therapists use various hand and body movements to manipulate the soft tissues and muscles. There are quite a few types of massage out there, with the goal of treating different conditions, like sports massage, Swedish massage, and even prenatal ones.

  1. Homeopathy

The guiding belief of Homeopathy is to “treat like with like”. It means, whatever substance can bring about specific symptoms can also be used to treat them if it is taken in small doses. In doing so, the body will be stimulated to heal itself. In fact, some Western medicine treatments use this as well. Homeopathic treatments are recognizable due to the small pellets that are put under the patient’s tongue. These are prepared by pharmacists who specialize in Homeopathy, diluting the main substance and shaking it vigorously in order to activate it.

  1. Acupuncture

Another well-known approach, it is easily identified through the small needles that are then inserted into the body’s trigger points. The goal is to treat symptoms and barriers to the flow of inner energy, which becomes blocked. This is where symptoms and conditions begin to manifest, therefore, unblocking it will release the trapped negative energy and lead to healing. Despite the needles, it is quite painless and once inserted at the right spot, it will stimulate the healing of both mind and body.

These alternative therapies are believed to be effective, based on the experience of some people. However, the truth is, the research is not yet fully conclusive on the effectiveness. If you consider taking any of these treatments for your condition, make sure you discuss this with your medical doctor.

Author Bio:

Elaine Hickman is a practitioner at Freedom Chinese Medicine, an acupuncture clinic which helps women with infertility issues. She is a Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has worked for over 20 years while treating a variety of health problems.

 

Image courtesy of [Viacheslav Blizniuk] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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