Complementary and Alternative medicine sources
Generally, the initial reaction for Americans to any kind of medical issue is conventional medicine. There is, however, another alternative. The oldest known medicine system in the world is “Alternative medicine”.
Alternative medicine envelops the concept of seeking non-traditional means to deal with day-to-day health and wellness issues. This sort of medication looks beyond taking medicine.
People seek to use alternative medicine for two primary reasons. The first is because of the concept that taking medications can possibly lead to undesirable results such as dependencies and adverse effects. The second is because of the natural curiosity of man to find better approaches to heal.
Alternative medicine includes various therapies, such as hypnosis, color therapy, yoga, meditation, herbal remedies, vitamin therapy, and many more.
The primary focus of alternative medicine is that life is a combination of parts that includes more than the treatment of disease. There is a definite focus on living life happily, well, and with purpose. It is believed that this is an essential part of healthy and balanced living.
Let us explore the different elements of alternative medicine and how it can help you. Consider using the ideas next time you feel ill to begin feeling better naturally.
Treatments Beyond Conventional
Alternative Medicine & Its History
When most people get sick, they look to conventional methods of medical treatment for relief and recovery. There are alternative techniques to treatment that are becoming increasingly popular.
What treatments are considered “conventional?” Prescription medication, conventional surgery, and computerized clinical testing are three examples of conventional medication. Most physicians support conventional medication in their practices, so when seeing a doctor, it is extremely likely you will be advised to adhere to conventional medical advice.
The decision to use conventional medication needs to be made by the patient and doctor on a case-by-case basis. An alteration to the kind of treatment is sometimes all that is needed to feel much better.
Patients often find themselves resorting to alternative approaches of therapy when conventional methods are ineffective or a medical problem has been deemed untreatable. Alternative therapies are designed to not only aid in pain relief, but also reduce anxiety and stress that can aggravate chronic pain.
Alternative approaches of therapy focus on the entire individual’s body and soul. Convention methods focus only on the physical problems alone. For alternative approaches to be effective, the patient needs to be motivated and believe in the alternative therapy’s ability to work.
Of course, any major, life-threatening health issue needs to blend conventional and alternative approaches for a comprehensive approach. Be sure to consult your doctor to avoid complications.
If planned well, you can benefit from best of both types of medicine for a life that is comfortable and delightful.
Alternative Medicine History & Concept
Thousands of years ago, all medicine was “alternative medicine.” Prior to modern-day scientific research, healers would consider the full picture, emotional, physical, and spiritual before healing a sick person.
This is one of the primary differences between modern-day conventional medicine and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine does not look at the instant cure for the physical problem, rather is looks more at a long-term remedy that includes the entire self.
Just a couple of centuries ago in Europe there were two types of healers; folk healers that used old reliable techniques, and professional doctors. The lower classes did not have the money to pay for the professional doctors, so they used the folk healers and it worked.
In North America, philosophy and religious beliefs were often helped folk healers provide holistic treatments.
Today, the conventional medicine we have has evolved from the days of folk healers and alternative medicine. Many conventional doctors support different kinds of holistic treatments in the general wellness plan for their patients. Alternative medicine has stood the test of time, because it works!
Ancient Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes acupuncture, Qigong, herbal treatments, deep massage therapy, and much more. More than 25% of the world’s population practices TCM.
Several reliable groups, such as the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health, find traditional Chinese medicine to be a viable alternative to modern medicine.
Many parts of TCM began more than 3,000 years ago in China. The emphasis of TCM is Qi (pronounced “Chee”), which is the body’s energy that connects it to the world around us. It is believed that all disorders and physical problems are caused by the imbalance of Qi. Acupuncture is among widely acknowledged techniques of bringing the Qi into alignment.
Herbal remedies are popular in traditional Chinese medicine. They are used to unwind and relax the patient’s emotions to prevent depression, and provide a more positive outlook on the illness. This helps significantly in the healing process. Herbal green tea and Ginseng are the most popular herbal remedies in China.
Exercise, primarily Qigong (pronounce “Chee Kung”), is also an important part of traditional Chinese medicine. Qigong includes posture, meditation, and slow, calculated body movements.
Tibetan Medicine is almost entirely based on herbal remedies, and has been around for over 2,500 years. It is called “gSoba Rig-pa”. Since their exile in the late 1950’s Tibetans mostly live in India. They practice Tibetan Buddhism.
There is a Tibetan Medical Institute in Northern India, where doctors studying Tibetan medicine attend for 7 years before getting a degree.
The underlying belief in Tibetan medicine is that all illnesses are caused by toxic thinking that includes dread, denial, and desire. This idea ties to the principles of Buddhist philosophy ideology.
The three toxic thoughts are believed to be caused by inadequate diet, inappropriate behavior, and the imbalance of time and season. This idea is much more complicated than this, however this simplification will give a general sense of it.
Remedies are linked to all systems of the body working together. The excretion of sweat, feces and urine contributes to this harmony.
Similar to the Chinese “Qi”, the Tibetans have the Rlung, which is the overall life force that links us to the universe. Rlung has five types:
- Centered in the brain. Life grasping– controls breathing, intellect, sneezing and swallowing.
- Centered in the chest. Upward moving– controls verbal ability and stamina.
- Centered in the heart. All pervading– controlling all movement like that of the orifices of the body and walking.
- Centered in the stomach. Fire accompanying– controls digestion and metabolism.
- Centered in the rectum. Downward cleansing– controls everything that is excreted from the body, such as babies, menstrual blood or semen.
Tibetan medicine usually handles illness diagnosis by analysis of the tongue and urine. The spiritual aspect is also at play in Tibetan medicine, with much attention spent focusing on the type and character of spirits in the body.
American Indian Medicine (aka Native American Medicine)
Practicing medicine, North American Indian tribes, for what some claim to be over 40,000 years. Handed down from generation to generation; the medical information and techniques, ensure the longevity of the practice.
Although all tribal medicine is called Native American Medicine, collectively, some remedies are tribe-specific. Native Americans, believing that human are one with nature and that the elements provide strength and can cure disease.
It is remarkable to note that at the same time that Native American medicine was being practiced in North America (The United States and Canada), Traditional Chinese Medicine was being practiced a half a globe away. Ayurveda (medicine practiced in India), was also practiced at this time.
All of these traditional medical practices are based on the same fundamental belief that an individual’s lifestyle and environment need to be taken into account before picking a treatment path. There are subtle distinctions between the practices that are specific to the region.
Native American medicine acknowledges a purification procedure involving herbal smoke before and after treatment. Treatments include the use of sage and cedar smoke to fend off negative energy. Negative energy is considered the pain released by a person who is ill, or the pain that the healer takes on themselves from their patients. Healing touch is used. Chanting, Singing, drums and rattles accompany the healing during the session.
With focuses on natural healing, Ayurvedic Medicine is practiced in India. Practitioners believe that it is essential for the body to be balanced, and all medicines are based on vegetables and minerals, with the active ingredients from plant alkaloids.
In Ayurvedic Medicine system, the belief is that there are three elements in the body, called Kapha, Pitta, and Vata, that cause disease.
- Kapha: The energy is caused by the lack of stabilizing the balance in the body. Westerners generally call these viruses.
- Pitta: This energy supports vision, hunger, temperature, thirst, intelligence, and happiness. When out of alignment, the outcomes include weight fluctuation, digestive issues, dehydration, depression, and apathy.
- Vata: This energy keeps the overall balance between the earth, sky and world around us in contact ourselves. If it falls out of equilibrium, sickness is invited in.
Vyaadhi is the disease called, and it is treated by focusing on the imbalance of elements.
Homeopathy is defined as an organic system of medicine based on three essences:
- Like cures like
- Minimal dosing
- One time remedies
Alternative medicine traditionally has the least amount of “active” ingredient possible; with the concept of using one single remedy regardless of the number of symptoms exist. Homeopathy focuses on the least amount of treatments for better health and wellness.
There are several reasons why homeopathy is the second most popular form of medication (after conventional medication). The most prominent reasons are:
- It is exceptionally natural and safe
- The results are permanent
- It is effective
- You can take most homeopathic medicines along with conventional medicine without adverse effects
- It is non-addictive
Homeopathy is a precise science, which is why it often takes longer to find precisely the appropriate medication for your disease. Alternative medicine spends time asking questions regarding signs and symptoms and the root cause of the disease in an effort to make a clear diagnosis for the problem, and treat it effectively.
Nature provides numerous cures and treatments for ailments of all kinds. Each region has its very own native plants that are used in alternative medicine.
When buying herbs for medicinal purposes, it is recommended that you use herbs from an herbal shop. Strength of the herb varies depending on the way in which they are grown, so until you are familiar with growing techniques for medicinal herbs, purchasing from a professional is recommended.
The following list provides herbal remedies to common ailments:
- Acne and skin blemishes
Wash your face and rub a clove of garlic that is cut in half. Alternatively, mix lavender with witch hazel at a 1:10 proportion. Tea tree oil can be substituted instead of the lavender.
- Anxiety and stress
Soaked onto a cotton cloth, Lavender pure essential oil, heated, and folded into a compress. Apply to head or neck.
- Bruises and contusions
Boil hyssop flowers and leaves into a tincture. Filter liquid, and soak a cotton compress. Apply to bruised area using pressure. Heat and pressure combination of the hyssop will reduce the bruise.
You can treat minor burns with comfrey or aloe juice. Simply rub aloe juice onto burned area. Crushing comfrey into a fine powder, mixed with equal parts of melted beeswax, and added to vegetable oil. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, and strain the mixture.
- Warts, Blemishes, Moles
Either use a cut piece of garlic, placed directly on the wart, blemish or mole or, for a less odorous cure, try dandelion juice applied repeatedly throughout the day.
Herbal teas, an age-old remedy, are used to soothe and relive pain and stress. Rather than a tea, many teas are actually a tincture. A tincture is a thicker tea that is herb-dense and is infused instead of soaked.
The following is a list of conditions and herbal tea remedies:
Consume a tincture made from boiled or steamed stinging nettle leaves.
Consume a tincture of devil’s claw, juniper, birch, or celery seed (not the kind on your spice rack).
- Chemotherapy side effects
Consume a tincture of Siberian ginseng root. It soothes the insides and relieves fatigue.
- Colic in infants
Add less than 10 drops of dill and fennel tincture to their feeding bottle.
Consume a liter of rhubarb root per day.
Consume a tea made from garlic bulbs and ribwort leaves.
Consume a tincture daily made from the ground up oat plant and St. John’s wart flowers.
Consume a hot tea made of lemon balm, yarrow, and ginger.
Consume a tea made of caraway, fennel, ginger, and peppermint.
- Flu signs and symptoms
Consume a tincture made of Echinacea, yarrow, and catnip.
Vitamins & Minerals
Taking a vitamin supplement is not an alternative for eating healthy. However, it does serve as an insurance to be certain that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Vitamins are essential to the enhanced performance of your body. Without adequate vitamins, for instance, your blood doesn’t clot, you need vitamin k for that. You need vitamins to fight colds, and boost your immune system.
It is best to take a holistic test to determine the vitamins that you need. This prevents a harmful overdose. And you can take the vitamins you need individually, as needed, and avoid a multi-vitamin, which is chockfull of fillers. This approach saves you money, as well.
Bee Therapy (aka Apitherapy)
The practice of Apitherapy is the use of bee stings, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and honey to treat a variety of ailments. While there has not been extensive screening in the scientific world to validate the claims of apitherapists, history shows that the treatments provide relief.
There are five honeybee products that are used in apitherapy:.
- Venom: A practitioner aids the patient in injecting or being stung by bees in the affected area. The venom is used to provide relief from conditions such as tendonitis, Multiple Sclerosis, and degenerative bone disease. It works because the venom is a natural anti-inflammatory that is much more potent than others available to conventional medicine such as hydrocortisone. You need to get tested to be certain that you are not allergic to beestings prior to subjecting yourself to bee venom.
- Pollen: Used as a seasonal allergy aid, it is a natural energy supplement. It is also believed to slow down the growth of wrinkles.
- Raw Honey: A source of quick energy, raw honey is used for several cures. It can even be used as a salve on top of an open wound to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Royal Jelly: Is the milk like white substance that the worker bees produce to feed the queen. While unverified, this substance is used as a beauty aid and is believed to help lower cholesterol.
- Propolis: The glue, proplis, used to keep the hives together and make repairs. Propolis is made from the sap of conifer and poplar trees. It is used to make salves and lip balm, and is considered an antioxidant
Iridology is name for the practice of determining an individual’s toxicity based on the color of their iris. This concept goes back to Sweden and Hungary where physicians used it to determine disease in their patients.
For centuries, well-known physicians and scientists, all the way back to the Greek doctor Hippocrates; have found people with injuries get black marks across the iris of their eye. As the person’s ailments heal, these marks disappear.
In today’s world, iridology is used as a preventative measure to determine if there is a change in an individual’s health and wellness. It is unfortunate that iridology cannot be used to determine a specific disease.
Today’s iridology is practice is that the colored part of the eye (the iris) is carefully photographed using a strong camera lens. There is no pain, and it takes about an hour to complete. The images are enlarged, and a qualified and experienced professional iridologist studies it for signs of possible disease.
Even conventional doctors use the eyes as an early indication of negative things taking place inside the body. When looking for signs of degenerative health issues, this study is just the more focused analysis of the iris.
Meditation in Healing
Meditation is a skill that is learned. Once you understand how to do it correctly, it can be used to significantly enhance your quality of life and health.
The advantages of meditation are an enhanced level of energy, a more positive attitude, a better immune health, better sleep quality, and the slowing of the aging process.
Meditate for at least 20 minutes per day prior to bedtime, to take advantage of the maximum benefit.
Adhere to these steps for practicing meditation. First, sit down and get comfortable in a quiet space. Keep your neck and back straight, and clear your mind so that you are focusing on the present moment.
Then become aware of your breathing. Breathe in and out of your mouth, and focus on your stomach rising and falling.
If thoughts come into your head, acknowledge them and let them pass through your mind. Continue to be conscious of your breathing and relax. If your thoughts carry you away, don’t get frustrated and disappointed. Simply return to focusing on your breathing.
When your time meditating is completed, become aware of your surroundings and stand up gradually.
Meditation is a wonderful means to instantly relax and unwind yourself and re-enter your being. It is the ideal supplement to any type of treatment, both alternative and contemporary. This deep relaxation technique helps eliminate stress and anxiety from life. Reduced stress and anxiety can only help healing.
Tai Chi & Yoga
Tai Chi is an extremely gentle form of exercise that anyone can do. Since most people spend the majority of their time sitting, it is imperative that regular exercise become a part of their day-to-day routine. Tai Chi can become that day-to-day activity.
Exercise helps by enhancing circulatory function, reducing headache, stress, lowering blood pressure, and eliminating chronic back and neck pain.
Tai Chi is a series of stretches and movements that anyone can do from any position, even sitting. The exercise improves posture, stamina, and flexibility.
Movements in Tai Chi are slow and deliberate, and simple to learn. Attending a course is the best means to learn Tai Chi. Do not fret about not being in shape; Tai Chi is known to be an exercise done by all kinds of people, of all ages.
Yoga is a wonderful exercise for all sorts of individuals. It is not difficult, yet you do need to learn it. The primary objective of yoga is to create a well balanced relationship between you physical and psychological health.
Yoga is a way of living that is carried throughout the day, not just while in yoga class. Yoga creates an awareness of yourself and your day-to-day life. There is a drastic change to many individuals who often live on autopilot.
You can determine how you intend to make use of yoga, for its basic objective of uniting mind and body, or as more of a strenuous activity for exercise purposes.
In yoga, it is best to begin at the lowest level possible and work your way up as you develop strength and understanding. Similar to various other things, it is essential to understand the foundational concepts before branching out into more difficult territory.
You can take instructor-led classes, or learn at home through the variety of DVDs.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Neuro Linguistic Programming is considered the power of positive thought and prayer. It is well documented throughout science and medicine that having a positive attitude, outlook, and having a positive support system surround you is among the most efficient alternative medicines available.
NLP is an approach of programming your thoughts in order to be positive. This technique concentrates on your sub-conscious and your dreams. It is imperative to truly believe that you can heal on your own for NLP to work.
How do you practice NLP?
First, take an approach that you know produces success in other areas of your life, and apply it to your healing process. You need to have absolute faith in your body’s healing ability for this to work.
Muscular and Skeletal Alternative Medicine
There are various other alternative treatments for the skeletal and muscular systems of the body. They include:
Experts evaluate the various muscles throughout the body to determine areas that are not balanced appropriately, and then restore equilibrium using a variety of techniques.
Rolfing is making use of pressure to massage the connective tissue within the body. This enables the body to be more flexible and align appropriately. Rolfing provides more energy and less anxiety.
- Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is used to separate the knotted muscles, and to re-train the muscles. It works the ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue muscles. Massage therapy enhances blood circulation and improves breathing.
- Color therapy
Color therapy makes use of color and light to treat ailments. Often considered a complementary treatment, color therapy is used in addition to various other treatments. As many as seven colors correspond to the wavelength centers of the body. Every color is matched with a region of the body.
5. Magnetic energy
The uses of magnetic energy fields, as magnetic therapists believe, to manipulate cells with magnetic energy. They also believe they can reenergize cells. Magnetic energy can also increase blood circulation that reduces scars on body organs, provide migraine relief, and other persisting pain.
- Craniosacral therapy (CST)
The CST system is the membranes and fluid that envelopes the brain and spinal cord. Using gentle pressure to the head, the rhythm of the craniosacral system can be evaluated and in some ways manipulated. This improves the circulation and functions of the central nervous system (CNS). This therapy is used in alternative medicine as a preventative measure. Professional craniosacral therapy practitioners believe they can locate and release energy cysts by unblocking them and straightening the neck.
Thin needle inserted into the skin to draw nerve stimulation at pinpointed locations around the body is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a Chinese clinical procedure that involves Dao, the advocate for living in equilibrium and moderation, with yin and yang, two life elements that are opposing forces that when balanced brings good health and happiness. Acupuncture brings relief of pain, relieves headaches, aids respiratory illnesses, and ulcers, among other physical issues. It additionally stabilizes the qi life force.
Reiki is the practice of transferring healing energy from the healer’s hands to the unwell person. This can be done from a distance or hands-on. The healer is said to be full of universal energy. It is thought that the practitioner uses Reiki energy to alter the frequency of the aura. Healing is achieved initially physically, then emotionally, and finally spiritually.
Crystals: A Tool for Healing
Crystals have long been associated with alternative healing. A crystal is produced when crystalline is formed by minerals being organized in a precise pattern. Quartz is the most popular crystal. The belief behind the use of crystals is that obstructed energy will be released when the crystal is placed at specific points around the body.