Alternative medicine is becoming more popular than ever as people turn away from pharmaceutical treatments that often have unwanted side effects and towards more natural traditional options that offer a more holistic approach. There are many types of alternative medicine designed to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, and here, we look at some of the most commonly found methods.
Reiki is a traditional form of Japanese medicine and describes a natural healing system which was founded in the early part of the 20th century, and which has evolved into an accepted way of healing the body. Reiki is based on the principle that we are surrounded by an energy which maintains and nourishes every living thing. When the energy is able to flow without impediments, we experience harmony and balance inside and around ourselves which creates a sense of wellbeing. Someone receiving reiki simply lies on a couch or chair and fully relaxes while the holistic health practitioner places their hands near or on their body, treating the whole person rather than any specific part of the body. While some clients experience no sensation at all during their treatment, others report feeling calm and relaxed, and some feel tingling or heat. This safe treatment can provide comfort and emotional support at difficult times and is suitable for patients of all ages.
Yoga is a kind of therapy which utilises breathing exercises and meditation in combination with body positions to improve both physical and mental health. This holistic treatment encourages the spirit, mind and body to become fully integrated and is a long established solution for anxiety and depression as well as schizophrenia and PTSD. Not only can yoga help the mind, it can help to address a number of physical problems too including heart conditions, back pain, hypertension, MS and asthma. Those who use yoga as a form of alternative medicine find that they are less stressed, experience better well-being and have more efficient functioning of their bodily systems.
Acupuncture is a well known holistic technique that has its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In this form of treatment, the practitioner will insert thin needles into certain points of the body to stimulate the system. It can be used in the treatment of a broad spectrum of symptoms and diseases and is surprisingly pain-free. It is useful as a therapy for pain, muscle spasms, migraine, osteoarthritis, allergies, depression and digestive problems as well as for many other conditions. As long as the therapist is properly trained, acupuncture is very safe and can be used alongside other, more conventional treatments.
Ayurveda is an ancient holistic form of healing which originates from India. Based on a belief that wellness and good health depend on the balance between spirit, body, and mind, the primary goal of this complementary therapy is not to fight any disease but to promote health, however, treatments can focus on a particular health condition. There are many things which are said to upset the harmony of balance in your body including the climate, seasons, emotions, age, injuries or genetics. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that each of us is composed of the 5 basic elements which control our bodily functions, however, each of us has a different combination of those elements with one being stronger than the others and it is the imbalances in those elements which cause us to be ill. An Ayurvedic treatment plan is devised uniquely for every patient with its goal being to cleanse undigested food from the body in order to reduce symptoms and bring back balance. Treatments include massage, herbs, medical oils, blood purification, laxatives, and enemas.
Chinese medicine is another well known complementary therapy with an ancient heritage. Having been practiced in the Far East for thousands of years, this whole body healing system stimulates the body to heal itself by correcting any imbalances. Treatments address the patient’s environment and other external factors with a focus on specific organs including the lungs, liver, spleen, heart, kidneys, intestines and gallbladder. TCM can be used as a therapy for a number of conditions including arthritis, pain, infertility, fatigue, headaches, hypertension, hormonal imbalances, menopause symptoms and liver disease. There are many types of Chinese medicine including cupping therapies, herbal treatments, massage, and moxibustion.
There are many types of holistic complementary therapies which can be used in conjunction with traditional pharmaceutical drugs in an attempt to achieve better health and well-being. While some doctors are still skeptical about their efficacy, many people have experienced impressive results.