Alternative healing therapies is a term that is used to refer to medical treatments which don’t involve traditional medicinal techniques. Sometimes, an alternative therapy may be used as a standalone treatment or alongside Western medicine. Here, we take a look at some of these alternative therapies in health and medicine and how they are used to improve health and well-being.
Why Do Some People Choose To Use Alternative And Complementary Medicine?
There are several reasons why someone may prefer to use alternative medicine rather than standard Western medicine. Some of the most common include:
- They want to use a treatment that is more natural.
- They are keen to choose a therapy that helps them to feel as if they have greater control over their own well-being.
- They are experiencing persistent pain or ongoing symptoms.
- They are worried that standard Western medicine will cause unwanted side effects-effects.
- They have tried conventional medical treatments and found that they didn’t fully control all of their symptoms.
What Categories Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine Are There?
There are several different categories of alternative and complementary medicine. Some are more mainstream than others. For example, homeopathy, Oriental practices, and acupuncture may be alternative healing methods, but they are becoming increasingly accepted in mainstream Western medicine.
These accepted therapy types come under the “traditional alternative therapy” umbrella. There are other alternative therapies in health and medicine too, including body therapies, dietary and herbal remedies, external energy treatments, and alternative therapy options that involve the mind and senses.
Body Alternative Medicine
Touch has always been a feature of medicinal practice. Healing through touch has its basis on the concept that injury or illness in one part of the body may affect every other part too. By using manual manipulation, alternative therapists believe they can bring the remainder of the body back to optimum health so that it can then focus fully on healing the site of illness or injury.
Often, body alternative medicine techniques are combined with mind practices, and include osteopathic and chiropractic medicine, massage, tai chi, yoga, and body movement therapies.
Herbs And Diet
Across the centuries, humans have progressed from eating only a simple diet of fruits, meats, grains, and vegetables, to the modern diet that typically includes foods that are full of oils, complex carbohydrates, and fats. Nutritional deficiencies and excesses are significant issues in society today since they lead to chronic diseases. Herbal and dietary alternative approaches to medicine work to balance the nutritional well-being of the body. These approaches can include herbal medicine and dietary supplements.
Many alternative therapy practitioners believe that the external energies produced by objects and other sources can affect an individual’s health directly. There are several examples of external energy therapies such as Reiki, electromagnetic therapy, and Qigong.
Even Western medicine recognises that there is a connection between the body and the mind. Research has proven that people are able to heal more effectively when they are in good mental and emotional health. Some therapies that use the mind include hypnosis, meditation, and biofeedback.
Using The Senses
It is often believed that the senses of touch, hearing, sight, taste, and smell affect the overall health. Some therapies that incorporate the senses are visualisation, guided imagery, art, music, and dance.
Which Are The Most Common Alternative Healing Therapies?
There are several alternative therapies that are commonly practiced these days. They address different aspects of health and well-being, but all have been shown to be effective in their own unique ways.
Ayurveda is a practice that centres around using massage, diet techniques and specific herbs to treat health problems. This ancient practice originated in India and is centuries old. Typically, ayurveda treatments involve a process of purification as well as special diets, herbal remedies, massage, meditation, and yoga. It has been shown to help with medical conditions like colitis, type II diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
Meditation is a practice that has been in use for centuries. Meditation exists in many forms, but its primary aim is to focus the attention in order to achieve a relaxed and calm state. In turn, this helps when it comes to coping with disorders and improving overall well-being and health. It can effectively treat mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression.
This therapy involves using watered-down substances in order to treat ailments including hypertension and asthma. The practice is based on the principle of using a substance that causes certain symptoms to treat the same symptoms. People practicing homeopathy (or homeopaths) believe that when a substance is more diluted, it is more powerful in treating a condition’s symptoms.
This therapy uses hypnosis to treat conditions. The process of hypnosis involves the participant being guided into a state of deep relaxation where the hypnotherapist accesses subconscious beliefs and thoughts. Hypnotherapists give the participant suggestions that will help to encourage behavioural changes or to relieve their symptoms while they are in the relaxed state. This is why hypnotherapy is so useful for treating stress and addiction.
This traditional technique originates from Chinese medicine and involves inserting fine pointed needles into certain parts of the body. Historically, this practice has been used to relieve pain naturally since it is believed the needles can stimulate specific muscles and nerves, and, in turn, work to release the hormones that act to relieve pain naturally in the body.
Although many people believe yoga is just a type of exercise, it has, in fact, been used for generations as a technique for healing. This Indian ancient practice improves the mental and physical well-being of those who regularly practice it. Furthermore, yoga relieves stress, helps with anxiety management, and alleviates pain.
Many people have benefited from massage without ever considering it as a form of treatment. A massage is focused on treating physical symptoms such as pain in parts of the body. It is achieved by kneading the body’s soft tissues until relief is felt. Different kinds of massage exist and they achieve different goals.
Herbal medicine involves the use of the parts of plants including their seeds, roots, and leaves, which are processed into treatments for conditions such as allergies and chronic pain. There are various forms of herbal medicine, from lotions to tea and from powders to pills. Some popular herbal treatments are St John’s Wort for depression, Gingko Biloba to treat poor circulation, and green tea that can help to lower cholesterol and shed weight.
Chiropractors practice chiropractic medicine which is an alternative therapy that aims to ease pain and improve bodily functions. Chiropractic medicine uses manipulation techniques that move the joints, skeletal system and spine to help align the body.
This alternative therapy originates in ancient times in Japan. The therapy has its basis in the belief that everyone has a life force energy that flows in their body. If the energy level drops, you get sick. Reiki restores the energy balance by placing hands on various body parts to help with psychological and physical problems.
This therapy involves a therapist using healing energy to pinpoint and then repair the imbalances that exist in the energy field of an individual. Although therapeutic touch (sometimes known as Healing touch) is similar to Reiki, a therapist doesn’t need to touch the individual. Rather, they simply move their hands backward and forward over their body. Research has shown that healing touch reduces anxiety and increases a feeling of well-being in the therapy’s recipient.
Magnetic Field Therapy
This therapy utilises electrical or magnetic fields to help resolve many musculoskeletal issues. It has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and osteoarthritis symptoms and it may even help to heal fractures more quickly.
How Are Alternative Therapies Used?
Many children and adults alike use alternative and complementary therapies. They are used for treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and hypertension. Usually, alternative therapies are used alongside Western medicine as a complementary option.
Once an individual feels better after having alternative therapies, they are often keen to ward off any further negative energies that come their way. Fortunately, there are ways to guard against evil intentions, with Black Magic Protection amulets and talismans. These magickal objects are imbued with spiritual power absorb negative energy and thus, protect their wearer.
Is Alternative Medicine A Good Choice For Me?
For many people alternative and complementary therapies work very well, particularly for those who believe that these treatments will help them to find relief from their symptoms and conditions. Choosing the right alternative medicine option to suit your specific condition, preferences, and needs is always important, but if you take the time to research the best therapies to treat your ailments, you may experience relief.