Alternative medicines

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/23/2010
Alternative medicines

Alternative medicine is a set of diverse traditional medicinal health care systems and practices that are not generally considering as part of conventional or modern medicine.

Alternative Medicine (Traditional/Natural medicine)

Alternative medicine is a health care approach that is applying instead of Conventional or Western drugs. Alternative medicinal treatment may include ingesting or applying organic substances, mostly herbs, and some minerals. It also include a unique diet plan that primarily vegetables and fruits. Generally, a physician who practices conventional or modern medicines would not suggest. The alternative medicines are not only providing treatment for any health condition but also guide us on how to live a healthier life.

Alternative medicine is an umbrella term for hundreds of natural therapies from all over the world. Most of them are the medical systems of older cultures that include Egyptian, Chinese, Asian Indian, Greek, and Native American.

The Alternative medicine user’s statistics

A survey result was released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Center for Health Statistics (part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The result shows that in the United States alone, about 36% of adults used some form of CAM therapy during the past 12 months.

A British telephone survey by the BBC in 1998 shows about 20% of adults had used alternative medicine in the past 12 months.

Use of alternative medicine among people in developed countries appears to be increasing. A study in 1998 showed that the use of alternative medicine had risen from 33.8% in 1990 to 42.1% in 1997.

Most commonly practiced complementary treatments are herbal, yoga, acupuncture/acupressure, meditation, and massage. Others treatments are therapeutic touch, aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, dance therapy, music therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and naturopathy.

A 2002 survey of US adults 18 years and older conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (CDC), and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicated that 49.8% had used some form of CAM.

A survey in 2005 between Denmark population aged 16 and above shows, 45.2 % of them used alternative medicine of form in their life. 22.5 % had used alternative medicine within lost 12 months.

Patients are opposed to the dangerous side effects of conventional drugs. Even antibiotic medications can have been potential to cause a life-threatening severe allergic reaction in very few individuals. Also, many medications may cause minor but troublesome symptoms such as cough or stomach upset. In all of these cases, patients are seeking out alternative medicine treatments to avoid these adverse side effects of modern treatments.

Alternative medicine user’s class

A study published in 1998 shows that a majority of alternative medicine uses was in conjunction with conventional medical treatments. Approximately 4.4 % of those studied used alternative medicine as a replacement for conventional medicine. Research shows that those having used alternative medicine tended to have higher education or report more inferior health status.

People of all backgrounds start using alternative treatments. However, more significant among them are women, and those with a higher level of education and higher income.

A survey in 2008 among medical students in Denmark shows 68 % of them had used an alternative therapy. The most commonly used alternative medicine was herbal medicines and Dietary supplements (50 percent), Acupuncture (18 percent) and Reflexology (18 percent).

The alternative approach preferred most

When asked the people who use CAM, why they are using CAM?

  • They thought CAM combined with conventional medicine would help faster relief.
  • They thought CAM would be interesting to try.
  • They thought conventional medicine would not help.
  • The conventional medical professional suggested it.
  • Conventional medicine is too expensive.

Natural herb products are the most commonly used alternative medicines among adults. Other popular alternative therapies are breathing exercises, meditation, massage reflexology therapy, acupressure, and yoga.

Different traditional therapies and their oneness

Although traditional treatments are diverse approaches, they share specific common attributes; they consider human as a whole and more than just physical bodies. Since body, mind, and spirit are all one unified reality; thus, illness to affect, and be affected by, both body and mind.

Almost every alternative medicine considers symptoms during health conditions is due to the body’s efforts to cure its imbalance is a disease).

What is vital energy?

The human body animates by integrated energy called the vital force, life force, prana, qi, or chi. The life force sustains the physical body linked to a higher being or infinite source of energy. When the life forces quantity and if it flows freely throughout the body, then you can enjoy optimal health. Blocked or weakened vital energy leads to energy shortage for organs, tissues, and the cells, which in due course results in illness or disease. 

They view vital energy as the force integrates the body, mind, and spirit, which connects everything. The Chinese call this life force as qi is an also spelled chi), the Ancient Greeks call it as pneuma, and the Hindus call it as prana. In every culture, they believe the life force is both self-nurturing and self-sustaining.

Health conditions that prompt alternative treatment use

People use complementary alternative medicine treatment for many diseases and conditions, most familiar to them are musculoskeletal problems such as back, neck, or joint pain.

Now people start looks for alternative treatments for many conditions such as:

  • Allergy, Arthritis/Osteoarthritis, Asthma, Attention Deficit, Autism,
  • Birth Defects, Cancer, Chronic Fatigue, Cognitive Dysfunction, Colds, and Influenza,
  • Depression, Detoxification, Diabetes, Digestive Disorders,
  • Eating Disorders, Epilepsy, Erectile Dysfunction,
  • Heart Disease, Hepatitis C, Hypertension,
  • Immune System, Infertility, Inflammatory Bowel, Insomnia, Interstitial Cystitis,
  • Liver Disease, Neuro-degeneration, Ocular (Eye) Disorders, Osteoporosis,
  • Parkinson's Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Prostate Cancer, Prostate Disease, Psoriasis,
  • Restless Leg Syndrome, Seasonal Affective, Stress, and the list are endless.

Natural Alternative Medicine Treatments available here

Come On, let us see detailed information on Alternative medicines - Ayurvedic medicine, Yoga Therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupressure, Reflexology massage, and Seven chakras.
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