11 Alternative Medicines You Should Know

11 Alternative Medicines You Should Know

Written By: Tiffany Chambers

Alternative medicine refers to any health treatment that deviates from traditional medical practices and science. If you want to learn which therapies are revolutionizing the way people approach their health and wellness, here are 11 alternative medicines you should know.

Acupressure

 

Acupressure

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Acupressure is an alternative therapy based on the concept of life energy that flows along the meridians of the body. Instead of needles, practitioners use their hands, feet, and elbows to apply pressure to specific points to clear up any possible blockage along the body’s meridians. This therapy is typically used in aiding ailments such as headaches, lower back pain, and nausea. Did you know that many East Asian martial artists promote acupressure for both health and self-defense? It is believed that targeting acupressure points on the body can incapacitate a foe during combat. Furthermore, martial artists rub their own pressure points to increase blood circulation and flexibility of the limbs while remaining less vulnerable to an attack.

Acupressure for Beginners – Common Acupressure Points to Learn.

Acupuncture

 

Common Acupressure Points to Learn

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Acupuncture refers to a range of procedures that stimulate specific pressure points on the body. The most popular method involves a trained practitioner piercing the skin with thin needles. Millions of people undergo acupuncture treatment every year, seeking chronic pain relief in the lower back, shoulders and knees. According to Cancer Research UK, a 2013 study found that acupuncture therapy helped reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy. according to Cancer Research UK. As research continues, many patients seek acupuncture aid for other cancer related treatments includingperipheral neuropathy and lymphedema.

How Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain – Improving Sleep, Digestion and Emotional Well-being.
Acupuncture – An In Depth Look.

Aromatherapy

 

Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy promotes healing through essentialoils, which are composed of concentrated extracts of seeds, leaves, roots, or blossoms of plants. These oils can be massaged into the skin, inhaled through the nose and in rare cases, ingested through the mouth. Oils used in aromatherapy are diluted with carrier oils like jojoba oil, olive oil, or coconut oil to avoid skin irritation. While some oils are used to promote relaxation, others are used to treat infections and inflammation. Research suggests that aromatherapy might help to alleviate anxiety, depression, and reduce pain.

Aromatherapy – An Overview of History and Research.

Taking Charge of your Health and Wellbeing – How Aromatherapy Works.

Ayurveda Medicine

 

Ayurveda Medicine

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The practice of Ayurvedic medicine began in India thousands of years ago. Those who practice this type of medicine use a variety of techniques to treat their patients, including massages, shilajit herbs and dieting. This combination is used to balance the mind, body and soul, healing a patient’s overall health. Practitioners of Ayurveda medicine believe that every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe – air, space, fire, earth, and water. These elements combine in the human body, forming three life forces or energies known as doshas.

The first dosha is known as Vata. This energy controls bodily functions associated with motion and produces creativity and vitality when balanced and fear and anxiety when unbalanced. Next is the Pitta dosha, which controls the body’s metabolic systems and leads to contentment and intelligence when balanced and ulcers and anger when unbalanced. The final dosha is Kapha, which controls growth in the body. When balanced, this energy expresses love and forgiveness, but leads to insecurity and envy if left unbalanced. It is believed that every individual receives a mixture of each energy, but the strongest dosha is dependent upon the individual and may vary.

Visiting an Ayurvedic Practitioner – The Initial Examination and Treatments.

Ayurveda – An Overview of History and Research.

Balneotherapy

 

Balneotherapy

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Balneotherapy, also known as hydrotherapy, promotes health and wellness through the application of a therapeutic bath. Balneotherapy was formed with the idea that the skin benefits from water and aids in the treatment of several conditions ranging from anxiety to swelling, pain and acne relief. Practitioners utilize wraps, mudpacks and douches to help patients recover from whatever sickness may ail them. Those who support balneotherapy believe that water can boost a person’s immune system.

Throughout history, soaking in a bath has been an effective treatment when fighting skin disorders, muscle and joint issues, fatigue, menstrual discomfort and stress. The baths relieved inflamed or itchy skin and general aches and pains. Hot baths were used to relax and stimulate while cool baths reduced inflammation. In both children and adults, therapeutic baths are useful for chafing, sunburn, itchy skin, hives, poison ivy, skin irritation, dry skin, and eczema. Baths may also aid in relieving emotional tension and stress. It’s not uncommon for athletes to use baths to recover quickly from sprains, aches and pains in the muscles and similar injuries.

Balneotherapy Overview – History and Physiology of Therapeutic Baths.

Biofeedback

 

Biofeedback

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Biofeedback trains patients to develop control over certain bodily processes that would normally happen in an involuntary manner. Some processes include skin temperature, muscle tension, blood pressure, and heart rate.This alternative medicine helpsfight chronic pain, hypertension, and headaches. Practitioners of biofeedback work with patients to help them learn special relaxation techniques and mental exercises. Initially, electrodes are attached to the skin to measure the state of the body but, over time the patient is expected to continue the practice without the aid of equipment or a therapist. Relaxation is a key component of biofeedback for those who suffer from health conditions caused by high stress.

What is Biofeedback Therapy and Who Can Benefit? – What you didn’t know.

Chiropractic

 

Chiropractic

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Chiropractic Therapy focuses on disorders located in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. These include the neck, joint, back, head, arms, and legs.Its founder, D.D. Palmer, refers to this practice as “a science of healing without drugs.” The most popular procedure executed by chiropractors is spinal manipulation, which involves the use of the chiropractor’s hands applying pressure to joints that are hypomobile. In many cases, joints can have their movement reduced when the surrounding tissue is injured from lifting heavy weights or sitting improperly for extended periods of time. Chiropractic sessions are intended to restore normal movement by loosening muscles, thus allowing the damaged tissue to heal to provide pain relief. Research suggests that the practice is quite effective at decreasing pain and improving the physical functionality of the body.

Chiropractic Treatments – Lower Back Pain.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic – Everything You Didn’t Know.

Homeopathy

 

Homeopathy is a unique form of treatment

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Homeopathy is a unique form of treatment that acts in the same manner that a vaccine does – treating like with like. The philosophy of homeopathy states that substances that make people sick when taken in large doses can be taken in smaller doses to treat the same symptoms. Traditional medicine uses the same technique at times to combat of diseases. Practitioners of homeopathy typically gather extensive background information on their patients before prescribing a highly diluted substancein tablet or liquid form that jumpstarts the body’s immune system.

The Society of Homeopaths – Homeopathic medicines.

What is Homeopathic Medicine? – Learn the principles.

Naturopathy

 

Naturopathy

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Naturopathy focuses on the healing power of nature. Naturopathic practitioners study both traditional and alternative medicines to understand the cause of a condition by researching the spiritual, physical, and mental ailments a patient may be experiencing. Naturopathic treatments typically involve herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, behavioral changes, and nutrition. The philosophy of naturopathy focuses on self-healing, meaning changing one’s self to improve their health.

When consulting with a naturopathic doctor, a session typically begins with a lengthy interviewas the physician learns the patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and emotional levels. Many naturopathic doctors present themselves as primary care providers. Some even perform minor surgeries, prescribe medication and engage in other more traditional practices of medicine such as suggesting dietary changes. In fact, many naturopaths see themselves as more than just a doctor. A traditional doctor typically sits with a patient for 20 to 30 minutes and ends the session by prescribing medicine to help alleviate symptoms. However, naturopathic doctors act more like lifestyle coaches focusing exclusively on lifestyle changes. They typically shy away from prescribing antibiotics and vaccines and suggest alternative medicines even if there are conventional drugs that have been scientifically proven to be effective.

About Naturopathic Medicine – The Principles.

Naturopathy – Taking Charge of your Health and Wellbeing.

Reflexology

 

Reflexology

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In Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, practitioners typically divide the human body into ten vertical zones – five on the right and five on the left. This alternative medicine that involves applying pressure to specific areas on the ears, hands, or feet. It’s believed that these points correspond to various internal organs and systems. Pressing down on these pressure points is said to have a positive effect upon specific organs and systems, improving the overall health of the patient. For example, pressing down upon the arch of the foot is believed to improve the functionality of the bladder.  Reflexology is used as a complementary treatment for millions of people worldwide as they combat conditions such as poor kidney function, asthma, cancer, diabetes, and anxiety.

The History of Reflexology – Everything You Should Know.

Reflexology – Decreasing Anxiety and Improving Headaches.

Reiki

 

Reiki

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Reiki is based on the philosophy that the transfer life force energy empowers and heals the body. It is believed that sickness is an indicator that a person’s life force energy is low while happiness, good health, and extra energy signify a strong life force. Practitioners of Reiki attempt a procedure where they transfer life energy into a patient by placing their hands onto or near the person’s body. The purpose of this procedure is to encourage faster healing, relaxation, reduced pain, and an overall improvement of the patient’s health.

The History of Reiki – Learn the Origin of This Spiritual Healing.

Reiki Sessions – What You Can Expect.