January 16, 2013

Alternative Medicine in Today’s Society.

Think you don’t know what alternative medicine is?

Not only is it more common than you think, but it now has a firm place in today’s world. Certain therapies not formerly thought of as legitimate medical treatments are now being used on a more frequent basis to treat a variety of ailments, quite often with endorsements from the medical community.

Some of the more common types of alternative medicine treatments include:

•             Massage therapy

•             Aromatherapy

•             Hydrotherapy

•             Acupuncture

•             Herbal Remedies

•             Meditation

•             Spiritual therapy

More than likely, you are familiar with many of these treatments. You may have even experienced one or two of them yourself.  Many of these treatments are not only used to treat many common health problems, but they are also used by people all over the world in order to achieve total well-being. In fact, in other parts of the world, these treatments are widely used as preventative medicine and a normal part of everyday life.

For thousands of years, the treatments deemed alternative today were standard practice. And now, as people become more and more disillusioned by our Western healthcare, they are once again turning to these optional therapies when in a health crisis, or have nowhere else to turn.

There are factions of people throughout the world who prefer to take advantage of the natural effects that alternative medicine and natural therapies have to offer, rather than depend on synthetic drugs to cure or prevent ailments.

Herbal remedies have the benefit of being completely organic, or from the earth, and often provide equivalent remedies to prescription drugs. In fact, where do you think prescription drugs originate from? Unfortunately, prescription drugs often come with a host of side effects that are often more fatal than what you started taking the drug for to begin with. Although herbal remedies should still be taken under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, they offer a much safer alternative since the chance of dangerous side effects are minimal compared to most prescription drugs.

Alternative medicines and treatments have become part of the fabric of our society today. While many of these therapies are meant to be used as a treatment for a health problem, some are used by people as a method of relaxation or reward. Chief among them is massage therapy. Massage has become incorporated into the routines of many individuals in today’s society as a means of stress reduction rather than pain relief. Studies have shown that massage therapy causes the body to release feel good endorphins which lift our mood and help us deal with stress in a much calmer manner. Aromatherapy  may be added to a massage session to increase its stress reduction benefits even more.

Meditation is another form of alternative medicine that has become an integral part of many people’s lives.  With its roots steeped in ancient spiritual history, meditation, like massage, provides a release for stress and anxiety. In order to perform meditation correctly though, you should learn as much as you can about it first.  There are many different forms of meditation and finding the practice that works best for you is important in order to receive optimal results. Meditation practices can include yoga, Qigong, breath work and/or visualization techniques. Many people enjoy this type of alternative therapy  because of the personal control they have when performing it. Many individuals in today’s society highly recommend meditation as a way to stay calm and focused in a hustle and bustle world.

Acupuncture is another form of alternative medicine that is becoming part of mainstream healthcare. Thousands of years old, acupuncture has withstood the test of time and proven its effectiveness in cultures all over the world. While acupuncture was originally used as preventative medicine, it has the capability to treat almost any illness because of the way it harmonizes the body and brings it back into a state of balance. Acupuncture has become so widely recognized that many insurance companies are even beginning to pay for acupuncture services.

The stresses of today’s world have led many to cry out for change. A great number of people find solace and healing in alternative medicine practices. The natural treatments and calming effects of many of them are exactly what many have been searching for in order to reduce their stress.

In addition to stress, we see a great deal of generalized anxiety and illnesses in today’s population. Alternative medicine provides a viable option to traditional medicine that aids people with the maintenance of their well-being in their busy lives. Alternative medicine is also a great addition to modern medicine when treating chronic and severe health issues. The combination of Eastern and Western medicine offers a person the best of both worlds. Acupuncture, massage therapy and meditation are three of the most common treatments that people tend to turn to.

These treatments tend to also have a positive effect on today’s society as a whole as they cultivate personal awareness and understanding of humanity as a collective.

As we move forward, we will continue to see a shift in modern healthcare as alternative medicine becomes more and more accepted and recognized as part of mainstream medicine.


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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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