Alternative methods of medical care are quickly becoming a few of the most sought-after forms of treatment for common and lesser-known medical concerns. People who experience everything from poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and type two diabetes to arthritis and chronic pain have looked for response to their health questions from practitioners of alternative medicine. Now that the many of benefits of these alternative practices have been proven by conventional science, more people than ever are anxious to find out about other ways that they are able to pursue their health goals.
If you have never explored the world of alternative medicine, you’d be confused about much of the healing modalities being discussed. This is a simple guide to some of the more common forms of alternative medicine. To learn more about these or any other type of alternative medicine, speak with a professional practitioner or do some more research in books or on the Internet.
One of the oldest of all forms of alternative medicine is herbalism. Herbalism was the first form in which medicine was practiced; thousands of years before medication could be created in the laboratory, people used the local plants to heal themselves. The traditional herbalists were replaced by medical doctors trained in distant cities over time. Traditional herbalism was almost lost, for a while. Today, a Renaissance of herbalism is taking place. There are now many accredited herbal medicine training programs throughout the world teaching Chinese, new students about European, and Indian traditions of herbal healing.
Today’s herbalists help their patients in many ways beyond the use of healing herbs. Herbal remedies can be taken more effective through changes in diet and lifestyle habit, so an herbalist will often recommend that a patient speak with a dietician or personal trainer to maximise the benefits they gain from the herbal remedies they are taking.
The iron grip traditional western medicine holds on healthcare is giving way towards a more holistic, inclusive approach to health. A holistic, whole body approach looks at physical, mental, and emotional welfare and incorporates a wide range of healing modalities. More and more medical doctors recommend natural remedies and cures that may include herbs, energy healing, homeopathy, and Chinese medicine. They may prescribe alternative methods instead of or in addition to traditional ones. Healers that aren’t medical doctors also provide natural remedies and treatments.
Energy healing is another common form of alternative medicine. Reiki energy healing is probably the most common, though a series of other forms exist, too. Reiki is said by practitioners to be a subtle universal energy that is available to all people for use in ways that will better their lives. Reiki healing techniques are passed on from teacher to student, often in lines of teaching that stretch back for generations. Once certain levels of proficiency have been attained, a student is then able to go and teach others in their particular Reiki tradition.
So why do people choose alternative forms of treatment instead of conventional ones? There is no single response to this question; everyone who seeks out alternative treatments does so for very personal reasons. One reason cited most often by patients of alternative medicine is the personal attention they receive from their preferred practitioner. Conventional health clinics and hospitals can be imposing and impersonal; in contrast, many alternative clinics are designed with the emotional well-being of the patient in mind.
Alternative medicine stresses the necessity of a patient to address matters of health and healing on more than a physical level. Alternative medical traditions emphasize that poor health isn’t limited to the physical body; there are emotional and even spiritual components that have to be taken into account when returning a person to health. While Reiki practitioner, each herbalist, and other alternative medical provider will have their own means of achieving this goal, they all prioritize the patient’s entire well-being.