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Alternative Medicine: Different Approaches to Overall Better Health

Apr 9, 2008
Alternative medicine is defined as any form of medical treatment that is different from conventional treatments. Alternative medicines are becoming more and more popular as their effectiveness is increasingly tested and proven for treatment. There are many different types of alternative medicine techniques in use today.

Homeopathy

The word homeopathy comes from the Greek for "similar disease" or "similar suffering." Homeopathy is not just about administering different medications than the traditional prescription drugs given by doctors. It is also about diagnosing and classifying different medical conditions to find the best treatment possible for the patient.

The goal of this type of alternative medicine is to enable the body to use its own mechanisms to stimulate healing and prevent diseases from occurring. Homeopathic medicines are called remedies. These remedies are usually given in small doses. Practitioners work to tailor a treatment plan for each individual to gain the maximum benefits. They concentrate on the body as a whole, and not just treating the symptoms that ail the patient.

Naturopathy

Naturopathic medicine was founded in India and works on the basis that the body can heal itself. To this end, naturopathic practitioners steer clear of synthetic medicines and invasive surgical procedures as a means to heal their patients. Instead, they opt to combine other alternative medical treatments, such as herbalism, acupuncture, and aromatherapy, as well as others. This type of alternative medicine is practiced in many countries, but is not always accepted because of its varying standards of regulation.

Reputable naturopathic practitioners are trained to use imaging studies and blood tests to help them get the full picture of what is wrong with a patient before administering any treatment options. They will then recommend alternative treatments for a prescribed amount of time. If the treatment does not work for the patient, a practitioner will refer the patient to a physician to obtain conventional medical care.

Chiropractics

Chiropractics is a branch of alternative medicine that deals with diagnosing and treating diseases of the musculoskeletal system, and how these diseases affect the nervous system. Many of the procedures used in chiropractics emphasize manual therapy, using alignments and manipulations to correct the affected area.

A chiropractor must obtain proper training and receive a degree before beginning to work with patients. He uses a combination of measures to help heal a patient, including lifestyle counseling, a regimen of exercise, and a variety of tissue therapies. Much like naturopathy, chiropractics is based on the belief that the body can heal itself. Chiropractors help to realign areas of subluxation to help the body do its innate job.

Herbal Medicines

The basis of herbal medicines is to use plant derivatives instead of chemicals to heal diseases and prevent symptoms. People who use herbal medicines are adamant in their belief that herbs are not drugs. It is believed that by using herbal supplements on a regular basis, you can help your body ward off diseases for an ultimate healthy lifestyle. It should be warned that using herbal drugs in conjunction with prescribed medications can cause serious side effects. You should never take herbal supplements without consulting a physician first.

There are literally hundreds of herbal medicines available on the market today. Be cautious when picking which ones are right for you. Herbal medicines do not have to be tested before being marketed, so it is hard to say if they will work the same way for everyone. If you are interested in taking herbal medicines, talk with an herbalist in your area to get the best supplement plan for you.
About the Author
Brad Hodges is
President of BRAD HODGES ENTERPRISES
A Health e-commerce.
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