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Variants Of Alternative Medicine And How They Can Benefit Health

Jul 4, 2008
Alternative medicine can be described as a medical treatment that rejects conventional medicine and follows other courses of action. This may include using herbal remedies, acupuncture, and aromatherapy whilst all the while incorporating the self awareness of the patient. This is probably the largest difference between alternative medicine and conventional treatment; it tries to incorporate an understanding from the patient in order for them to grasp how the treatment is helping them to recover as well as the physical body functions that are aiding the treatment.

Holistic medicine also falls under the realm of alternative treatment. Relying on natural methods plays an important part in this, using fruits, herbs and naturally occurring vitamins is widely used to help healing and recovery. Alternative treatment has gained in popularity in recent years, although not largely used for serious ailments; day to day problems and illness prevention seem to be the most powerful lures for patients.

While western medicine is heavily reliant on modern science, antibiotics and complicated drugs, alternative treatments instead rely on age old wisdom of societies in China and India. Modern alternative medicine however is taking a far more scientific approach using expansive clinical trials to assess effectiveness. Ultimately the objective of alternative practitioners is turn people away from relying on drugs and medicines that in the long run work towards harming the immune system.

Physical forms of alternative medicine include osteopathy and yoga, these types of treatment work towards strengthening the body and in general making it more physically healthy. Other forms of this therapy include practises such as tai chi, meditation and reflexology. As well as the physical benefits of these practises they also provide the patient with a means of relaxation as well as spiritual enrichment.

Massage that manipulates the muscles of the body can be extremely useful in combating ailments. Naturally the physical benefits of this treatment are well documented; less well know however is the relaxing of the mind that this form of treatment provides. Places of the body to focus on in massage are the head, feet, neck, shoulders and back.

Meditation while not being an explicit form of physical treatment can help the body greatly. By learning to control and focus the mind it is surprising how many benefits can be gained. Meditation allows patients to create a positive mental attitude to their wellbeing, perfect for hypochondriacs who are often stressed about their own health.

Some alternative medicine does not even require visiting practitioners; many people are now buying a range of herbal teas with unbelievable properties. In fact the number of boutiques offering substances such as dried jasmine flowers and camomile is increasing. As well as these two however many natural teas are available giving patients a means to relax themselves and improve bodily functions. Keeping an eye on what you eat and drink is also a vital constituent of healthy living and maintaining the body's levels of nutrients.

Alternative medicine has become more widely used because of the dissatisfaction with conventional forms of treatment. Understandably patients are shocked by the stories they read in the press of 'superbugs' and wish to avid regular healthcare because of this. Obviously the most serious of conditions should be treated conventionally but for re-occurring minor ailments alternative practitioners have a vital part to play in people's health.
About the Author
Health expert Thomas Pretty looks into different forms of alternative medicine as a way of improve wellbeing.
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