Alternative Medicine and Health

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?

Alternative medicine is an expression that gets used quite a lot these days but what does it mean?
Alternative medicine has emerged as a colloquialism for medicine or a modality that is not mainstream or conventional.

Most of what we have come to regard as alternative medicine these days has been around for thousands of years and it is only comparatively recently that the current conventional idea of categorizing then treating a disease or symptom, as opposed to the whole person, has emerged.

Conventional medicine assumes that all disease is caused by single biochemical or physical problem. So the way to fix the problem is either with surgery or chemicals (drugs).

With alternative health, (which is something of a misnomer since most modalities have been around for thousands of years), the emphasis is on the whole person and not just upon the symptom. From this comes the concept of ‘wellness’ or a lifestyle and way of being that leads to good health.

I like the idea of the traditional Chinese practice of only paying the doctor when you are well. He or she doesn’t get any payment from patients who are sick. Just imagine what that would do to conventional western medical practices! Not to mention the drug companies!

So, putting it simply, conventional medicine treats the disease whereas alternative health practitioners treat the whole person.

The word ‘allopathic’ is often used to describe conventional medicine.
It was coined by homeopath Samuel Hahnemann to differentiate homeopathic practices from conventional medicine. The term “allopath” comes from Greek roots meaning “opposite” and “disease”.
As used by homeopaths, the term “allopathy” has always referred to the conventional principle of curing disease by administering substances that produce the opposite effect of the disease when given to a healthy human. Hahnemann used this term to distinguish medicine as practiced in his time from his use of infinitesimally small doses of substances to treat the spiritual causes of illness.

Today alternative medicine covers a wide range of disciplines from homeopathy to acupuncture, from chiropractic to vibrational medicine and from Reiki to Bowen massage therapy. There are dozens of different modalities now available

All of these modalities have one thing in common, an emphasis on the whole person, not just the symptom.

Now don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a place for all types of medicine. I owe my life to allopathic medicine. If it were not for the expertise of medically trained people, drugs and surgery I would not be sitting at my computer writing this. I would be dead. I had a very specific problem. My aorta burst. The only solution was surgery.
However, if I had paid more attention to my health and wellbeing from an alternative point of view earlier in my life, I would not have allowed my blood pressure to be sustained at dangerously high levels and the problem would never have occurred.

In essence the best anyone can do for their wellbeing is to take responsibility for their own health and consult with and take advice from those practitioners who are appropriate for their current circumstances, whether they are from the area of alternative medicine or allopathy. If I have back pain I go to a chiropractor. If I have broken a bone I see a doctor.

Become educated about allopathic as well as alternative medicine. The Internet is a great resource.
I have put together some articles and resources at my Alternative Medicine website.

Information on the History of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is considered to be the practice of medicine without the use of any drugs, unlike conventional medicine of today.

Learning about the history of complementary and alternative medicine is really going to be necessary if you want to truly understand about complementary and alternative medicine and what it has to offer you. The history is really quite long, much longer than most people realize and by understanding the history of complementary and alternative medicine you are not only going to recognize the benefits that are offered to you by this type of medicine but as well see just how far it has come over time.

The Story

There are so many interesting things to learn about when it comes to the history of complementary and alternative medicine. History actually has it that the alternative medicine goes back to 5000 years or more and that in fact alternative medicine was considered as being the first primary type of medicine.

Then what happened was that the prescription drugs began to slowly take over, and over a certain period of time the conventional medicine really became the big deal and everyone seemed to forget that alternative medicine was even out there. The problem then was that because people were raised to go just to their normal family doctor and never think that there were other options available to them, that alternative medicine actually started to become a taboo subject.

Even most people in the world today are really not aware of the history of complementary and alternative medicine and what these types of medicine are all about today.

Also on the history of complementary and alternative medicine you should know that there are always new and creative ideas that are coming into alternative medicine. It is certainly not on a standstill, and instead is always incorporating new ideas that are worthwhile. The alternative medicine treatments of today have come a long way from those of 5000 years ago, and people need to be aware of this.

If you are interested in finding out more about alternative medicine and all that it has to offer, just make sure that you realize that you should take the time to do your own research and also talk to specialists, the professionals in the alternative medicine field who are going to be able to give you the answers and information that you are looking for here.

Homeopathic Medicine – Another Commonly Used System of Alternative Medicine

Homeopathy–the most commonly used system of alternative medicine in the entire world–is a type of alternative medical treatment which is based on three important principles.

1. Like Cures Like: this means that the homeopathic medicines you are prescribed are substances which have the ability to cause the symptoms you are experiencing.

2. The Minimal Dose: Homeopathic medicines are prescribed in highly diluted forms–as dilute as one part of remedy to 1,000,000,000,000 parts of water.

3. One Single Remedy: Regardless of the symptoms a patient experiences, they are only ever prescribed one remedy for those symptoms (this is sometimes referred to as the “Simillium”). Homeopathy doesn’t combine different remedies. This makes homeopathy a holistic medicine, meaning it aims to treat the whole person rather than different parts.

Interestingly enough, this type of approach is actually used in allergy treatment and in vaccine development, where a patient is treated with a small amount of inactivated virus, which helps to protect them against infection with the real form of the virus.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeopathic Medicine

This type of therapy does, of course, have some advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick guide to homeopathic medicine, and its pros and cons.

Advantages:

• Homeopathy is effective–when the right remedy is used a patient can be cured quickly and permanently.

• Homeopathy is generally safe enough for use in pregnant women, and children, and can be used in conjunction with other types of treatment.

• Homeopathy is completely natural, with most remedies based on entirely natural ingredients.

• Treatments work with the immune system, whereas many conventional treatments work to suppress it.

• Homeopathic remedies do not cause addiction.

• Homeopathy is a holistic therapy that treats the cause of symptoms, rather than simply suppressing the symptoms.

Disadvantages:

• Sometimes it can take a while for a homeopathic physician to determine the right treatment. “Standard” homeopathic medicines don’t exist in this type of therapy you must take exactly the correct treatment for it to work. For example, there’s no standard remedy for a stomach-ache, as for each patient the underlying cause of the pain is often different, and different symptoms may accompany moderate or severe pain.

• There’s an enormous range of different remedies in existence. This means, for an average homeopathic pharmacy, it’s impossible to stock all types of treatment. If you need an unusual remedy for your symptoms, it may take some time for the pharmacy to locate it.