What Is Alternative Medicine?

Learning The Basics For An Educated Decision

Many people are beginning to question what is alternative medicine and what can the different types of alternative medicine possibly do for me? Are you just curious or having difficulties with conventional medicine?

Many people have actually spent their entire life using forms of alternative medicine. You just never put a name to it. Remember when you would rub a cream into your back to help relieve the back pain? Or for several days to a week you were trying to find a “cure” for the common cold (Mom’s chicken soup).

How about that burn and sting (aloe vera plant) when you accidentally touched the hot skillet. Or a common practice for many people suffering from sinus congestion is trying to relieve the pressure by taking a hot shower. How about the times you tried to relieve the pressure from a bad tension headache by pressing your temples really hard with your fingertips. All of these are forms of alternative therapies. So, the answer to what is alternative medicine is that often it is what you’ve been doing all along.

What Is Alternative Medicine

Of the two forms of health-care available in this world today (conventional medicine vs. alternative medicine), both do seem to have their own area of expertise in today’s health care system. Conventional medicine is an absolute necessity when dealing with any type of surgery, emergency or trauma. All of these need immediate emergency care and attention to prevent further difficulties or fatalities.

Chronic degenerative diseases can often be handled through the care of conventional medicine. It is often necessary for testing, diagnosis and a plan of treatment to be devised for any curative action. But diagnosis can often be obtained through alternative medicine also.

Alternative medicine has as much to offer, and in some cases more, for the treatment of many diseases such as cancer, arthritis, asthma, headaches, sinusitis, allergies or gastro-intestinal difficulties. This is because alternative therapies concentrate more on preventative measures and getting to the cause of your symptoms to relieve them permanently. Western medicine specializes more in masking the symptoms for the patient to find relief in a drug-based therapy.

Are Alternative Therapies Safe and Effective

Many people question the safety and effectiveness of alternative therapies. It is difficult for many to understand if alternative therapies are supposed to be so effective, why does their doctor never recommend them. This unfortunately, is a flaw in our current health care system.
Alternative Medicine and Conventional Medicine are both as a specialty a business. The under-lying factor for every business is to generate income. In conventional medicine, the pharmaceutical industry is the controlling interested party. Therefore as an income producing entity the manufacture and sales of pharmaceutical drugs is of immense importance.

In alternative medicine, there is no mass money-making product to generate a billion dollar faction in our society. Alternative medicine, as a group does not hand out millions and millions every year for research, advertising, free drug samples, build wings or entire hospitals etc. etc.. The list can go on and on who controls the medical community in an industrialized society. Many, many people owe their livelihood to the pharmaceutical industry.

Do not be confused though, as with any other business, each has its good parts and its questionable areas. Westernized or conventional medicine does have a very important position in an industrialized society. The unfortunate part is because of its predominance, very little alternative medicine information filters into mainstream society unless you as the patient take the time and energy to research the questions yourself in regards to what is alternative medicine.

Benefits Of Alternative Medicine

Proven Effective From All Types Of Alternative Medicine

One of the major benefits of alternative medicine is the patient, not the doctor, is the healer. It is the responsibility of every patient to be the primary, self-motivated active participant in any healing procedure which is undertaken from all the different types of alternative medicine. The health practitioner themselves is there only for guidance and instructions. The doctor’s responsibility is to offer accurate information to the patient. It is then the patient’s responsibility to apply this into their personal life for the best results. benefits of alternative medicine

In the field of alternative medicine, a “state of good health” is considered being in a state of wholeness and good balance. This enables your body to meet the everyday demands of living without overwhelming your body’s immune system. Yes, you will still come into contact with germs, allergens, carcinogens etc. but your immune system at its peak strength should be able to come into contact but still have the capability of not contracting an illness.

Remember though, your health is still going to flux back and forth- it is impossible to obtain perfect health. All you can expect is to be in good health so when a breakdown occurs somewhere in your system, your body will have the capability of initiating proceedings to ward it off. This process is known as spontaneous healing. A perfect example would be if you received a small cut on your finger. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it is not necessary for you to run to the doctor and get an appointment. Your body’s own healing system will generate the power to heal itself.

Objective Of Treating Food Allergy In Alternative Medicine

The common definition of a food allergy in alternative medicine is an “irritation of tissues which often is caused by a food allergen.” Therefore, practitioners of alternative medicine believe suppression of symptoms (as is common in conventional medicine) can be very destructive as it is not a cure.
The primary benefit of alternative medicine therefore is the best treatment of any condition is healing, not just a masking of the symptoms as is common in conventional medicine. The theory in alternative medicine is to treat the disease to find a cure. This is a complete reversal of the procedure commonly undertaken in conventional medicine. Conventional medicine now is based on treating the symptoms to alleviate the body of the current pain. This will often lead to a resurgence of the condition again at a later date.

Another one of the major benefits of alternative medicine is due to the escalating costs of treatment and pharmaceutical medications which are prevalent in the field of conventional medicine, many more people are trying to find alternatives in health care. One of the biggest “pushes” in this field right now, instead of treating a disease after they get sick by means of conventional medicine, many people are trying to find ways to boost their current health and immunity to prevent illness and disease.

Due to this shift in attitudes, the benefits of alternative medicine is slowly gaining a larger presence in the field of recovery in this world. Alternative medicine is now being integrated and used consistently in many major medical institutions all over the world. At these facilities, the benefits of alternative medicine are finally being recognized and are being offered their place in the future diagnosing and treatment of disease. Because of this shift, a new form of disease prevention has been born under the name of Integrative Medicine. It is a co-mingling of the use of conventional medicine mixed with an equal offering of alternative medicine for the health and benefit of every patient.

Alternative Medicine

Learning The Basics Of Another Option For Healing

Currently there is 42 different specialties in the world which fall into the category of Alternative Medicine.

Each of these have their own basic guidelines and principles as to how to achieve a satisfactory end result.

All of these types of alternative medicine though work under the same basic principle.

This is to use their knowledge and guidance to develop a treatment plan to enable a cure for any disease or illness from within.

By achieving a cure, this results in the disappearance of all signs and symptoms of the disease.

Therefore, learning something about food allergy basics, implementing a few important rules of alternative therapies and then following through with these principles for an at home therapy program, all of this often will lead to a reduction of food allergy symptoms.

Your first step can be incorporated just by drinking enough water daily to lay that all-important foundation for future health.

Mineral-rich water is one of the most effective natural allergy remedies there is for the human body.

Conventional medicine currently works on a different basic premise. The principle of treat the symptoms to rid the body of disease is the objective from modern medicine. Often this may work, sometimes not. Unfortunately though for many people, this can lead to health care burnout. Sometimes by just losing the symptoms for now, a resurgence of the condition may come at a later date.

Alternative therapy does have a different basic principle. This is to start at the inner core of your body and heal as you come out. Adding antioxidants to your diet is a great way to jump start this healing process. By healing from within, all organs, tissues, muscles, cells etc. are rid of the illness or condition. Therefore recovery is much slower but you do achieve much greater results.

Alternative therapies are also based on levels of healing. This translates into different specialties between practitioners also. As in conventional medicine where you may visit the cardiologist, neurologist, opthamologist, dentist, orthopedist etc., each of these specialties concentrate on a certain part of the body.

Alternative therapies also has specialized areas of treatment. To many people though, this breakdown is confusing. Alternative practitioners believe healing is only achieved when the whole body is in balance. This includes healing of the body, mind and spirit. So specialties in non-traditional medicine are responsible for balancing a system, not a part. The common levels and some of the resulting specialties are as follows:

Physical Level- repairing the body
This may include the specialties of Diet and Nutrition therapy, Naturopathy, Vitamin and Herb therapy, Acupuncture/Acupressure and Functional Medicine

Mental/Emotional Healing
Homeopathy and Acupuncture/Acupressure are the most prevalent

Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Healing
Flower Essences, Guided Imagery and Ayurvedic are the most common

If you are new to the fields of non-traditional medicine, do not make the mistake of telling yourself “I don’t want my spirit fixed, I just want to get rid of my fat belly.” How many times have you heard people say “I lost a lot of weight but gained it all back plus more.” Losing the weight is only one step in the process. Following through with the rest of the plan is equally important. The basic principles of Alternative Medicine gives you that “whole package”.

Caring for someone when they are ill is hard work and very stressful. Watching them on the road to recovery though is stress relieving and to help them on their way you could send a get well soon gift basket so they can forget their illness for a while.
Home Remedies – Home remedies and natural cures to help you treat common ailments using herbal ingredients and holistic techniques. Alternative treatment is popular because they have no side effects and are less expensive.

Types of Alternative Medicine

Of the 42 different specialties or types of alternative medicine now available, some of the most popular types of alternative medicine now in practice in the world include the following:

Acupressure is used primarily as an at-home self-care treatment plan to help relieve stress-related problems, both physical and mental. Often this form of therapy is considered an accompaniment to be used in addition to the treatment being received from conventional medicine.

Acupuncture is the art of raising your body’s Qi (pronounced chee) by balancing the body’s major organs along twelve major pathways, called meridians in the body. Qi is known as the body being in perfect balance emotionally, physically and spiritually. Acupuncture therefore is used to bring back your body to a state of health and well-being.

Aromatherapy – although many people believe this specialty is based on smell or aroma, actually it is a branch of herbal medicine. By a method of steam-pressing and then processing the plants and herbs into an “Essential Oil”, this oil now has curative properties itself. When dispensed by several proven techniques, essential oils do facilitate a return to better health.

Ayurvedic Medicine, being one of the oldest types of alternative medicine, believes many diseases originate from an inbalance in the digestive system. Since the objective of the digestive system is to process and distribute nutrients to all parts of the body to convert to energy and nutrition. A breakdown in this system leads to a poor immune system which is an invitation to poor health and disease.

Chinese Medicine, also one of the oldest practiced types of alternative medicine, dates back several thousand years. The basic principle of this form of therapy is to facilitate a cure on the physical, emotional and spiritual inbalances to generate or maintain health and well-being.

Chiropractic is a therapy, generally handled by manual manipulation of the spine, to prevent and treat disorders of the skeletal system. Other joints of the body and soft tissue healing is also a secondary concern to a practicing physician.
Diet and Nutritional Therapyis based on the principle by eating a wide variety of foods consistently, your body accumulates enough vitamins, minerals and nutrients from your diet for daily use plus an ample supply is left over for any exposure to your allergenic trigger.

Environmental Medicine or environmental allergies is often an over-looked cause of allergy. This field of medicine concentrates on both indoor and outdoor pollutants. This field specializes in control of pollen, chemicals, mold, animal dander, food, airborne particulants plus many more.

Fasting is a low cost effective way to treat hypertension, heart disease, headaches, allergies (both indoors and out) plus arthritis. This is done initially by a supervised program to eliminate all toxins from the body. Follow-up and any future care can usually be handled by the patient themselves at home if it is even necessary.
Flower Essences therapy is closely aligned with homeopathy because both work on the principle of using plants, extracted, dried, and processed into oils used for intervention of many health issues.

Guided Imagery is in effect every minute of our lives. It is the result of taking your flow of observations, channeling them and using that energy to guide your body to a state of health and well-being. Although many people feel this sounds impossible or improbable, we all can and do use this technique everyday of our life. This therapy program gives you the instructions on how to use that power for the betterment of your health.

Herbal Therapy is the oldest types of alternative medicine in use today. It originated in all cultures of the world as people, by means of trial and error, used the plants mother nature gives us to experiment and document each plants prospective capabilities. An entire world of medicine has been developed by using the flowers, leaves, stems, roots, fruit and bark of various plants.

Homeopathy is a low cost, non-toxic form of medicine which can often be advantageous in the treatment of chronic illness or allergies when conventional medicine has not produced the desired results. Homeopathy is based on the principle “like cures like”. This relates to tiny minute amounts of an allergen are given with effectively increasing doses until the body builds up a resistance to the offending substance. This form of treatment CAN NOT BE DONE AT HOME! Initial consultations and dosages can only be obtained from a licensed homeopathic practitioner. At home care and follow up treatments are then under the care of your doctor. Never undertake this procedure without the supervision of a licensed practitioner. There is a serious risk of anaphylactic shock when this treatment program is started.

Juice Therapy uses benefits of the juice from raw fruits and vegetables to supply your body with the most natural source of concentrated energy. This program is generally used as a health maintenance program or as a fasting program.

Naturopathic Medicine is comprised of a group of physicians which are educated and trained in several fields of Alternative Medicine. Their training includes: Homeopathy, Herbal Medicine, Diet and Nutrition Therapy, Ayurvedic, Acupuncture and Acupressure techniques.

Touch Therapy (Healing Hands) is a sub-specialty of acupressure. Healing Hands helps the body to relieve tension by increasing the blood’s circulation all over the body. This then results in a strengthening of the immune system because of techniques the patient learns for greater control of environmental and emotional factors.

This is just a short list of some of the most widely practiced types of Alternative Medicine that are in use today. Not being on this list does not in any way reflect on the lack of importance of any other field. Each of the other 28 practicing fields of Alternative Medicine do each have their own specialty or field of expertise. From this list of types of alternative medicine you are sure to find something to assist you in living a healthier life.

Alternative Medicine Information

A Primer For Another Way To Success

Without even knowing any principles or types of alternative medicine information, much time and energy is expended in the field of conventional medicine disclaiming the benefits of alternative therapies. At the same time, many alternative practitioners state the importance of conventional medicine for the objective of health and healing. The invitation is continually being extended by alternative medicine information seminars, workshops, video, print and pamphlet explaining how the two specialties can co-exist for the benefit of the patient.

Simple But Effective Co-Existence of the Two Worlds

Say, you as the patient go to the doctor (conventional medicine) because you broke your leg. A skilled physician, after some preliminary tests, will re-align the bone fragments, immobilize the break and then give nature time to heal the break. This doctor did absolutely nothing to heal that break. All he did was set up the conditions so your body and nature could do its job of healing itself.
This is where the alternative medicine information can come in. A practitioner here also can set up a more in depth treatment plan which will facilitate an even quicker or speedier recovery with less pain. Thus the end result is both types of doctors helped the process of healing that bone. This is where alternative medicine information is most important.

Neither of these doctors by themselves actually did anything to heal that break. Both just set up conditions, per their field of expertise, to alleviate pain and discomfort and the time needed for the natural healing process to take over.

Misconceptions of Alternative Therapy Practices by Traditional Medicine

Because most physicians have no knowledge of Alternative Medicine information, either because little or none was covered during their training years, traditional physicians always seem to have 5 major misconceptions about alternative therapies.

Alternative Therapy Is Not Very Well Known

Because environmental medicine is not taught at most medical schools or residency programs, that is no reason to invalidate a program that has been around and used widely for thousands of years.
Conventional medicine today is broken up into smaller sub-specialties and each physician centers his practice around that target area. The holistic theory, that all alternative programs are based on, teaches the body is a whole unit therefore when something is wrong with one part of the body it will often affect other areas as well.Therefore alternative therapy programs attempt to center its treatment programs by removing the cause of the illness which will alleviate the pain and discomfort in the body as a whole.

Alternative Medicine Has No Scientific Basis

Conventional medicine typically has reported results of studies that has been developed by an attending physician or laboratory that knows absolutely nothing about the background or training of Alternative Medicine. How can this person possibly give an educated or un-biased opinion about a subject they know nothing about. Often they do not even know what they are looking for. Medicine is not a field for the unknown or the inexperienced.
The Cause and Effect of Environmental Illnesses Can Not Be Proven

This often repeated concern of traditional medicine is pure hypocrisy. How many times have you or a family member been to a doctor and after testing, inconclusive results have shown up. Generally the first thing that physician will do is send you to another specialist. Often you can be passed around from doctor to doctor, each adding their own possible treatment plan, with everyone trying to rule out the possibilities.
Now conventional medicine is trying to argue that since the expected final result of alternative therapies is the recovery of the whole body from the disease or illness, this invalidates the treatment plan because there is no pre-set form of treatment up front with diagnosis.

All Environmental Illnesses Are Psychosomatic

Have you or a friend ever been to a doctor, explained your vague set of symptoms which seem to come and go, submitted to a round of testing from possibly more than one doctor, and at the end the diagnosis is still “I can not find anything wrong with you”. After a few times with this scenario, eventually the attitude you receive is “it’s all in your head” or “you’re depressed.” Now you feel like you need a “shrink”.
The theory has been stated in conventional medicine that alternative therapy treats imaginary ailments reported with some kind of imaginary cures.

Impractical Treatment Methods Will Result In Limited To No Results

In severe situations, some patients are placed on a very restrictive diet or treatment plan until the patient can tolerate the issues which are leading to their illness. After a limited amount of time, they are then returned to a normal diet to continue a normal life. These temporary measures can be restrictive but it is just one step in an overall plan to return this patient to normal health and vitality. This process is no different than the methods used by conventional medicine.
Without the proper education and the lack of training in Alternative Medicine information, no individual should have the responsibility of critiquing another form of medicine which is available for the safety of our health and bodies. Me personally, I would never dream of trying to criticize a heart surgeon’s techniques while someone else was in consultation with their doctor. I do not have the background or knowledge needed to make an informed opinion.

Alternative Medicine information must be the decision of each and every one of us if we are concerned about our health. If after investigation, you feel this is not an option for you, feel comfortable with the knowledge you are now basing that decision on your own honest investigation, not a bunch of hearsay from what should be non-interested parties.

Can Allergies Co-exist With Alternative Medicine

Allergies and alternative medicine have co-existed all over the world as a viable therapy program for generations. Actually, greater than three quarters of the world now have the confidence from generation to generation of time-tested procedures offering symptomatic relief for many allergic reactions.

In most industrialized societies though, many people are unfamiliar that allergies and alternative medicine actually have any treatments of choice. Most patients have never heard that treatment programs are out there other than just “controlling the symptoms” by the use of pharmaceutical drugs or over the counter selections. The common general practitioner (family doctor) or even most insurance companies do nothing to offer a possible alternative form to you during any illness. 

But those times are changing also. Many current health care plans are now also extending their services to offer coverages on many forms of alternative medicine. To date though, no definitive list of providers in the United States exists which offers coverage on alternative medications and/or supplements which are used during a typical treatment program. However, an online guide which I can recommend for health insurance quotes is always a good first step towards eventual promising health.

Many alternative therapy programs do offer treatments which can reduce or control your current symptoms. Remember though, by current medical standards, allergies are a non-curable condition. An alternative therapy practitioner’s goal therefore is to alleviate the severity of the symptoms and then balance your health to acquire a reduction in the frequency of future allergic reactions.

So if your current program has not been showing good positive results or if you have wondered about trying another treatment option different than prescription or over the counter drugs, relief from allergies through alternative medicine may become a road to recovery for your condition in months or years to come.

Many people have been trained from childhood into adulthood to beware of any treatment plans not sanctioned by their own medical doctor, whether this is from the field of alternative medicine or conventional medicine. Each form of medicine does have its own method of trying to curtail the adverse reactions common to any allergic reaction.

If you are unsure and would like to compare the role of the opposite field of medicine before making a decision which one you will try, please check with the following information at food allergy or at allergy safety for some information about another possible form of treatment.