Alternative medicine is more popular than ever. Traditional doctors have never been so intent on either prescribing drugs or recommending surgery. Less invasive treatments are rarely recommended anymore. However, there’s a lot of evidence that a healthy diet, rest, exercise, and a positive attitude can do a lot of good.
There are also medical professionals that specialize in treatments that go beyond simple diet and exercise but are still less costly and dangerous than medication and surgery. It might be time to consider adding an alternative medicine expert to your health team. Most are happy to work with your current physician.
1. Biofeedback. Biofeedback is about learning how to control your body. The idea is that you can learn how to control aspects of your physiology that are largely involuntary, such as heart rate, brain waves, blood pressure, muscle tension, and the perception of pain.
- Equipment is required to monitor the effectiveness of your efforts during the learning phase. For example, it’s not easy to know if you’re affecting your brainwaves without the proper equipment.
- Biofeedback has been used to treat chronic pain, asthma, incontinence, high blood pressure, ADHD, and numerous other disorders.
2. Chiropractic medicine. Chiropractic medicine goes way beyond just making your back feel better. Aligning your spine and other joints can help many injuries heal faster, reduce many types of pain, alleviate symptoms of some chronic conditions, and much more.
- Many health insurance plans today include coverage for chiropractic care.
3. Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils and other aromatic compounds to positively enhance physical and emotional health. There’s no doubt that certain smells can impact one’s emotions. Consider how the smell of chocolate makes you feel versus the smell of rotten eggs.
- Studies have shown that aromatherapy can help with anxiety and depression. Claims are also made for many other ailments. Again, it’s worth a try and something you can do at home very inexpensively.
4. Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a primary part of traditional Chinese medicine. Very thin needles are inserted at very specific points on the body. The most common use of acupuncture is to treat pain, but there are many that believe acupuncture is effective at treating many different disorders.
5. Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, massage, exercise, and diet. Completion of a graduate degree from an accredited program in traditional Chinese medicine is required of practitioners. This form of medicine has many proponents.
6. Homeopathy. Homeopathy is based on the idea that the body is capable of healing itself. Very small amounts of natural substances are used to stimulate the body to heal itself. This is perhaps the most controversial form of alternative medicine in this list, at least in North America.
7. Naturopathy. Naturopaths rely on natural, non-invasive techniques for treating disease and injuries. Naturopathy includes the use of heat, cold, vitamins, enemas, fasting, hydrotherapy, meditation, and other non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical interventions.
- There are accredited naturopath programs in the US, Canada, and other locations throughout the world.
- The other forms of alternative medicine on this list fall under the umbrella of naturopathy, but the field includes many more therapies as well.
Alternative medicine is worth a try. Many people dismiss alternative medicine, but there are also many advocates. While alternative medicine isn’t the proper choice for many medical conditions, it can be an excellent option under the right circumstances.
Talk to your doctor about your situation and open your mind to the many medical treatment options available today. You might find one that’s just right for you!