Alternative medicine or holistic healing is gaining a lot of popularity these days as more and more people are turning to other ways and means of treating ailments where regular medical science does not give desired results. It is a healing method that differs from the usual ways in which a doctor of medicine would treat. Alternative treatment therapies are gaining popularity as many people are opting for them to get relief from niggling problems. Critics claim that only the practitioners believe them to have healing effects and the effectiveness of these alternative methods have not been scientifically established.
What are the various alternative treatment therapies available to us? There is a multitude of alternative medicine available. Few of these treatment therapies have been around for thousands of years and are now gaining popularity and acceptance among the people. Oour very own Ayurveda, homeopathy, acupressure, acupuncture, reiki etc just to name a few. It is for the patient to decide which the most effective treatment therapy is and which one he would prefer to opt for.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Alternative Therapies
It is an age-old medicine practice of India. Ayurveda provides a good alternative for allopathic medicines as most of the ayurvedic medicines are of plant or animal origin. They cause hardly any side effects. It believes in the existence of three elemental substances called dosha: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in the body. The guiding factor is that the imbalance of the elemental substances ( vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha) causes diseases in the human body. Ayurveda aims at balancing the imbalance of the Vata, Kapha, and Pitta in the body with the use of herbs, minerals, metals, etc. Some very effective plant extracts in the form of oils are available, the use of which helps to alleviate even chronic joint and muscle pains. It propounds living in harmony with nature and using it to improve the human body’s natural healing process.
This treatment technique originated in Germany. It is a very popular and accepted type of alternative medicine. This method believes that both the disease and its cure come from the same source, i.e. what causes symptoms of disease in a healthy person would when used in low doses cure a sick person. It creates similar symptoms as the ailment to cure it. It makes use of herbs and natural medicines. Homeopathic medicines are quite effective.
As the name itself suggests, naturopathy makes use of natural methods to assist the human body in its healing process. Herbs and oils form an intrinsic part of this treatment. Some of the techniques used are Herbalism, ozone therapy, reflexology, etc..
Acupressure is a Tradition Chinese Medicine way of healing. It works on the principle of various specific points being the energy points of the body and ailments can be cured by stimulating the corresponding trigger point. It works on balancing the energy flow in the body and healing it. The finger, thumb, palm, elbow, or specific acupressure instruments are used to exert pressure to stimulate the trigger points.
Acupuncture one of the better known alternative therapies has its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This therapy is based on the belief that there is energy flow in our body in the form of opposing energies Yin and Yang. The energy flow imbalance causes disease in the body. Acupuncture tries to remove the blockage to the flow of energy in the body by needling corresponding acupoints. Every point of the body has a corresponding point on the hands, palm, feet, or leg. The therapy works by stimulating the corresponding acupoint; then; needling the point. Such treatment provides immediate relief and helps restore energy flow in the body and restores wellbeing.
Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy; gaining popularity these days. It aims at using the aroma or fragrances of natural plant extracts to promote good health, well being, and vitality. It promotes physical and mental health. There are mentions of aromatherapy in Ayurveda, Egypt, and TCM. However, it is French pharmacist; Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who can be credited with the techniques of modern-day aromatherapy. This method makes use of essential oils as infusions, lotions, or ointments for external use. Some other methods are through diffusers, inhalers, Bath salts, clay masks etc. Some of the most popular essential oils are lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemongrass, fennel, ginger, patchouli, peppermint, rose, jasmine, etc.
Colour therapy a non-invasive holistic treatment technique which aims to balance the energy flow of the body. A complementary therapy used along with other techniques; it is especially useful; in treating depression, stress, and seasonal affective disorders. It works on the principle that colours affect our mood and perception and each colour has a different effect on our body. The body absorbs the colour and this affects us on every level: physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is an age-old practice and has been in use in ancient India, Egypt and China. This treatment technique makes use of many different ways of administering colour to the body. Shining concentrated coloured light directly on the body or wearing a particular colour etc. are some of the techniques. The colour directed on the chakras helps in stimulating them to perform better.
Reiki healing is a method of energy healing. This method originated in Tibet and Japan. Reiki means Universal Life Energy. It works on the simple principle of the cosmic energy which exists in the Universe. The healer channelizes vital energy to the energy centers in the body. This helps to heal the person. The healer places his hands lightly on different parts of the body and channelizes the cosmic energy. The healer can even provide distance healing. It works by harmonizing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Auricular Therapy
Auricular therapy is an alternative treatment technique that has gained popularity; because of the extensive research work; carried out by the French physician, Dr. Nogier. According to this technique, the whole body can be mapped on the human ear. If you observe carefully you will note the human ear resembles an unborn fetus in the womb. The treatment is provided by using needles, seeds, acupressure, or colors on the corresponding points in the ear.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Chakra Balancing
This treatment technique is based balancing the chakras in the body. The human body is made up of seven chakras:
- Root chakra
- Sacral chakra
- Solar plexus chakra
- Heart chakra
- Throat chakra
- Third eye chakra
- Crown chakra.
Physical, mental, or spiritual pain occurs as a result of the chakras being out of balance. Chakra imbalance causes energy to get stuck in the body. Chakra balancing promotes self-healing, balances body and mind, and increases the energy flow to the various organs of the body. It helps to dissolve any energy blockage and allows the free flow of energy. Chakras are balanced using the massage technique, essential oil blends, and healing crystals.
Chiropractic deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the spine. It involves the manipulation of the spine, soft tissues, and other joints and may include exercise and health and lifestyle changes. Primarily a pain relief alternative for muscle and joint pains it believes that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: THE BEST COURSE OF TREATMENT
The best course of treatment cannot be suggested as what is good for me may not work for you. What may work for me may not be the best alternative for you. The treatment would depend upon the ailment. When opting for alternative therapies; like with any medical treatment, one should go to a reputed practitioner only. So, here’s to good health, to one and all!!!