Alternative medicine and remedies treat the body in its entirety. It identifies the body and mind as one entity. Hence, living a vibrant healthy lifestyle with pure natural supplements, good nutritious food, plenty of sunlight and clean water will significantly help keep a healthy lifestyle.
However, it may be based on cultural or historical traditions, instead of scientific evidence. Conventional medicine otherwise known as western or allopathic medicine is supported by the strength of scientific research.
It provides surgical advances that save lives, such advances are not achievable with holistic medicine. However, it can be argued that conventional medicine only treats the symptoms instead of the underlying causes.
The modern day healthcare sector subscribes to people getting a disease, becoming unwell, visit a medical doctor, get diagnosed, take prescription medication and if deemed necessary have an operation.
Prescription drugs can be toxic to the body and habitually addictive. It may prevent the body from functioning properly. The side effects from pharmaceutical drugs can be debilitating, devastating and sometimes deadly.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
CAM is a group of unique medical and diverse health care systems with therapeutic and diagnostic disciplines and products that do not fall within the realm of conventional medicine.
Conventional medicine is what medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, registered nurses, physical therapists and psychologists all practice.
1. Complementary Medicine:
This is the use of CAM ‘together with’ conventional medicine. Examples of CAM therapies are herbal medicines, chiropractic and acupuncture.
2. Alternative Medicine:
This is the use of CAM ‘in place of’ conventional medicine.
3. Integrative Medicine:
This ‘combines’ the use of conventional medicine with CAM.
Alternative Medicine and Remedies – Homeopathy
Homeopathic medicine functions on the basis that if lots of something could cause certain symptoms, a minute amount of the same or identical substance will relieve those symptoms.
It is a system that involves highly diluted substances. The highly diluted substance is then used to treat the patient, with the objective of inducing the body’s natural healing system. Based on the specific symptoms, a homeopath will match each patient to the most appropriate medicine.
Alternative Medicine and Remedies – Ayurveda
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian system of medicine which began about 5,000 years ago. It means the science of life. It is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which uses yogic breathing, herbal treatment, and diet.
It is uses the inherent principles of nature to help sustain health and wellness in an individual by keeping the individual’s mind, body and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.
Alternative Medicine and Remedies – Naturopathy
Naturopathy is a distinct system of medicine based on the healing power of nature and the body’s innate ability to fight disease and heal itself.
Practised by naturopaths or naturopathic doctors/NDS, it has a number of natural treatment methods, instead of prescription medication or surgery, that can be used to induce and stimulate the body’s own restorative healing powers.
Such treatment methods and therapies may include nutritional supplements, diet and lifestyle modifications, acupuncture, detoxification, hydrotherapy, spinal manipulation, homeopathy and any other natural treatment
Herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years in many ancient societies. The remedies are made from the use of berries, bark, flowers, leaves, plants, roots and seeds and then used to treat or prevent disease or promote good health.
In 1978, the German government established a regulatory agency called The German Commission E. It had pharmacists, physicians, toxicologists and scientists.
The agency evaluated the usefulness of 300 herbs, found 200 herbs to be useful and rejected the rest. The agency published its monographs listing the uses and side effects of herbs.
Alternative Medicine and Remedies – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
TCM is an ancient medical system which includes many unique practices. It is based on the ancient and historic philosophical Taoism and dates back to over 5,000 years.
It applies the laws and patterns of nature to the human body. It looks at the interaction between the environment, the body and the mind. Aims to prevent and cure sickness, disease and disorder.
TCM will find the root cause of an illness and not just the symptoms. It is holistic in its approach. It views every aspect of an individual – emotions, mind, body and spirit – as part of one complete circle, instead of treating the freely connected pieces separately or individually.