The alternative medicine movement is growing in popularity across the globe, and more people are starting to take a holistic approach to their health, with good reason. Instead of waiting to find out that you have a health problem, being proactive with your wellness routine is the best chance you have at staying well.
In today’s guide, discover 3 alternative wellness therapies that may be beneficial for you, including homeopathy, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments. These alternative treatments have been used for centuries to balance the body’s natural healing capabilities and provide relief from common ailments.
As more people are starting to take a proactive approach to enhance their physical well-being, an interest in alternative medicine is starting to grow. Learn how these non-traditional holistic treatments can help you address many common health or wellness-related issues.
What is alternative medicine?
Alternative medicine is a broad term that encompasses all treatments not typically supported by Western medical science. These alternative approaches to health and wellness are based on traditional practices, beliefs, knowledge systems, or spiritual philosophies other than those of modern Western society. The alternative medicine movement has been gaining popularity across the globe as more people search for natural alternatives to healing their ailments.
Unlike visiting a physician to treat symptoms and address health concerns, incorporating alternative medicine into your wellness regime can help you get to the root of your problems, by viewing your body from a holistic perspective. Having visited all types of alternative medicine practitioners over the years, I’ve personally experienced the benefits of their treatments.
In my opinion, Western medicine is incredibly helpful when people have major or critical issues (that require antibiotics, vaccinations, life-saving treatments, and surgeries). However, I prefer to opt for alternative medicine treatments for everyday wellness, as they seem to be effective and have fewer unwanted side effects.
Why is alternative medicine considered a holistic approach to wellness?
Alternative medicine is often a holistic approach to health and wellness because alternative practitioners can offer treatments that focus on both the mind and body.
For example, alternative healers believe in treating symptoms holistically by looking at all aspects of one’s life including diet, sleep patterns, exercise habits, etc., while also paying attention to how these factors directly create a cause-and-effect on the body. They also tend to view the body from a holistic perspective, rather than focusing on individual parts of the body.
A chiropractor (Dr. Wilson Smith in Carmel Valley, CA) once explained to me that “the body is like a spiderweb; when one area gets injured, it can affect other parts of the body”. This is often the case with our internal structural system (neuromuscular, bones, and joints). For example, a person might walk into his office complaining about lower back pain. However, as he starts doing chiropractic adjustments on them, he might notice that they have a misaligned upper back or a rib out of place. When practitioners take a holistic approach to healing our bodies, they often end up figuring out what’s really going on, rather than just addressing the particular symptoms that the patient is experiencing.
To introduce you to the concept of alternative medicine treatments, here are a few common practices that you might have heard of.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine practice that uses needles to stimulate acupuncture points. It is based on the Eastern philosophy of chi or life energy flow, which flows through thousands of pathways (known as meridians) in the body. Acupuncture can be used for treating many things such as chronic pain and depression.
Generally, this treatment is not painful (even though your body is being pricked with small needles, it usually feels like a quick pinch of your skin). The acupuncturist places these needles on various points on your body, to stimulate your natural energy flow (and to “unblock” stagnant energy centers).
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is a procedure that focuses on providing a non-invasive approach to the spine and joints. It is used for purposes such as pain relief, increased mobility, decreased muscle spasms, and improved function in your body’s core musculature.
The chiropractor will be doing things like spinal and sacral adjustments (manipulating the vertebrae so that your spine is in proper alignment).
If you tend to have backaches, you might be a great candidate for a chiropractic adjustment, as it can help to relieve the inflammation caused by a misaligned musculoskeletal system. It’s personally been one of my favorite alternative medicine treatments, that have helped me resolve my past issues with lower back tension.
What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that has been around since the 1700s. It was developed by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, who believed in “the healing power of nature.” It’s based on the idea that “like cures like”.
Homeopathic medicine is usually derived from plants and herbs and is created by taking a substance that produces symptoms similar to those of the disorder and diluting it.
Homeopathy is used for treating many things, ranging from mood disorders like anxiety or depression to headaches, cramps (during menstruation), sore throats, nausea/stomach pain after chemotherapy treatments.
In summary, alternative medicine treatments can be a great way to boost your well-being, increase your vitality and health, and potentially avoid the high costs of medical procedures or traditional Western drugs and therapies (that can cause unwanted side effects and further health complications).
[Disclaimer: This post is for general and informational purposes only and is not considered medical advice. Always consult with your physician or a medical expert about your health conditions first. All opinions are my own. Images via Canva]