But complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is slowly increasing in popularity in many parts of the Western world.
CAM is a far cry from standard medical practice. But there’s a reason its popularity is gaining traction — the benefits tend to outweigh the negatives. If you’re interested in learning how holistic healing methods can benefit your health, just keep on reading.
What Defines Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)?
To put it simply, alternative medicine is unlike standard Western medical practice. Complementary medicine is defined as a combination of alternative medicine alongside standard medical practice.
The field of CAM is tricky to define exactly, and this is because the field is very diverse. It covers a range of therapies that originate from a number of different cultures, belief systems and time periods.
Just some of these therapies include acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy, herbal medicine, reiki, and chiropractic care, to name a few. Check out this car accident chiropractor for unresolved aches and pains.
In today’s day and age, many people are looking to CAM as an alternative form of therapy for their ailments. A large reason for this is because of the side-effects of pharmaceuticals and standard medical practices. In fact, research shows that more than 38% of the U.S. population uses some form of alternative medicine. Let’s learn a little more about what this includes.
Popular Holistic Healing Methods Today
The field of CAM is large — this means that many of these alternative treatments tend to overlap from one field into another. Just one example is acupuncture, which is used in conventional medicine as well as ancient Chinese medicine. Here are some of the most popular forms of CAM being used today:
- Traditional Alternative Medicine
This field encompasses therapies that are considered more mainstream and more widely accepted. Many of them have been practiced for centuries by some of the world’s most ancient cultures.
These more traditional forms of alternative medicine include Chinese or oriental medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, and naturopathy.
- Healing Touch
Healing touch therapy has also been around for centuries. It’s is based on the premise that if one area of the body is ill or injured, this can affect all parts of the body.
Manual manipulation is used to bring all parts of the body back into unison for optimum health. This way the body can focus on healing the illness or injury itself. Some of the most common healing touch therapies include massage, Tai Chi, yoga, body movement therapy, osteopathic, and chiropractic medicine.
- Diet and Herbal Medicine
The last few centuries have brought with it major changes to our diet and the way we eat. In short, man has gone from eating a clean, simple, and mostly plant-based diet to eating excessive meat, foods rich in fat, and simple carbohydrates.
This can lead to nutritional excesses and deficiencies. In turn, this causes a host of health problems, including chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. This has given rise to alternative forms of medicine to try and combat these chronic health issues. Some of these include herbal medicine, nutritionists/dietitians, Ayurvedic medicine, and a huge range of dietary supplements.
- Internal and External Energy
While these practices are not as mainstream or widely accepted as others, reiki, electromagnetic therapy, and Qigong are used to treat energy issues. What exactly does this mean? Well, these practitioners believe that the body holds onto trapped energy that can cause a host of health issues. By manipulating both external and internal energy, the body can be freed of its ailments.
- Healing Power of the Mind
The power of the mind-body connection is undeniable and is even recognized by conventional medicine. The practices of meditation, biofeedback, and hypnosis believe that people with good mental health will have good emotional and physical health too.
The Benefits of Holistic Healing Methods
While many people may be skeptical of the healing benefits of CAM, numerous studies beg to differ. Not only this, but alternative medicine has been used as a treatment for a range of conditions for centuries. This means that these practices have stood the test of time, too. Here’s how alternative medicine can benefit your health:
- It Treats the Actual Cause
Many alternative treatments are designed to treat the root cause of an ailment, rather than just the symptoms. By understanding the cause of an ailment, CAM practitioners can focus on the origin of the problem. Mainstream medicine and pharmaceuticals tend to focus on treating symptoms, rather than solving the issue once-and-for-all.
- It Improves Quality of Life
By focusing on treating the root of an ailment, this means you can be rid of its symptoms for good. Taking a painkiller only provides temporary relief. Once the effects wear off, you’re back to square one. Alternative medicine works to improve your quality of life by assessing the root of the problem and curing it, without having to live with it and merely manage the symptoms.
- Most Forms of CAM Are Safer
The overall premise of CAM is to not put the body through any additional stress. Many of these practices offer little to no side-effects, unlike the prescription of pharmaceuticals or many forms of surgery. These therapies are completely non-invasive and do not require any recovery or downtime, either.
- Alternative Medicine is More Flexible
One of the defining features of holistic healing is its flexibility. Holistic healers are able to adapt and adjust treatment plans according to your progress and lifestyle. Whereas mainstream medicine is far more rigid in its approach and therefore, far less adaptable to your personal circumstances.
- There’s No Risk of Dependency on Treatment
Prescription medication not only leaves behind numerous side-effects but also puts people at risk of dependency. Pharmaceuticals that contain Oxycodone, Codeine, Fentanyl, and Demerol are highly addictive. Long-term use can not only lead to health issues but addiction problems. Alternative medicine and its therapies are completely natural and avoid this common problem altogether.
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