Common Alternative Health Therapies. Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Nutritional Supplements, Yoga And Homeopathy
Numerous surveys have been conducted by a variety of institutions and groups to prove the efficacy of alternative health therapies. It is estimated that approximately 38 million of the American people pay visits to acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors and other alternative health therapists. Though the majority of people believe in the effectiveness of conventional medication, at least three-fourths of them are turning to alternative therapies that include yoga, chiropractic and acupuncture.
The Harvard Medical School estimates that at least one in every two persons in the U.S. between the ages of 35 and 50 make use of alternative health therapies. In 1997 it was estimated that the growth in the percentage of people who opted for alternative medicine rose by approximately 50 percent since 1990. Further, it was found that the majority of people choosing alternative health therapies were both educated and affluent.
The leaning toward alternative medicine can be seen throughout the western world from Australia to Europe and beyond. The growth rate for certain types of common alternative health therapies is astonishing to say the least. For example, between a six-year span, herbal therapy use rose by 380 percent.
Critics will always be around, but for those who are seriously interested in alternative health therapies it is well worth the effort to consider the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital or the New York Presbyterian Hospital’s department of complementary medicine, to find out about the level of activity by mainstream hospitals in the field of alternative medicine. Keep an open mind and remember the U.S. government has established a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
Some of the more common alternative health therapies include acupuncture, herbal therapy, nutritional supplements, yoga and homeopathy. To avoid confusion, alternative medicine refers to treatments that are substituted for mainstream medicine. Complementary medicine on the other hand is treatment used in conjunction with mainstream medicine. There are some very ancient forms of alternative medicine that are commonly referred to as traditional medicine.
There is a wealth of goodness in ancient medicines that has stood the test of time. There are many believers in alternative health therapies that believe that what cannot be treated by conventional medicine, can effectively be treated by alternative methods. Some of the more commonly recognized methods that are actively pursued today include:
Acupuncture and acupressure are two therapies that function in a similar manner and are often grouped together. Both therapies work on the premise that there are certain pressure points in the body that need to be stimulated to alleviate pain and cure serious diseases. Acupuncture is treatment through the insertion of solid, very thin needles into the pressure points; the needles are manipulated to stimulate these pressure points.
Herbal therapy is probably one of the most popular of all alternative therapies. It has proven in many cases to be an efficient treatment and cure for various illnesses. Herbal therapies work by harnessing nature’s bounties in the form of cures and relief aids. Herbal medicine makes use of a variety of seeds, roots, barks, leaves, berries, flowers and other plant parts. Herbalism has an ancient heritage, but is becoming more acceptable in mainstream medicine as advanced testing and clinical research, and improved quality control have begun to highlight the value of herbal therapy in the prevention and treatment of diseases.
Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy that makes use of plant oils such as essential oils (pure essence of plants) to enhance physical and psychological wellbeing. Aromatherapy also makes use of a variety of complementary ingredients such as vegetable oils, sea salts, liquid wax, sugars, mud and clay.
Biofield therapies make use of the body’s own healing energy by manipulating the energy through various healing techniques. As a category of alternative medicine the group includes reiki and healing touch among others. The main principle of biofield therapies is to facilitate an unrestricted flow of energy through the body, promoting balance and relaxation. Anyone can benefit from these therapies as studies have shown, from patients suffering from cancer to infants with chronic pain.
According to studies conducted on common alternative health therapies, the majority of people who choose this path for healing are those seeking relief from the pain and side effects of contemporary medicine.