Western medicine has been responsible for significantly improving our quality of life for many decades now. In recent years, many people have started to embrace alternative medicine and are shunning modern practices such as vaccination. While it is true that alternative medicine is rooted in ancient tradition, discrediting modern medicine will do more harm than good.
Experts believe that while some forms of alternative medicine can help the body heal, not all will be effective in treating certain diseases. Therefore, it is essential to understand what alternative medicine consists of, as well as the pros and cons of incorporating it in your lifestyle.
What are the different types of alternative medicine?
Alternative medicine typically believes that the key to a person’s health is balance by making sure that all elements of the body do not compete with each other. Ayurveda, for example, uses a variety of herbs and natural ingredients to restore digestive health. On the other hand, the practice of Tai Chi is said to bring balance to the body’s energy.
Many of the practices used by traditional medicine in cultures around the world have been given a more modern and palatable approach. These days, you will find many natural supplements such as turmeric shots, herbal infusions, teas, and essential oils. Most of these are used to treat a variety of symptoms associated with anything from the common cold to arthritis.
Benefits of using alternative medicine
Something that has been around for centuries can only be good for you, right? Approximately 38% of adults in the U.S. today use some type of alternative medicine. The benefits of this approach include:
- Holistic treatment. Caring for the whole body is a distinct characteristic of alternative medicine. What sets it apart from modern medicine is that alternative medicine aims to address problems that are affecting both the mind and body. This philosophy, in particular, is one of the main reasons why more and more people are subscribing to alternative medicine.
- Prevention rather than cure. Yes, the age-old adage ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure’ is one of the benefits of alternative medicine. Conventional modern medicine will only intervene once the disease is diagnosed, but alternative medicine focuses on helping an individual maintain health and well-being by preventing illnesses.
- Personal attention. Alternative medicine practitioners typically spend more time with their patients. This level of personal care gives patients a greater appreciation for the treatment they receive.
In addition to these benefits, alternative medicine is becoming mainstream because more people are shifting towards a nature-conscious lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is still important to consider possible precautions before trying any form of alternative medicine.
The cons of alternative medicine
Increased demand from consumers is helping alternative medicine receive recognition from the scientific community. But the limited clinical research means the safety of these methods is not proven. Just because a product is being marketed as natural, it does not always mean it is safe for you or your family.
Always be wary of ingredients you are unfamiliar with and always consult your physician if you are planning to try an alternative form of medication.
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