Category Archives: Medicine

Is Alternative Medicine a Good

Alternative medicine, like the word implies is a form of medicine that is different from the popularly known one. It is an alternative to what is practised by the scientific form of medicine. It is more like an art rather than a science. Yet in many populations around the world, it is known to have existed for over 5000 years.

It is the form of medicine that our great-great-grand-parents relied on before scientific medicine came to be. Scientific medicine seems to have kicked the older form of medicine out of the way. But for the past decade, it seems people have been relying more and more on alternative medicine to deal with their ailment. Some articles are actually talking about a rise in that form of medicine.

There are many forms of alternative medicine: Acupressure, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Massage Therapy, Music Therapy, Naturopathic, Reflexology, Reiki, Tai Chi, Yoga.

Each of them may work based on a different philosophy. Most of those philosophies do not yet have any scientific evidence. It seems to work very well with some patients. In other cases it doesn’t seem to have any effect. One popular case is the one of the famous Steve Jobs. After being diagnosed with cancer, he decided to rely on alternative medicine to heal even though his doctors suggested he rather go through a surgical operation.

After 9 months of relying of alternative therapy the cancer got worse and spread through other organs. He ended up taking the surgery but the doctors had to removed certain organs that got infected because the cancer spread to them. Some critics are actually using this fact to support the idea that, if Steve Jobs had taken the surgery earlier on, he could have lived a bit longer.

Yet the number of patients that rely on alternative medicine seems to increase each year, why is that? The fact is there are some diseases that have not yet found any remedy for, in scientific medicine and seem to have found a solution for, in alternative medicine.

Lower back pains is known to be solved with chiropractic doctors. A lot of women with childbirth problems claim they were able to get pregnant with the help of a doctor in acupuncture. Early studies in aromatherapy and essential oils seems to suggest that it accelerates the healing process of the body. It is known that those who practice yoga or tai chi tend to get sick much less often compared to those who do not practice those things.

Is alternative medicine better than scientific medicine?

Alternative medicine is much based on finding the root cause of the problem the patient is going through than just trying to remove it. Scientific medicine is much more based on finding the symptoms causing the illness then prescribing the required drugs or surgery to solve the problem.

Both approach are neither good nor bad. As a rule of thumb, the unconventional medicine can be used to maintain general health but when it comes to serious cases it is always advisable to contact a conventional doctor. A new form of medicine been born called integrative medicine tends to combine the two, making the best out of the two school of thought.

Research is still ongoing as to how the different forms of alternative medical approach work. The future will give us a better idea of what is really going on with alternative medicine.

Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Better Than Modern

Since young, I’ve only visited doctors trained in modern western medicine. Usually the pills and liquids prescribed to me worked, or so I would think as I recover days later. However as I grew up and learnt biology, we were taught one important fact – because we have our immune system therefore we are still alive now. Hence even without any drug interventions, we would have recovered from our illness all by ourselves, as long as our immune system was in good working conditions. However as humans, we’re always impatient and want to feel well again as soon as possible or there are times when our immune systems just aren’t at their peak conditions and our bodies cannot cure itself. This is where medicine comes in.

Modern Western medicine considers illness as being triggered by something that causes a series of wrong chemical relays resulting in bodily malfunctions, and sets out to correct this by destroying that something or intercepting somewhere in this signal relay and hence stop the spread of the illness or even get rid of it. On the other hand, Traditional Chinese Medicine tackles this issue of falling ill by strengthening the immune system, while at the same time expunging the disease causative agent if necessary. Precisely because of the way they work, Modern Western medicine usually exhibit a faster recovery rate, whereas Traditional Chinese medicine makes an individual more able to fight of pathogens and less likely to fall ill in the long run.

Another issue between these two kinds of medicine that comes under fire is that Modern Western medicine is backed by solid scientific research, whereas there is insufficient scientific research that can support the use of Traditional Chinese medicine. I am definitely not arguing against the strong evidence that modern western medicine has from research, but western medicine is termed as ‘modern’ simply because it revolutionized about 200 years ago, whereas Traditional Chinese medicine has a history of more than 2000 years. The long history of Traditional Chinese medicine indicates that since its crude origins, it has been tested on many other humans, been put through the test of natural selection, and still has managed to evolve and survive to this very day. This surely has to be a proof for its efficacy.

Despite all the research and history behind both these fields of medicine, they too have their share of failures. Modern Western medicine’s research is based on clinical trials that require a certain statistical percentage of successfully treated cases before it can be used. However, there are those on the other side of the percentage – the unsuccessfully treated ones. Likewise Traditional Chinese Medicine history has been dotted with unsuccessful treatments that resulted in deaths. However without these failures, both kinds of medicine would not have been able to progress to where they both stand today.

The Difference Between Western and Chinese Reproductive Medicine

The Difference Between Western Reproductive Medicine And Traditional Chinese Medicine In Their Approach To The Treatment Of Infertility

Western reproductive medicine can do the following things: promote follicular development with certain medications, promote ovulation with other medications, perform intra-uterine-insemination, and in-vitro-fertilization. Western reproductive surgeons can also perform often necessary surgeries to create a fertile environment where polyps, fibroids, uterine anomalies and cervical anomalies are present. Without these types of interventions many infertile women would never have children.

Traditional Chinese medicine can often regulate systemic dysfunction naturally. That means that TCM can contribute to helping the PCOS patient ovulate without Clomid or perhaps with a lesser amount of Clomid. In the morbidly obese PCOS patient, weight loss is of paramount importance in increasing the ability to conceive because excess fat stores androgens and converts androgens to estrogen thereby creating a hormonal imbalance that is unlikely to enable conception. Acupuncture and herbal medicine along with exercise and life-style changes can make weight loss and its attendant health benefits possible.

In the endometriosis patient, acupuncture and herbal medicine cannot eradicate endometriosis but it can reduce the inflammatory environment associated with this disease. An interesting example of this is the patient with stage 1 endometriosis who does not present with pelvic distortion but cannot get pregnant. Why not? Her husband’s sperm is fine and other than the endometriosis there are no contributing factors that are contributing to the state of infertility. Even other autoimmune disorders have been ruled out as possible contributing factors. The infertility stems from an inflammatory intrauterine environment that either destroys the embryos or makes the uterine lining inhospitable to an embryo which is trying to implant. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can often regulate this environment by reducing this inflammatory process.

Male factor. Many men have low sperm count as a result of a minor vericocele. Surgeons do not operate on minor vericoceles because the benefit does not exceed this risk. The cause of a vericocele is pooling and stagnating and over-heating of blood in the pampiniform plexus. The pampiniform plexus refers to the veins in the testicles. The sperm- killing-heat is caused by the pooling and stagnating of blood. Acupuncture and herbs can strongly move qi (energy, metabolism, circulation) and blood in the testicles. As a result of this, the blood is less congealed, the blood flow is more functional and the heat is diminished, contributing to increased sperm count. Even in the face of a major vericocele, the surgical outcomes are successful 50% of the time. This means that even with surgery there is a 50% possibility that the count will remain low. One of the reasons for this is that long term blood stagnation and heat in the testicles causes tissue necrosis (death) and sperm cannot be adequately produced.

The determination of success can only be made after the surgery. The recovery time after the surgery is six months. The reason that this is the case is because the inflammation which is caused by the surgery takes that much time to be reduced. Utilizing acupuncture and herbal medicine after a vericocelectomy shortens recovery time by approximately two months, making the total recovery time four months instead of six. Men with any sperm anomaly should refrain from taking hot baths, saunas or riding a bicycle for long periods of time as all of these activities facilitate increased testicular temperature.

What about the patient who wants to do an IVF with her own eggs but her FSH is 20 and her doctor states that donor-egg is the only option? The doctor, essentially, is correct. He or she views this patient as one who either will not respond to gonadotropin stimulation and therefore produce either no eggs or produce too few to justify the continuation of the IVF cycle. So the reproductive endocrinologist offers the donor egg option with full integrity and with the patient’s best interest in mind. But, here is what I have witnessed on more than a few occasions: I will treat the patient with acupuncture and herbal medicine and her numbers will regulate. Not necessarily to a ‘perfect’ level, but to levels which will facilitate having the reproductive endocrinologist have a ‘second-look’. Subsequently many IVF cycles have been completed with a great many successful outcomes and many failures too. But I choose not to focus too much importance on the failures. It is the successes that would have never occurred had acupuncture and herbal medicine not been utilized on the patient who was told that donor-egg was the only option. In other words, inclusion of TCM has only an upside potential.

Implantation failure accounts for a substantial amount of infertility. Almost every patient that I have reports that her lining is “beautiful” according to her reproductive endocrinologist. The scientific truth however is that the morphology of the lining is not analogous to intraendometrial vascularization. This means that even though the lining may be thick it does not mean that there is enough blood flow getting to the lining. This is why sometimes even in the absence of any observable or diagnosable pathology, infertility manifests. Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been shown to increase endometrial vascularization and thereby increase implantation potential.

The idiopathic patient. Idiopathy means ‘no known cause’. What ‘no known cause’ means is that the limited Western medical diagnostic capabilities available today are only able to diagnose what they can, not what they cannot. In other words, there are many undiagnosable causes of infertility that have yet to be discovered and which, to date, have no remedies. Over time, this will change. This is by no means meant to be a derisive comment towards Western reproductive medicine. IVF has brought millions of children into the world and created many happy families. These successes would not have been possible in the ‘infertile population’ prior to the advent of this incredible technological breakthrough.

Traditional Chinese medicine, based upon its method of diagnosis does not, as part of its medical vocabulary, have a word that is analogous to ‘idiopathic.’ In other words, all cases of infertility can be diagnosed and treated. There are no mysteries or impossible cases. Each and every case can be, analyzed, differentiated, diagnosed and treated.

TCM can often establish a treatment protocol where Western medicine has none to offer other than donor-egg. TCM uses specific herbal formulas prescribed for a particular patient for a particular disorder, taking into consideration the whole patient as well as their pathology. The whole person is treated, not just their disease. What really does the “whole person” mean? It means that if the patient has a bad marriage, has low libido, chronic headaches, arthritis, depression, anxiety, frustration, a history of surgeries, a history of psycho-emotional trauma, a job she hates, a dying mother, low self-esteem, a smoker, a drinker, a stress eater, etc., etc., these things can contribute to her infertility.

How? Because the mind, spirit and body are inextricably connected. Not convinced? Ok, then why, when you are very stressed do you get a headache or a stomach-ache. Why is it that when you are very depressed you have no energy? Why is it that when you pray you feel more empowered? Why is it that when you look better, you feel better and when you feel better you have more energy and when you have more energy you are less likely to get sick and when you are not frequently sick you are not chronically depressed?

Because the mind, spirit and body are inextricably connected. This is why TCM doctors treat the whole person; only treating the disease is like treating a cancer patient with analgesics for their pain.

This is why the best case scenario in the treatment of reproductive disorders (as well as all disorders) is to integrate both methods of medical expertise. The TCM application will help the Western reproductive medical protocol succeed in a shorter period of time. Or TCM may be the difference between success and failure in the Western medical setting; remember, IVF has a 30% success rate which means conversely that it has a 70% failure rate.

Role of Traditional Medicine

The traditional medicines are playing an important role in human society from the past centuries. Traditional medical practice illustrates the medical knowledge practices, which improved more than centuries ago within a variety of societies before the era of modern Allopathic or Homeopathic medication begins. Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, herbal, African Yoruba Ifa, Muti as well as many other ancient medical practices from all over the world included in these medicines.

Historically, at the end of the twentieth century, a number of traditions came to dominate the practice of traditional medicine. Among all, the herbal medicine system of Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman sources, the Ayurvedic medicine system from India, traditional Chinese medicine, Unani-Tibb medicine and Shamanic Herbalism were the most dominant at the end of the twentieth century.

Key Contributions to Modern Medicines

The fundamental concepts of Modern allopathic medicine have developed from traditional (Unani and Ayurvedic) medicines.

About fifty-five percent of present Allopathic or Homeopathic medications, which are using in the world, derived from plant or herb sources.

Roughly 40% of plants provide active ingredients for modern drugs or medicines, and because of their use in traditional medicines, they came to the interest of researchers.

More than 120 active ingredients presently isolated from the medicinal herbs.

More than 8,000 active ingredients in the present pharmacopoeias extracted from plant sources.

Who Uses Traditional Medicine?

Among non-industrialized societies, the use of herbs to heal disease is almost universal. Peoples from countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa are still using herbal products to fulfill their regular health related necessities. As an example, nearly 75-80 percent of the population in Africa uses traditional medicine to fulfill their basic health related necessities. Another attention-grabbing thing is that presently, in United States, up to 158 million peoples use complementary medicines in their primary health related necessities.

Which Discipline Studies Traditional Medicines?

Ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, and medical anthropology have included as the basic disciplines, which study these medicines.

Present Status of Traditional Medicines

In recent years, the use of drugs or medications as well as search for new drugs and dietary supplements derived from traditionally used plant sources have accelerated much. As a result, many researchers are studying and investigating on these medicines today to find out the proper remedial uses along with pharmacological effects.

Safety Issues

Moreover, according to WHO (World Health Organization), over hundreds of countries have regulatory systems for herbal medicinal products. However, WHO also warns that the scientific data from experiments done to analyze the safety and efficiency of traditional or herbal medicinal products and practices is insufficient. As a result, WHO recommends consulting with physicians before taking these medicines.

Origin And Features Of Homeopathic Medicines

The origin of homeopathy can be traced back to the work of the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. This alternative field of medicine is based on the belief that human body has the power to heal itself. According to this theory, symptoms of any ailment should seldom be suppressed with medicines. It should be used as an indicator to analyze the requirements of the body. The healing process of the human body can be stimulated with the use of these medicines.

Important Features:

Homeopathic medicines are highly diluted to make it powerful and reduce the negative effects of the medicine. Conventional doctors treat illnesses based on the physical manifestation whereas this alternative field of medicine considers the overall well-being of the patient.

These medicines are basically derived from plants, minerals and animals. Some of the most commonly used animal products include ink fluid from the cuttlefish, honey from bees and so forth. Some of the remedies are also derived from mineral ores such as sulfur and sodium chloride.

Homeopathic medicines are prepared in a unique manner with a mixture of alcohol, water and active ingredients. This mixture is then filtered and tincture is produced. This tincture is diluted to decrease its concentration and increase its healing powers. These medicines are available in different potency ranges.

These medicines are available in the form of liquid or dilutions, pellets and tablets. These medicines can be consumed along with conventional medicines to treat various ailments. It is quite effective in treating cold, flu, allergies and eczema. Although these medicines are used to treat various other diseases, most people are doubtful of its curative abilities. It is also administered for PMS in women, depression, anxiety and rheumatism.

It is important to avoid strong beverages while consuming homeopathic medicines as it could render it ineffective. Coffee and alcohol should be avoided completely. It is also wise to keep these medicines away from strong preparations such as Vicks, Tiger balm and so forth.

Benefits of Homeopathic Medicine:

These medicinal products are safe and seldom produce any side effects. The medicinal doses are small and diluted so it believed to be completely harmless. Moreover, as these medicines are derived from plants and minerals, it tends to enhance the curative ability of the body in many ways.

Most of these medicines are available over the counter but it is important to seek the advice of a medical practitioner before consuming it. As there are different remedies associated with the use of these medicines, it is important to use it accordingly. Homeopathic doctors evaluate the symptoms of the diseases and administer medicines accordingly. However, different medicines are administered to people with similar diseases as the human body and its reaction to medicines differ largely.

Although there is no scientific evidence that this alternative field of medicine is effective, it is largely used in different countries to treat various types of ailments. Today homeopathic medicines are available even through online stores at different price rates. Nevertheless, it is important to consult a doctor before administering these medicines.

Understanding Molecular Medicine

Molecular medicine is a broad concept and it incorporates the study of molecular structures, identifying genetic errors for the cause of a disease, use medical nanotechnology to correct them. The fundamental concept of molecular medicine is the distribution of medicine to the body cells and it is similar to the assimilation of oxygen by a healthy human being. The discipline (molecular medicine) is new. It combines medical studies of modern times with biochemistry. It offers a bridge between today’s medical science and biochemistry. The course of molecular biology includes disciplines like biochemistry, immunology, and biotechnology. Nanotechnology in medicine has many advantages like it leads to diminished costs of treatment, cost-effective and yet high quality drugs. Nanotechnology in medicines help in effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases, it will lead to modern treatment methods, treating complicated medical problems can become simplified.

Benefits of molecular medicine

Molecular medicines and nanotechnology in medicine have their own advantages. These include the following:-

  • Molecular medicines can lead to the invention of elegant and cheap surgical/diagnostic tools.
  • Medical diagnosis and research can become effective and efficient.
  • Nano medical devices can be implanted permanently to treat specific medical conditions.
  • Many medical conditions can be prevented.
  • Unknown diseases can be treated effectively.
  • This can lead to semi-automated diagnosis and treatment.
  • The nanotechnology in medicines help to reduce mortality rate, improve health.
  • Using gene therapy or similar treatment methods, organs can be replaced easily.
  • The different biological systems in the body can be improved.

When nanotechnology is applied in medicine then it is known as Nano medicine. It caters to the improvement of human health using Nano tools (tools at the molecular level) of the human body. Such technology in medicine encompasses areas like drug delivery using nano-particles.

The human body comprises of molecules, the use of molecular nanotechnology enhances progress in the human medical services. The Nano medicine helps to understand the functioning of the biological machinery inside the living cells. This understanding helps medical professionals to cater to complicated medical conditions like AIDS, cancer, ageing. All these help to bring a significant improvement of the natural human biological structure. The understanding helps to reduce mortality rate, ensure proper functioning at the molecular level of the humans.

The understanding of the molecular medicine has resulted in developing Nano particles/molecules to help transfer medicine to each cell of the body. For a sick or unhealthy entity, such developments in molecular biology lead to effective treatment of complicated diseases. Using Nano medicine, malignant cells within a human body can be tracked and then treated. This entire process includes targeting of bacteria/viruses/tumours within the body by Nano particles, treating infections, diseases.

Molecular medicine advantages

Other advantages of using Nano medicines are given as follows:-

With Nano medicines, treatment is gentle and advanced. Most of such treatments are non-invasive. Powerful drugs may have side effects which cannot be ignored. By using molecular medicines, one can reduce the effects of the drugs. Since the use of Nano medicines does not involve surgery therefore it is less painful. Another important advantage of using Nano medicine is that it involves small yet highly sensitive diagnostic tools which accounts for better treatment of diseases. Treatments using Nano technology in medicines are cost effective. It is effective to treat complicated medical conditions like cancer.

Nano medicine disadvantages:

Nano-particles used as part of nanotechnology in medicines uses biochemical pathways, affect the different biological processes of the human body. Under such circumstances, a lack of knowledge about the effects of the nano-particles on the human body, it processes can be a disadvantage. The researchers who deal with design of the nano-particles remain concerned about their toxicity and characterization on their exposure to the biological pathways. If the nano-particles are toxic then they can pose severe threat to the humans and the environment. The researchers remain concerned as the people part of the society use the molecular medicine. In certain instances, researchers remain in doubt of the possible outcome of the use of certain Nano medicines.

Alternative Medicine vs Conventional Medicine

In Part 1 we discussed the fact that alternative medicine
(so called) was being used in ancient times long before
conventional medicine came on the scene. It is interesting
to note that there were not so many diseases plaguing mortals
in those days. What has caused this never-ending increase of
deadly diseases that wreak such havoc on the body today?

If conventional medicine was the answer to health problems,
why have diseases increased, and why are so many people dying
from these devasting illnesses? Why do so many persons seem
to be convinced that alternative medicine made by God do not
have healing virtues as the conventional medicine made by man?

There is also what is called complementary medicine, that is,
other treatment used along with conventional medicine to effect
a cure. However, not all substances categorised as complementary
medicine must be used with conventional medicine to be effective.

For example, aromatherapy is regarded as complementary since
it is used in many cases with conventional therapy. I have had
great results with the use of essential oils in the case of
swollen joints, arthritic pains, nasal and chest congestion,
‘flu and other ailments. No conventional medicine was used
in these cases.

Why is information about cures by alternative medicine often
suppressed even though conventional medicine very often
interferes with the natural process of healing?

People are so coerced to use conventional medicine that they
refuse to even give alternative medicine a chance because
advertisements have such great influence when heard often
enough, that the public is convinced.

Have you ever noticed the way conventional medicine is
advertised? It would seem that every effort is made to down
play the possible negative effects.

The ads begin by distinctly emphasizing the benefits of the
medicines; then with hurried words they are changed to
something like this, “If you have gallbladder problems, or
ulcers, (or other ailment) you shouldn’t take this.”
Then in closing, someone affirms that the benefits have
been personally experienced!

Beware such deception and trickery; your health may be
seriously compromised. I often say to myself, “If this
conventional medicine is likely to affect my stomach, kidneys,
liver, whatever, why should I take it at all when I can use
some form of alternative medicine that is not toxic?”

Many people, so trained to distrust natural remedies and eager
to get well, jump at the announcement of some apparent new
super healing conventional medicine; and, without any
hesitation, embark upon a regimen with the belief that it is
the answer to their problem; Yet, they continue to be sick or
even get worse. In spite of that they keep on ingesting them.

I am of the opinion that if persons are encouraged to use
alternative medicine to treat disease before it develops into
a serious illness, they might very well have but little need
for the administration of conventional medicine such as
chemotherapy, synthetic drugs, and surgery. If the body is
kept in a healthy state, it is not likely that disease will
develop.

Day by day warning signs of an impending illness are being
ignored, then when that illness becomes overwhelming a quick
fix is sought through conventional medicine which,
unfortunately, seldom delivers the required result.

I just cannot understand why most people will not try natural
remedies. My son, who was diagnosed with an exceedingly high
count of diabetes, was given the conventional treatment of
insulin and told that he would have to use it for the rest of
his life. He decided to try a herb called Gymnema Sylvestre
that is known in India as ‘sugar destroyer’ and, instead of
using sugar, he used the extract of another herb called Stevia.

What a surprise when he tested the level of sugar to discover
that it had drastically dropped! After a few weeks, he
stopped using insulin altogether. This was well over a year
ago and to this day he has not resumed the insulin therapy.
His blood sugar is back to normal and he now uses the natural
treatment only for maintenance.

I am not saying this to suggest that you will have the same
results, or to suggest that you rush out and buy these items.
This is only to support my confidence in natural remedies. If
you have diabetes, you are well advised to consult your doctor.

Very often a simple massage is the answer to a problem. I
personally have not had a headache for many years. There
was a time when I was headache-prone, and got into the habit
of using synthetic medicines to ease the pain, but after I
decided to try natural treatments and medicines, I changed
my diet from eating ‘junk’ foods and tried to stop using those
synthetic headache remedies.

I started to massage my head and shoulders whenever a headache
came on. Then to my delight, I realised that headaches were few
and far apart. Now they are virtually no more a part of my life.

Whenever I sense the feeling that a headache is imminent (which
is exceedingly rare), I just give myself a quick head and
shoulder massage and I am OK again. No more headache remedies
for me, like the ‘Oh-so-famous’ ones that are so often advertised.

I have helped many, many persons to be rid of a headache by just
simply giving them a massage as mentioned above. Many had
headaches lingering for days, and after about 20 minutes of
massage, they miraculously stopped.

Every person should find the time to learn about the natural
treatments that could be taken to protect his/her own body
and prevent or cure diseases. I do, do you? I have studied
and read about hundreds of cures by natural means, and have
experienced some myself.

Think of the many thousands of persons who might have been
alive today if only they had known, and had been encouraged,
to use certain natural remedies to be healed.

It is not the intention of this article to condemn the use of
conventional medicine which plays a wonderful role in the case
of surgery and other traumatic conditions. There have been
countless such cases where, without the administration of
conventional medicine, many persons would not have survived.

However, it is my hope that conventional medicine in the field
of drugs will one day give way to alternative medicine, and
conventional medicine retain its place in the field of surgery
and other traumatic conditions where it cannot be ignored.

Many persons have begun to take charge of their health and have
wisely shifted their preference to alternative medicine with satisfactory results. It is likely that this trend will continue
and alternative medicine will one day regain the recognition it
so rightfully deserves, as greater emphasis will be put on the prevention of disease and maintenance of health by natural means.

A word of caution. If you have decided to try alternative
medicine, be sure to get in touch with a qualified practitioner.

This article is written for information only and is not
intended to suggest treatment of any disease. Information
contained herein is based on my own experience and research I
have done and just want to share with interested persons.
Anyone suffering from a disease is advised to consult a
qualified recognized health care professional for advice.

Holistic Medicine As Compared

Holistic medicine is health care that comprises all the aspects of one’ s personality to obtain the optimum state of wellness. It encompasses the process of looking into the wholeness of the person including nutritional, physical, environmental, spiritual, lifestyle and social values. Holistic medicine includes virtually all treatments and diagnosis known to achieve balance in personality. It upholds the responsibility of educating one’s self to attain the ideal over-all health and well being.

Holistic medicine and Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is commonly associated with holistic medicine. By definition, alternative medicine is the medical techniques that are usually not accepted or practiced by conventional medical practitioners. Most alternative medicines are founded to have rooted on unscientific, untested and untraditional principles. Often, these forms of medicine are closely associated with metaphysical components and anti-scientific stands.

Many of these techniques don’t normally have pharmaceutical values like the acupuncture, herbalism, Reiki, homeopathy and the likes. Yet the alternative medicine may also be used in experimental non-drug and drug techniques that are not yet accepted in the medical circles. The future of alternative medicine holds on the potentiality of transforming the “alternative medicine” into conventional medicine since it is now becoming widely appreciated and practiced by medical doctors. In fact, complementary medicine is the term used for alternative medicine practiced in combination with conventional medicine.

Due to these changes in view of the alternative medicine, holistic medicine has become a more preferable option among those who are quite doubtful of the alternative medicine.

Alternative medicine may appeal to metaphysical beliefs and so does the holistic medicine but on milder and more scientifically based approach. Yet the knowledge applied in holistic medicine still cannot hide the fact that it tends to cling to non-scientific knowledge.

Simply put holistic medicine claims to cure and treat the whole person. Holistic medicine stresses out the unification of the mind and the physical body. Holistic medicine practitioners give credence to the belief the man is not a pure physical body with systems and parts that encompass it. Man is also a spiritual being that requires spiritual healing. Holistic medicine concerns itself to the belief of the connection between the spirit and emotions and mind.

The gap between holistic medicine and alternative medicine is closed by the common practice of not using drug treatments and surgeries. They usually employ meditation, herbs, prayers, vitamins and minerals, as well as exotic diets in treating certain ailments.

Holistic Medicine and Conventional Medicine

Allopathy or conventional medicine defines individual health as the non-occurrence of diseases, which appeals to be a negative approach in defining the condition. Holistic medicine on the other hand concerns itself on a person’s absolute state of physical, social, mental and spiritual well-being.

As based on the definition given (that is commonly used among medical practitioners), orthodox medicine remains to deal with one’s susceptibility to diseases instead of the wellness as opposed by holistic medicine. Based on common observations, conventional medicine typically doesn’t apply to healthy individuals. While holistic medicine focuses on the quality of living practiced by people. Sick people normally don’t seek medical attention not until the symptoms of the disease/s are obvious. Thus, there is too little preventive treatment against sickness.

There are great differences between holistic medicine and the conventional type both in the diagnosis and treatments. Most of which are scientifically based. In oppose to this stand, diagnosis in holistic treatment are conceived through the manifestations of body imbalance. These are determined through certain procedures distinctive only to holistic medicine and other related medicinal practices.

Alternative Medicine

What is alternative medicine? It is a phrase that has been tossed around more and more in the media, the bookstores, and increasingly, the doctor’s office, but how often does anyone say what alternative medicine is?

Theoretically, alternative medicine is any form of medicine that does not fit with in the scientific framework of western medicine. Once a form of medicine has been proven scientifically effective, and a theory has been determined to explain in the language of western medicine why it is effective, it should no longer be considered alternative

Unfortunately, after the theory comes the politics. In reality, in the United States, alternative medicine is any form of medicine that has not been accepted as scientifically valid by the American Medical Association and the United States Government. In other countries different official bodies will determine what is and is not alternative medicine. In the United States, massage is alternative medicine. In Canada massage is conventional medicine, and as such, highly regulated.

Would you believe that according the US government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vitamins are a complementary or alternative medicine (depending on how they are used) that have not yet been proven to have any greater effect on the human body then a placebo? Personally, I’d like to know if they would like to be treated for scurvy with a placebo. I’ll stick with vitamin C. There are theoretical uses for vitamins that have not yet been fully proven, but that does not make the proven effects any less scientifically valid.

At the same time, just because someone claims what they offer is medicine does not make it true. Herbal supplements are not regulated, and may not fully disclose their ingredients. They certainly will not tell you about any dangerous interaction with your heart medication!

Of course, you can ask an expert, but keep in mind that there are many kinds of alternative medicine, an acupuncturist is not necessarily trained in herbs, and your primary care physician probably won’t be trained in any of them.

If you are interested in using alternative medicine, either for a specific problem, or simply improve your overall health, it’s probably best to first research what kinds of alternative medicine you are interested in, and speak with you doctor about whether or not she will be willing to work with an alternative medicine practitioner. Then find a practitioner who has had training in that specific area of alternative medicine. Most forms of alternative medicine are not licensed in the United States, so ask where they went to school, and how long they have been practicing. Then they can work with your doctor to make sure you get the care you need, without any unexpected side effects.

Some forms of alternative medicine that might be worth looking into are:

Oriental medicine: Oriental medicine is the only form of alternative medicine that is truly comparably to western medicine as a complete system of medicine. Oriental medicine is based on several theories developed thousands of years ago and first elaborated on in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic, between three and five thousand years ago. Oriental medicine includes the practices of massage, acupuncture, herbal therapy, qi gong, and several others. Tradition Chinese Medicine is a variant of oriental medicine specific to China. It is the only variant of oriental medicine the can be found with relative ease in the United States. In many parts of Asia, oriental medicine is still considered the standard of medical care and western medicine is ‘alternative.’

Herbal therapy: Herbal therapy is probably the most common form of alternative medicine found in the United States, and quite possibly one of the riskiest. While most of the conventional medicines doctors prescribe today were derived from herbs, the herbal supplements commonly on sale have no common dosages, mat contain fillers, and will rarely warn of side effects. While herbs can be used to treat everything that medication can, and possibly quite a bit more, make sure you speak with a trained herbalist before taking any. They can tell you what dosage is safe, what suppliers are worth using, and any potential side effects.

Homeopathy: Homeopathy was developed in the 1800’s by two doctors who noticed that quinine, the only medicine capable of treated malaria, caused symptoms of malaria in healthy people who were given it. They theorized that like would cure like, so caffeine which normally causes wakefulness, would be used to help someone who was not sleeping through the night, sleep better. Homeopathy is probably the only alternative medicine that is safe to try without speaking with an expert, because the active substance is so dilute that it is not possible to over dose, or incur side effects on the amounts in the local health food store, never mind the few bottles you would keep in your home. At the same time, it is still best to consult a homeopath to be sure that what your taking will work for what you need.

Massage: Massage is the use of hands or tools to manipulate the muscles and tendons. The two most common uses of massage are to ease aches and pains, and for stress relief. While there are many conditions that massage will obviously not help with (diabetes, for instance), there are many that it is surprisingly effective on, such as eating disorders, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, almost any muscular injury can be treated with massage to prevent scar build up, speed healing, and increase a restricted range of motion. There are many different forms of massage therapy, including Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Pre-Natal Massage, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Lomi Lomi, Medical Massage, Chair Massage, Aromatherapy Massage and Hot Stone Massage. If you go to a massage therapist for a medical condition, make sure they are trained in Medical Massage. Some states have licensing programs for massage therapists now, as do most European countries. If you live in an area that has licensing, make sure the therapist you go to is licensed.

Herbal Medicine

Find Herbal Medicine Schools in the United States and Canada. Herbal medicine schools instruct students in the essentials of herbalism and botanical medicine. Students who opt to enroll in herbal medicine schools will learn that this form of medicine is one of the oldest healthcare systems known to mankind.

Typically, students who possess an interest in participating in herbal studies at one of several herbal medicine schools should have attained some education in physiology and/or anatomy prior to enrollment. This is important, as it lends to the student’s ability to better understand the philosophy and theories behind herbal medicine therapies.

While some herbal medicine schools focus primarily on traditional Chinese medicine, other herbal medicine schools may provide a wider array of classes that encompass studies in botany, botanical terminology, phytochemistry (of medicinal plants), cell chemistry, medicinal plant compounds, Ayurvedic medicine, Native American plant medicine, herbal pharmacy, diagnosis, clinic and case history; among other related topics.

Students enrolled in herbal medicine schools will gain an overall understanding of how herbal medicine is facilitated for spices, therapy and/or medicinal purposes. In addition, students will learn from which plants herbs are derived, and how to use those herbs for not only medicinal purposes, but for nutritional additives and aromatherapy. Because herb plants produce and comprise a myriad of chemical substances, students participating in studies at herbal medicine schools will also learn that 25% of prescription drugs in the US contain at least one active plant material ingredient.

Successful candidates, who have completed all course requirements through one of many herbal medicine schools can go onto achieve varying levels of herbal medicine certifications. Many of these certified herbal medicine therapists can enter the healthcare fields of Ayurvedic practitioners, homeopathic practitioners, natural health practitioners, Chinese medicine practitioners and other holistic health practitioners. In addition, astute candidates who have completed advanced training courses at one of many herbal medicine schools may utilize their knowledge and skills to help develop plant medicines for pharmaceutical researchers.

Because herbal medicine schools vary in course length, tuition costs and curriculum, it is always wise for prospective students to carefully review course outlines, prerequisites (if any) and if financial aid options are available. Generally speaking, herbal medicine schools are growing in quantity because the demand for alternative and natural medicine is concurrently on the rise. Students and even current health professionals who are seeking a rewarding alternative in health care will find that gaining a comprehensive education through any one of numerous herbal medicine schools can only benefit one’s personal and professional growth.

To learn more about the benefits of herbal medicine or to locate herbal medicine schools near you, feel free to peruse our healing arts schools and holistic health practitioners’ directories.