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Common Terms for Alternative Health Care
The following terms are often used when talking about alternatives to conventional medicine:
Holistic Care: A slightly different approach to fighting diseases, holistic medicine believes that if one part of the body is sick, then the whole body is sick. To cure a disease completely, the entire body must be involved. Common practices in holistic care include prescribing pills, as with conventional medicine, but also recommending certain diets and spiritual practices like meditation.
Herbal Medicines: The traditions of herbal medicines have been around for thousands of years. Made from plants that people believe have healing properties, herbal medicines are entirely natural. For example, the eucalyptus leaf is believed to help cure colds when brewed into tea.
Acupuncture: This Eastern form of alternative medicine originated hundreds of years ago in China. Believing that the body is flowing with a life energy, practitioners insert many small needles into the body in the hope of manipulating this life energy and curing the disease. The needles are inserted into acupuncture pressure points that occur all over the body, and this should only be done by a trained acupuncture practitioner.
Massage Therapy: Conventional medical practices use massage therapy after an accident to help the muscles regain their strength. Alternative medicine uses massage therapy to keep muscles strong and limber, while also reducing stress. Therapists claim these treatments help remove stress and improve circulation by targeting certain areas like the back and feet.
Homeopathy: A form of alternative medicine that cures sicknesses through highly diluted remedies. They believe that similar symptoms can be cured using similar remedies, and, therefore, before beginning a homeopathic regimen it is necessary to see a homeopathic physician. This physician can diagnose what is wrong with you and prescribe you a remedy to take.
There are many health care alternatives to that of western medicine. For those centered on practicing a more natural method of health care in their lives, they might consider investigating holistic healing and natural medicine. Many traditions in alternative health care are derived from Chinese influenced philosophies, which focus on using organic medicine like herbs, over doctor prescribed pharmaceutical medication. If you have a holistic approach to health care, you believe in the body's natural ability to heal itself. These progressive beliefs approach medicine in an overall manner, focusing on the treatment and health of the mind, spirit, and body. Some of the tools of alternative health care include yoga and meditation for the mind and physical fitness, massage therapy, and chiropractics. Subcategories include naturopathy and homeopathy, which use diet, diluted medication, and natural herbs to treat illness, rather than seeking medical attention. Practitioners of holistic health seek to satisfy and care for every facet of the body. They search out and treat the cause of illness, rather than treating symptoms. To find the local wellness center, acupuncture studio, or holistic health care center near you, try checking out the online listings. Once you have discovered a few centers that you are interested in, call ahead and find out the cost of a massage therapy session, when the next yoga class is, or when you will be able to come down and receive advice on a natural diet. For those that do not fully wish to adopt holistic health care, but still believe in the uses of traditional western medicine, there are also doctors that provide complementary services. Call ahead to the wellness center to find out more information, or for further recommendations.