Western medicine is mainstream healthcare in the U.S., involving medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and more professionals that treat symptoms and diseases with prescription pills (drugs), surgeries and radiation. Western medicine relies on scientific proof which it acquires through expensive clinical testing that needs to be done over a very long period of time. It involves strict rules, policies, a high price tag, but is also influenced by lobbyists and corporations with agendas. In other words, it’s sometimes not as scientific as we think.
However, this also means that certain natural treatments aren’t researched due to lack of funding, or the potential to make big profits, especially during these modern times where substances found in nature can’t be patented. Just a quick search online about big pharmaceutical companies and scandals, and you’ll find countless reports and investigations surrounding the topic. Turns out there are cures for many diseases such as cancer, but treating the diseases means big losses so nothing is revealed. That’s why more and more American opt for alternative medicine. In fact, according to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health and the National Center For Health Statistics reported that 38% of adults in the U.S. chose alternative medicine in 2008. That’s 4 out of 10 Americans.
What Is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine relies on a more natural, holistic approach to treat people, it’s filled with natural substances such as herbs and spices, plants as well as less invasive therapies. Also called integrative medicine or complementary medicine, alternative medicine involved a wide range of treatments from ibogaine to meditation to hydrotherapy to biofeedback and so much more. There’s a misconception surrounding this Eastern medicine; that it’s all about energy healers, urine therapy, snake massages, reiki masters and the likes. The truth is that alternative medicine encompasses so many practices from changes in diet and exercise to hypnosis, chiropractic adjustments, reflexology and more. It’s less invasive and looks to treat the patient as a whole.
Sure you may find reports that say some alternative medicine is quackery, but just like with anything there’s the good and the bad, even in Western medicine. All you need to do is research, ask questions, find testimonials and realize that what may work for one person, won’t necessarily work for you. Even in Western medicine, for some over-the-counter ibuprofen will relieve a migraine, where for others, prescription pills such as Fiorinal are needed.
Most Sought-After Alternative Medicine
Think acupuncture, but without needles. Practitioners use their own hands, elbows and even feet to apply pressure to pressure points (known as meridians) of the person’s body. The idea behind it is that our bodies carry life energy, and if one of those 200 pressure points is blocked, it can carry disease. Acupressure relieves the blockage, letting energy flow freely to restore wellness. It improves blood circulation, relieves stress and tension, get rid of water retention and back pain. It’s also believed to decrease nausea for people who have had chemotherapy and reduce anxiety in people who have had surgery.
Originating in India over 3,000 years ago, this type of integrative medicine leverages various herbs, minerals, metals, massages and specialized diets to balance mind, body and spirit. The Ayurvedic medicine is based on five basic elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. According to a report published by the University of Maryland medical center, this type of alternative medicine can help treat inflammatory, hormonal, digestive and autoimmune conditions such as Alzheimer’s, asthma, high blood pressure, cholesterol, Parkinson’s and more.
An ibogaine treatment program is another type of alternative medicine that leverages nature to help heal a variety of ailments and diseases. Ibogaine opiate detox for treating drug addiction is well-known, but at the Ibogaine Clinic, David Dardashti purifies this natural substance to help treat patients with Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as alcoholism. The idea behind an ibogaine treatment program is to reignite one’s body into healing itself. The body is an extremely sophisticated “machine,” it knows what it needs. Ibogaine just like most integrative medicine allows the body to restore its own balance, leveling off dopamine and serotonin levels. It also makes neurotransmitters function in a more efficient way, which of course, results in a better mood(even healing depression), eating habits, focus and alertness, learning abilities and so on.
Continue reading about alternative medicine in our next post: What Are the Most Popular Forms of Alternative Medicine: Part 2 (coming soon)