What is Alternative Medicine or Wholistic Healing? How is it different from conventional (allopathic) medicine?
When we hear the term “Alternative Medicine” we know that this means straying from the norm. Instead of using common treatments in medicine, alternative medicine implements different techniques for healing. These approaches can include various therapies (such as massage or magnet), vitamins, supplements, teas, herbs and various healing methods (such as Reiki).
Wholistic healing and alternative medicine both encompass the same idea that there is a holistic way to dealing with problems. According to alternative medicine, diseases and illnesses occur when there are imbalances in the body. Wholistic healing tends to approach illnesses or ailments in relation to our spiritual self as opposed to alternative medicine’s approach which still focuses on the physical body. Wholistic healing focuses on the entire individual instead of solely focusing on the physical self. It offers more long-term plans that improve one’s quality of life.
Alternative medicine uses theories and practices that differentiate from mainstream medicine. Examples of commonly used alternative medicine techniques include homeopathic and naturopathic medicine. This form of medicine is common in China, since it has roots and many similarities to Chinese Medicine, and much of Asia. However, it is possible to find doctors of alternative medicine practically anywhere.
Practitioners of alternative medicine and wholistic healing often refer to main stream medicine as allopathic medicine. The father of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, coined this term. While many think that they are completely different methods of medicine, allopathic and alternative medicine do have some common roots and understanding. In some cases, they work together in order to provide the optimal results.
As we mentioned, wholistic healing has a look at the entire individual, which includes body, mind and spirit. According to alternative and wholistic healing, making adjustments to one’s lifestyle in order to start living a healthier life does a lot of healing. It is believed that the body, in itself, it capable of healing. We disrupt our natural state of being by allowing toxins and imbalances to build up over time, which is reflected in diseases and discomfort. It encourages readjusting the body so it can heal itself.
Allopathic medicine, on the other hand, focuses on the ailment or disease itself. Instead of treating the individual as a whole, this type of medicine aims to get rid of symptoms of the problem, which is said to be due to foreign bodies such as viruses and bacteria.
The main difference between both medicines is that alternative medicine focuses on the whole subject from the exterior to the interior, regardless of where the problem is physically noticed, whereas allopathic medicine works on treating the symptoms.
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Why Alternative Medicine maybe a Better Alternative?
Alternative medicine is the treatment that doesn’t fall into conventional pharmaceutical medicine. Natural remedies like Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, and Chinese herbal remedies have been practiced in Eastern countries for thousands of years, but western world could not recognize their potential until recently.
The basic concept behind nature therapy is that it treats the whole person – your mind, body and spirit, rather than just body parts. The modern medicine focuses on your physical body and cure only the ailments they witness happening, without looking at the root cause of the problem. For example, an MRI scan or x-ray allows doctors to see inside your body, but they don’t reveal anything about your entire picture – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects.
It Treats Your Problem, Not the Symptom
Let’s say you have fever. You visit a doctor who prescribes the tablets that diminish your immune system to alleviate the fever. But they do little to recognize the underlying cause of that fever. Contrary to that, natural approach involves a little more investigation. The practitioner looks at fever as a clue and would trace the fundamental cause. It could be a result of poor digestion, toxicity, emotional stress or nutritional deficiency. The alternative medicine practitioner recognizes it and cures your fever from its root.
If you treat only the symptoms, chances are the same disease will arise again in future because its root still persists. Instead of bombarding the weird chemicals, alternative medicine covers all the basic aspects of your body like nutrition, removal of toxic substances, emotional state, flow of fluid and avoidance of chronic stress to award you a healthy body and peaceful mind.
Since natural remedies eliminate your problem from its source, there is almost no chance of side effects at all.
Can It Cure Serious Illnesses?
Natural remedies have cured thousands of patients around the world suffering from serious diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, heart diseases, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, gastro-intestinal disorders, etc. People turn to alternative medicine when they have taken pharmaceutical drugs for years without any satisfactory results, and evidently with more complaints due to side effects of conventional medicines (pharmaceutical drugs).
Only cases where modern (allopathic) therapy has an edge over alternative medicine are the cases of emergency, accidents or trauma because there is an instant need for patient to recover from damage.
Then Why Don’t all Doctors Recommend Alternative Medicine?
An obvious question that instantly pops-up into your mind. The foremost reason is that doctors have been taught to treat a specialized disease or organ in their medical schools, so they look at a disease as an organ-specific problem and ignore the entire body. The reality is, though a disease is linked with a specific organ, entire system should be cured because the cause of disease might lie in some other part of your body.
Another apparent reason is that the pharmaceutical companies and doctors are not going to make a lot of money from alternative medicine. Doctors, drug producers, chemists, they all profit only when we buy pills that can cause more diseases in patients through side effects. Thus making patients buy more pills in this never ending chain. None of them is going to benefit by prescribing fruits, vegetables and certain lifestyle changes.
The key difference between Allopathic Medicines and Alternative Healing techniques is on how an ailment is viewed and treated. Allopathic medicine typically looks at a dis-ease and tries to address the symptoms and cause which is mainly at the level of the issue. This type of medicine mainly aims to get rid of symptoms of the problem.
Wholistic healing on the other hand, looks at the entire individual, which includes body, mind and spirit. It is believed that the body, in itself, it capable of healing. We disrupt our natural state of being by allowing toxins and imbalances to build up over time, which is reflected in dis-eases and discomfort. It encourages readjusting the body so it can heal itself.
Alternative Healing Techniques treat the problem in its entirety and not just the symptoms.
People are typically aware of more common natural therapies such as herbal healing, aromatherapy, acupuncture and so on. Here we bring you 27 lesser known but very effective alternative healing therapies that can also play a vital role in helping to balance one’s mind-body connection and to bring about true healing- leading one to a healthy, wholesome lifestyle.
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Way of the Future: Cheaper Therapies using Super Foods
What makes a person super can come from a variety of things. It could come from what one does or how one treats others on a regular basis. But there is one common denominator which encompasses all the things they do, and this is what keeping them healthy. If your body is not healthy, you cannot even stand to start anything at all. In order to achieve optimum health, one should have good lifestyle practices. It is a combination of regular exercises and consumption of a healthy diet; in this case, super-foods.
Research has paved the way for better food choices. This is very rare these days especially with the abundance of processed food that are available in the market. Most of which are being sold in a manner that are either have too many preservatives or have chemical buffers and additives. Fast food eateries have aggravated this problem further in our current fast-paced, dead-line focused living and working environment. Such low nutritional value foods have been proven to be very detrimental to one's health. But, still people consume them because they are palatable (with high salt or sugar, which actually deadens the taste buds) and are the easiest to gain access to. Even those which are supposed to be healthy, such as fruit shakes, already have too much sugar in them. It defeats their very 'healthy' purpose.
Again, healthier food choices are being publicized. These are known as super foods. These are everyday foods that aim to promote health. Its objective is to promote health; not on the curative side but more so from a preventative perspective. Their healing and helpful potential is being researched further and initial results show very promising future.
Recent studies also showed that these super foods have gone to new heights. It has been found out that they have the ability to possibly prevent any development or stop further metastases of cancer. The main reason being high antioxidant content in Super Foods.
Also, some foods which were always cherished for their taste and basic nutrition e.g. Oranges (for it's refreshing citrus-y taste and high Vitamin C) are now known to have several other added benefits such as lowering of high blood pressure and help in reducing bad cholesterol.
Research has made so many breakthroughs in this regard. It has been fueled by the desire of most individuals to find cheaper alternative to pharmaceuticals which are typically very expensive and tend to have too many side effects. And with a global health & nutrition crisis on our hands, looking at cheaper, preventative and healthy alternatives such as Super Foods may be the way of the future.
Read more under Healing Foods Blog