Alternative Health Care, Fad or Here to Stay?

Alternative health care is a term that hit the media several years ago. It was originally used to describe treatments, procedures or techniques that were not taught as part of the degree curriculum of medical schools. Some of these include chiropractic care, nutrition, naturopathy, acupuncture or homeopathy.

Alternative health has been making huge gains in public awareness and understanding. In the 1970s the term was used interchangeably with unscientific, unproven, or unsafe techniques. Fortunately that is no longer the case.

These therapies have gained huge advances in acceptance and are included in many health insurance plans today. Many fields are now regulated by state or national licensing agencies. In 2012, it is expected that 7 out of 10 people will consult with the internet about their health concerns before choosing whether to seek professional care. They will also research to diagnose their health conditions before seeking care.

Informed health care consumers make choices and vote with their wallets. In 2007, the National Institute of Health conducted a large scale survey. They asked about spending for Complimentary and Alternative medicine among Americans. The result: 38 percent of respondents said they used complimentary or alternative care that year. The NIH reported that 83 million adults spent $33.9 billion of their own money on these therapies. That translates to over 10% of non-covered health care.

The popularity of complimentary and alternative care is due in part to increased acceptance of these therapies in medical schools and medical practices. Advances in research in the some fields like clinical nutrition, exercise physiology and chiropractic care have helped make this change. A general awareness of self-care through exercise and nutrition has also helped drive this change.

Chiropractic offices are among the most popular access points to alternative therapies. These offices provide doctors trained and licensed to diagnose many health conditions and are versed in many types of alternative therapies. Chiropractic college curriculum is 4 years post graduate study. The course work includes medical diagnosis and imaging in addition to various alternative therapies such as chiropractic care, clinical nutrition and physical therapy modalities and exercise rehabilitation.

Naturopathy is another access point of professional alternative therapies. These doctors have often studied nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, and medical diagnosis. Other access points include practitioners in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Massage therapists and nutritionists.

Access to information on-line, changes in insurance coverage and scientific research have led to huge changes in the way people view and use their health care dollars. Alternative care is here to stay but it is not a new idea. Thomas Edison is credited with saying, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Nearly 100 years have passed since he said it, but it looks like he was right.

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Alternative Health For You

There are people who simply refuse to use any type of medication other than what they consider to be pure alternative health care. This means they want to use natural remedies as opposed to what is known otherwise as western medicine. Alternative is a tough word for some, because such practices are things/practise that were used long before any type of western medicine was practiced. However, natural remedies are still considered alternative in United States because it is not mainstream.

A popular form of alternative health is acupuncture. This form of treatment has been used for centuries as a way to cure just about anything you can think of. Small needles are pierce into the body near pressure points and are meant to open and facilitate the flow of energy through the body. It is believed that the smooth flow of these energies are tightly couple with illness. Those that use such alternative health swear by it, and think it can do just about anything for them. Some even use the treatment for things like quitting smoking and drinking, and of course, lose weight.

Alternative health may also imply using natural herb to cure. But you do have to be careful. Natural does not necessary always mean safe. If you are taking any existing medications, you may want to talk with your doctor before you try any type of herb or plant. This is because natural herbs can react with your medications. You do not want to take anything that could further harm you rather than helping you. Your doctor may not like the idea that you want to try other things, especially natural herbs. Well, if they won’t help you, go find another one that will. Never stop taking medications without instruction from your doctor.

You can certainly on your own, learn about and practice natural health remedies. But you do have to know what you are doing exactly. That means you have to find someone who is qualified in this field to guide you. If you are treating your children or your family, you really want to be absolutely sure you know what you are doing. Alternative health practices can be very effective, but just as with other medical procedures, you have to be careful.

Alternative Health Products

With so many different types of side effects with traditional medications, it is no wonder that more and more people are starting to buy alternative health products to treat their conditions and even diseases. There are much more health benefits to alternative medications and they even work on making you over-all healthier.

The main reason people love alternative health products as they are made from all natural items so there are no side effects or ill feelings. They help to fix the problem not mask the symptoms as more traditional medications do. People also love the fact that these types of health products are so much more cost effective. No need to pay a small fortune to get medications your doctor prescribed.

Many health products are also used in addition to the medication that the doctor prescribed as it helps to take care of all of the symptoms where traditional alternative doesn’t. Some of the more common alternative health products include: green tea- as it helps to fight off cancer, works on cholesterol and helps those with high blood pressure, acupuncture (which doesn’t use any medication), and chiropractic medicine. It is said that massage therapy also works well.

Another type of alternative health care products is Xocia chocolates. They offer a wide variety of chocolates to choose from. They offer people as safe and healthy way to each chocolate and they are packed with Blueberries and Acai Berries, which make them an antioxidant powerhouse. Since they are naturally sweet, they are perfect for those that suffer with diabetes.

Antioxidants are vital for health care. As they help to protect your heart from heart disease, anti-aging and your overall health. Antioxidants such as blueberries, Acia Berries and dark cocoa, which make the Xocia chocolates the ideal choice in antioxidants. Other antioxidants include such herbs as grape seed, turmeric, bilbury, gingko and milk thistle.

There are plenty of alternative health care products out on the market. It is always best to check with your doctor first. If you are thinking of taking anything to help you deal with your illness,you want to be sure that your antioxidant supplement will not interfere with your current medications or treatment plan. Most often, since there are no side effects, you will get the green light to start the plan.

Antioxidants are very important to your body as they help to remove the free radicals from your body. If these are left in your body and they start to build up, then you will have issues with your health later on in life. It is best to do something now about it. Look into the types of alternative health products and decide which is best for you. You may want to talk with a holistic doctor to see what he or she would recommend.

What Is Alternative Health Care?

Alternative Health Care is not a modern creation; it has, in reality, been in existence for centuries, in fact many people believe it predates written human history. So what is Alternative Health Care? In Western Culture it is frequently defined as “a healing method that does not fall within the field of conventional medicine”, e.g. medicine as practiced by M.Ds. and by allied health professionals.

Alternative Health Care includes major therapies such as:

Acupuncture – an ancient Chinese procedure involving the insertion and manipulation of needles in the body. It is used to relieve pain, such as in rheumatic conditions and to treat many other illnesses.

Alexander Technique – used to teach people how to use their bodies efficiently and effortlessly in everyday life; to use muscles in a relaxed way with a minimum of effort.

Aromatherapy and aromatherapy oils – this is suitable for all age groups and is the art of applying essential oils, usually by massage. It can be used to treat many conditions, especially depression, anger, stress and linked conditions such as headaches.

Homeopathy – This is a method of prescribing, using minerals, plants and sometimes animal remedies. It stimulates the natural healing process and as homeopathic remedies do not have side effects they can be used safely in pregnancy, young children and also elderly patients.

Osteopathy – osteopathic doctrine believes that good health involves physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the non-existence of disease, thus the whole patient must be treated taking into account not just physical symptoms but such factors as nutrition and mental habits also. Osteopathic therapy corrects muscular-skeletal abnormalities by treatment with the hands – massage, stretching, manipulation etc.

Reflexology – this involves massage of the feet and sometimes the hands. The feet contain reflex areas matching all parts of the body thus enabling the whole body to be treated as well as the body as a whole. An important factor in any natural therapy is that it allows not only the symptoms, but also the causes, to be treated.

These are just a few of the treatments that are included in Alternative Health Care. It is a very broad field and the methods are diverse in their methodologies which can incorporate or base themselves on traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs or newly formulated approaches to healing.

An important difference between conventional and alternative medicine is that whilst conventional medicine targets specific symptoms and their causes, Alternative Health Care has a holistic approach;that is to say it treats the whole person, promoting self-care and self-healing and acknowledging the spiritual nature of each person. The idea that the mind is important in the treatment of illness dates back more than 2000 years. Similarly, spinal manipulation dates back to ancient Greece, and was incorporated into chiropractic and osteopathic medicine in the late 19th century.

Alternative Health Care treatments are effective in treating a wide range of minor and major medical conditions. Interest in, and the use of, Alternative Health Care has grown considerably over the past few decades, both for adults and children. In a short article it is impossible to cover the countless forms of Alternative Health Care methods, their benefits and advantages.