Alternative health care is a holistic way of caring for our body, mind and spirit. It is called alternative because it offers a way of caring for our health that is not conventional or what we are used to in the Western world. In the Western world caring for our health is done mostly by the administration of medicines, many of which are synthetic, produced from sources which are derivatives of nature, not natural in the direct sense. A simple example will make this clear.
Most of us in the older bracket of age are familiar with aspirin. I remember when I was a child, if I had a headache my father gave me aspirin to drink. When I had a fever, he would give me also aspirin. Aspirin is a drug in conventional medicine. Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid. It is a synthetic drug, meaning, it is a drug synthesized from certain acids, principally salicylic acid. The natural source for this is the willow bark. But the willow bark itself is not used, only a derivative from this, the salicylic acid.
In alternative health care we do not administer aspirin. The person who has a headache may just need rest. So, we tell him to rest. If he has fever, this may be a result of something that he has eaten. So we tell him to drink plenty of water to clean out what he has eaten.
Secondly this alternative health care is holistic. It does not deal with the body only, but also with the mind or soul, and the spirit. In conventional health care people think that sickness is a physical condition. So the sick person needs a material medicine to cure his physical condition. He feels pain in his joints, so he is diagnosed to have flu. And he is given a medicine to counteract this flu, usually an analgesic, any synthetic drug which relieves pain.
In alternative health care we do not just look at the body, but we also inquire into the mind of the patient and consider his or her level of spirituality. We do not just take care of the sickness when it strikes already but we also take precaution that it does not strike at all. When a person experiences headache we ask that person whether he has current anxieties and worries, whether his or her religious belief is strong enough in a God who cares and who can be depended upon at all times.
Actually we had alternative health care from the beginning of our race, since there were no synthetic drugs then. But with the advent of these drugs we gradually forgot alternative health care in favor of conventional medicine. One reason was that conventional medicine was fast and predictable. You do not have to search for the herb and boil it and make a concoction out of it. You just go to the drugstore, present the prescription your doctor gave you, receive the medicine from the pharmacist or his/her aide and pay for it. Upon reaching home, you just take the medicine. It is so convenient.
But the recent experience of people taking conventional drugs is that they may lead to dependence on these drugs and larger doses may be required upon subsequent intakes. Furthermore there are bad effects in taking these drugs. These happen especially with antibiotic drugs. So people began to look for alternative ways of healing, one that is not heavily dependent on synthetic drugs and one that heals body, soul and spirit so that the person really become whole.
Some of the methods of alternative health care may be enumerated thus:
2. Water Therapy
3. Pranic Healing
5. Acupuncture and acupressure
7. Magnetic Therapy
8. Chiropractic medicine
12. Massage therapy
14. Carmenbees Synchrotheraphy
15. Mind healing
16. Spiritual healing