Alternative medicine or traditional medicine is an umbrella term for doctrines that exist outside of what is deemed ‘standard medical practice’. Sometimes it can be hard to define what this actually means. While standard medical procedures and therapies are drawn from rigorous scientific testing, traditional medicine typically includes a spiritual element into the proceedings. They can exclude scientifically proven doctrines, though this is not necessarily the rule. In other words, there is a lot of overlap between traditional and standard medicine, and you can actually turn to some of these alternative medical practices that are worth trying for their widely confirmed and reliable effects.
1. A therapy of garden-variety
Botanical aid is the perfect example of a field that exists at a cross-section of traditional and standard medicine. It is not a secret that evidence-based research approves the effectiveness of many a plant that has been used for the exact malady it was claimed to ameliorate. This means that you can rely on traditional herbal practices in addition to your standard medical therapies for maximum effect – fire on all cannons, as the saying goes.
Thanks to sample breadth and length of the studies, clinical trials have concluded that, for example, garlic is not only a powerful antioxidant and a nutrient but also, as it has been lauded since times immemorial, to have strong antibiotic traits. Just like hawthorn, it is also an amazing cholesterol and triglyceride regulator for people with cardiovascular issues.
Power plants such as ginseng is known to regulate endocrine and hormonal functions, while Echinacea and Reishi mushrooms are known immune boosters. For liver and gastrointestinal function, look into peppermint, milk thistle, and ginger tea recipes while you can turn to Echinacea (once again – it is quite a versatile plant), hyssop, thyme, licorice and lobelia for respiratory and bronchial issues.
2. Traditional Chinese Medicine
What makes Traditional Chinese Medicine so appealing is the fact that this ancient doctrine has been practiced for centuries (and maybe even millennia), so it went through a lot of iterations, went over trials and errors, in order to become an equilibrious discipline that we know today. As you may expect it, this ancient form of medical treatment is focused on prevention and treatment of health issues and, as such, it has been a consistent companion to standard medicine for a long time. Many of its singular elements – such as acupuncture, Chinese Massage, Tai Chi and herbal treatments – have been proven to work, at least to an extent, by the rigorous battery of tests.
Acupuncture is a particularly interesting and beloved practice which includes careful and precise needle perforations across the specific points on the body, which are usually defined by the stretches of ‘meridians’ – the lines responsible for the flow of Qi through our body. Since it has been confirmed that acupuncture alleviates some symptoms and health issues that standard medicine has a hard time tackling, extensive scientific research has been conducted and the results are very promising – especially for chronic pain conditions. This is why so many governments have sanctioned the inclusion of acupuncture into their healthcare systems as a legitimate practice although it is still not completely proven to be scientific and some medical scientists think that it works as a placebo. That said, if you do find it effective, regardless whether it is a placebo or not, it will still help you in the longer term.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also advises on the right time to sleep and the types of foods to eat on a daily basis in order to achieve optimal health.
According to traditional wisdom that correlates with standard medical conclusions, misalignments of anatomical sections (or the whole body, if we are to discuss drastic matters) lead to chronic health issues and overall lower quality of life. Beyond that, these misalignments further implicate the emergence of dire metabolic ailments, brought on by constant inflammation and deficient blood circuitry. This is where chiropractors come in.
The job of a chiropractor is to perform certain (safe) adjustments to the spine and other complex bone structures, such as collarbone, cervix, knees, and elbows, in order to improve the function and the performance of one’s body. This can be principally helpful for lower back and neck, and it has been confirmed time and time again that chiropractor therapies combined with regular exercise and kinesiotherapy can effectively correct postural disorders such as scoliosis. After all, a lot of relentless pain that many people wake up to every morning is caused due to muscle-skeletal deformations.
When one states that there is a lot of overlap between standard and alternative medicine, an immediate clear-up becomes necessary. While most scientists will claim that the very definition of ‘alternative’ means that the efficiency of the therapeutic process has not yet been confirmed, it is not hard to prove that this statement is not entirely correct. As it has been showcased in the examples above, the medical efficiency of certain plants that make up about 90% of some specific treatments have been scientifically proven to work for those exact purposes. In other words, the lines and divides between these two fields are not as clear-cut as they may appear.
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