Alternative Medicine

Find out what alternative medicine means and where it started and also why it is so popular.

Alternative medicine means different things to different people. Alternative medicine encompasses many different approaches from massage to Chinese medicine and yoga. Alternative medicine means practices or medicines that are used instead of the usual, or standard, ways of treating diseases or illness. Examples of complementary and alternative medicine are meditation, yoga, and dietary supplements like vitamins and herbs. Alternative medicine means that it is different to the dominant health care system and potentially can replace it.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is the oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world and is used by one third of the world’s population as a primary health care system. Health is defined as a state of physical well being, mental alertness, socially adjusted, and spiritually developed. Health care is not about drugs and the cost of drugs.

CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE

Conventional medicine is continuing to lose market share. More and more people want options beyond what many consider to be essentially a high-tech slash, burn and poison medicine. Conventional medicine is used to describe the services that treat the symptoms of a disease or illness with prescribed medications and surgeries. Conventional medicine treats the ailing part of the body but may not address the underlying causes of the illness or disease.

Traditional practitioners don’t express hopefulness when their medicine fails as they treat diseases first and then people secondly. On the other hand alternative practitioners, often encourage patients to be hopeful even when the situation is hopeless as they aim to treat the mind, body and soul of their patient.

Medicine is directly related to the biomedicine and health sciences. The term ‘Medicine’ today refers to the fields of surgery, clinical medicine and the medical research. Medical mistakes appear to be increasing, and if they are not, then at the very least, the publicizing of them is increasing. It makes people wary.

HERBAL

Herbal medicine is a booming industry in the United States. The American market for herbal remedies has doubled the last couple of years. Herbs may be harmful if taken for the wrong conditions, used in excessive amounts, combined with prescription drugs or alcohol, or used by persons who don’t know what they are doing. Just because an herbal remedy is natural, does not mean it is safe!

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture needles are usually inserted to a depth of about a quarter of an inch into the skin. The therapist gently twists or twirls them for up to 10 minutes, leaving them in five to 20 minutes longer; or stimulates them with a weak electrical current; or heats them with a burning herb such as mugwort (see moxibustion). Acupuncture was used as an illustration of medical irrationality before James Reston’s fortuitous appendicitis brought it to the United States. From the impact of the LaLeche League on the advisability of breast-feeding to current studies of botanical medicines such as ginger, echinacea and ginkgo biloba, folk and alternative medicines have continuously influenced medical research and practice.

7 Ways to Boost Your Energy

Everyone would like to feel more energetic during the day. You naturally go through periods of higher activity which contrasts with times of relaxation. The problem occurs when more energy and concentration is required than we can give. Or when we try to sleep and can’t. Follow these invaluable tips to a new you!

1) Stay on a regular sleep schedule. You can’t stay up late during the week-end and suddenly on Monday morning wake up refreshed. If you do enjoy later nights on Friday and Saturday vow to get to bed early on Sunday to wake up rested.

2) Avoid the sugar and caffeine roller coaster. Eat some protein and foods with a bit of fat in the morning. The brain needs protein and the body does not store it. You don’t have to eat very much- a glass of low fat milk, a piece of cheese, or a handful of nuts will get you going instead of pure carbohydrates like a plain bagel.

3) Take a 5-10 minute power nap around lunch. Even if you just close your eyes and let your mind drift you will be refreshed for the afternoon. This is also effective anytime you feel yourself not concentrating, reading the same material over and over. Give in to the urge and completely relax for a few moments.

4) Drink more water and liquids. I know, everyone says to drink more fluids. But most Americans are in a constant state of dehydration from filling up on coffee, tea, and sodas with caffeine. This is very stressful to the kidneys and can cause irritation to the bladder. Keep a sports bottle filled with your favorite flavored water or just plain and keep it with you at all times. Set a goal- empty by lunch, refill, empty again by the time work is over. Carry plenty of water in the car too for you and your family.

5) Exercise regularly. This is easier said than done with a busy schedule. A poor conditioning level causes you to be short-of-breath and your heart to race when just doing simple things like climbing a flight of steps or doing household chores. Park farther away when shopping and walk Dust off that exercise machine or get an exercise tape to play when weather is bad. Set an example for the rest of your family and maybe they will join in too!

6) A joke a day keeps the doctor away. Seriously, laughter has many beneficial effects on the body. The brain chemicals for experiencing pleasure, happiness, and peace increase with good, hearty laughs. Live alone? Get a funny movie or watch a light-hearted comedy on tv. Nothing sarcastic or put-down, however.

7) Avoid confrontations and situations with negative people. You know who they are. They are not going to change but they will bring you and your mood down. The complainers, gossipers, and generally unhappy souls we all have to deal with on a day-to-day basis drain our energy if we allow them. Be polite but avoid arguing or getting hooked into listening to their constant problems.

8) Take regular, daily supplements of the highest quality. Our food and diets simply do not meet the amounts needed for maximum health. There is a difference between avoiding nutritional deficiencies and optimum performance.