No matter how woo-woo you once believed they were, alternative medicine practices are gaining major traction in the U.S.
People are beginning to realize that these nature-based practices do wonders for their health, well-being, and overall clarity.
Alternative medicine is the use of healing methods which are not conventional and do not adhere to the norms of Western medicine. These practices can be used in place of conventional medicine, or used in conjunction with it, which depends on the individual diagnosis.
The boundaries of alternative medicine are quite broad and include acupuncture, cyrotherapy, diet, hypnosis, exercise, among several others.
Here are five of the most popular alternative medicine practices.
Acupuncture is a key component of Chinese Medicine. In recent years, the practice has gained much popularity worldwide due to its effectiveness for treating multiple diseases. During an acupuncture session, needles are inserted at specific points of the body at differing depths. The practice is known to relieve chronic pain, detoxify, and bring overall harmony and balance to the body. Furthermore the World Health Organization states that acupuncture is effective for blood pressure issues, chemotherapy-induced nausea, among other things.
Acupressure, often referred to as pressure acupuncture, uses the same principle of acupuncture but without the needles. The method has roots in traditional Chinese medicine in the same sense that acupuncture does. Practitioners of acupressure use their hands, elbow, or palms to apply pressure on specific meridian parts of the body. The process sometimes utilizes massages and stretching.
Aromatherapy is another form of alternative medicines which is growing in popularity. The practice is based on holistic principles, and is sometimes referred to as essential oils therapy. The principles of the method are quite ancient and are tied to many Eastern cultures who traditionally use this therapy for the well-being of mind and body. It works through olfactory senses and skin absorption, and incorporates bathing salts, inhalers, diffusers, and aromatic spritzers.
Ayurveda is defined as the science of longevity and owes its origin to the Vedic period in India. This ancient practice is over 5,000 years old. This practice has many spiritual intentions behind it, such as restoring a personal connection with nature and focusing on inner strength. The physical benefits are measurable though, and include healthy and glowing skin, weight loss, stress reduction, among others.
Reflexology is a form of alternative medicine in which pressure is applied to specific areas of hands, feet, or ears using oils. The main purpose of this practice is to provide pain relief to the patient. Practitioners of reflexology believe that specific points where the pressure is applied correspond to different parts of the body, resulting in health benefits. It may reduce anxiety, tackle headaches, and complement treatment of cancer.