There are many choices when looking for alternative medicines. Today, more people are turning to these alternatives for their treatments than ever before. These types of medicines provide a different approach than conventional medicine in health care systems and practices.
What is Alternative Medicine?
Some examples of alternative medicine are chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, homeopathy, osteopathy, and naturopathy. Although you may be unfamiliar with these treatments, there are people all over the world successfully using them.
In several ways, alternative medicine offers a different outlook on healthcare than conventional medicine. The usual treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, antibiotics and other types of drugs; however, there is growing evidence and awareness that alternative treatments can be less costly, less invasive, and sometimes safer than well-known conventional treatments.
A Higher Stand of Health
The goal of alternative medicine is a higher standard of health, not just the absence of disease. For many years, individuals were given a clean bill of health without considering their emotional, spiritual or social needs. Alternative medicine considers the health and well being of the person by evaluating the physical, emotional and psychological makeup and needs. The patient is examined as a person and not just a number or case. Patients are encouraged to participate in decisions instead of being a passive subject.
Healing the Body
Conventional medicine has typically treated and removed symptoms as quickly as possible. Sometimes the results are dramatic and immediate with traditional surgeries and medicines. Sometimes, however, this creates other physical problems. The alternative is to help the body heal itself.
By using less dramatic treatment, the body is given a chance to work through its own healing therapy. Instead of synthetic medicines, the use of whole foods, herbs, homeopathic and nutritional supplements are utilized. The results may take longer but in the end the body will be healthier. True healing can occur in this way, increasing the chances that the symptoms will not return.
Finding an Alternative Professional
If you are planning to consult an alternative professional for a specific need, it is recommended that you consult with a medical doctor or osteopathic physician to get a diagnosis. They go through extensive training in diagnosing illnesses and diseases. This step could lead you to the correct treatment and avoid confusion. After you have had your exam and diagnosis, ask for the recommended treatment. Then look for an alternative treatment that may be easier on your body and possibly more effective.
There are different ways to find a practitioner. One of the most helpful is to get referrals from family and friends, your doctor, or other health care providers. Also use the resources at the library, the Internet, and medical information organizations. When you have a list of referrals, begin to gather information on the professionals. Ask for literature, find out how long they have been practicing, and what practices they use. Check to see if your insurance policy will cover their fees and what will be expected from you.
Having a Consultation
Be prepared when you consult with the professional. Describe your symptoms or condition clearly. Be sure to include a complete medical history. Explain what you have learned about alternative treatments.
Listen carefully to the suggested treatment and ask questions to make sure you understand. Ask what the benefits will be from this therapy. Find out how long the treatment will take and if you should expect side effects.
Making a Choice
Did he answer your questions and make you comfortable? Is the treatment acceptable to you? Now you can decide if this practitioner is right for you.
Before you choose alternative medicines, take the steps necessary to ensure you are treating the problem, not just the symptoms. You'll soon discover the long-term benefits of alternative medicines.