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Alternative Medicine Explained

Alternative medicine continues to experience a rapidly growing wave of interest in the United States. These modalities and products have long been popular in Europe and other countries, and many traditional western treatments are based on them. It really means alternative approaches to dealing with ones healthcare, other than those traditionally utilized by most western physicians. "Alternative" is really a misnomer since these products and modalities may be and are used with traditional western medicine. They shouldn't necessarily replace traditional western medications and treatments, therefore complementary medicine is a better descriptor.

What constitutes Complementary Medicine?

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Modalities:

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Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Massage, Yoga, Reiki, Biofeedback, and many others

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Products:

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Nutritional supplements (often referred to as "neutraceuticals"): Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Antioxidants, Homeopathy, etc.

Why the Rapid Growth in Complementary Medicine?

A few thoughts about the exponential growth Complementary Medicine is experiencing in the U.S.:

  1. It works! Many people have received relief from health conditions that were felt to be untreatable by western practices. Many have even used alternative therapies first line before seeing a physician and have experienced positive benefits. We have all heard such a powerful or moving story! I have many to share!

  2. Minimal or No side effects: We have all experienced a medication side effect, or at least know someone who has. The media has publicized the withdrawal of several medications recently due to side effects. These have often been deadly! While side effects certainly exist and dosage guidelines must be followed, they are frequently less severe with supplements than with traditional medications.

  3. Cost Effective: Many of the complementary therapies are less expensive than traditional ones; and most neutraceutical supplements are also much less expensive than branded pharmaceuticals!

  4. Studies that prove effectiveness: The majority have been done in foreign countries who have utilized complementary medicine for a long time. More U.S. studies are underway all the time, and more are being published on a regular basis than ever before! The U.S. Federal Government is now funding studies in alternative products and treatments as they are interested in the possible healthcare benefits and cost savings!  Lack of a supportive study does not mean that the given product or treatment is ineffective, merely unstudied!

  5. Change in Personal Health Outlook: One of the greatest benefits I have seen in my practice and in my business is peoples' interest in further education and self growth as they learn about alternative modalities. This results in greater health awareness and health promotion. These newly enlightened individuals begin to take charge of their healthcare and gradually improve their lifestyles.

These modifications may be making better food choices, starting an exercise regimen, or adopting a more positive outlook on life and the future. I am continually blessed in my ability to share in this "awakening" with friends, patients, and customers. It is these positive lifestyle changes that are the motivation for this educational web site!

We wish you success in your journey and enlightenment. We look forward to your improved health and hope we can be of further assistance.

Copyright ForMyHealth.com
Last revised: December 30, 2004