Alternative Medicine & Preventive Healthcare
Alternative medicine is a term that describes medical treatments that are used instead of traditional (mainstream) therapies. Some people also refer to it as “integrative,” or “complementary” medicine. Alternative medicine may include special diets, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, and magnet therapy. For example, a special diet may be used instead of anticancer drugs as a treatment for cancer. In the Australian context, this is stated to include acupuncture; aromatherapy; chiropractic; homeopathy; massage; meditation and relaxation therapies; naturopathy; osteopathy; reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine; and the use of vitamin supplements.
Health care professionals themselves are even becoming more and more open to alternative medicine and the benefits it can have for the body. Alternative medicine focuses on healing pain and disease by balancing out other aspects of your life. In today’s day and age we are recognizing more and more about the affects that our bodies are having with what we put inside of them. There are many advantages to using alternative medicine over the typical mainstream prescriptions and medicines.
Advantage #1: It treats the Actual Cause. One of the best advantages that alternative medicine offers is that it heals the body and is designed to actually treat the cause of the pain or disease that has occurred. By understanding and treating the disease, Chiropractors and other alternative medicine professionals are able to work at the root of the problem. Mainstream medicine, on the other hand, tends to treat the symptom that the disease or pain is causing, not actually treating the cause.
Advantage #2: It is an improvement of the Quality of Life. When we use prescription drugs we generally see an improvement in pain, but once the drug goes out of our system the pain returns. When using alternative medicine, there is a drastic improvement in the quality of life a person has.
Advantage #3: It does not have bad side effects. When using mainstream medicine you might be able to get rid of your headache, but the side effects might include nausea, hallucinations and risk of stroke in the process. Almost all-mainstream medicine has some type of warning about the bad side effects that come from taking it, where natural remedies don’t.
Advantage #4: Cost. Alternative medicine therapies can be less expensive than conventional medical treatments. Although some alternative therapies are not cheap, many herbal remedies and other natural treatments still cost less than prescription medications and treatments. Acupuncture and chiropractic sessions can cost significantly less than conventional pain therapy treatments.
Advantage #5: Mental Health. Alternative medicine can be beneficial to a person’s overall well being, as the approach focuses on healing the mind, body and spirit. Treatment methods such as massage therapy, biofeedback, meditation and visual imagery help a person to relax and reduce stress. Art and music therapies are used to relieve symptoms of depression and schizophrenia by stimulating the natural release of endorphins and opiates in the body, in addition to helping individuals let go of deeply repressed emotions.
Learning about and practicing preventive healthcare, i.e. maintaining your body and good health throughout your entire lifetime, is properly the best method to prevent disease from happening in the first place. Preventive health care must be planned and executed ahead of time, even when illness is absent. You must build healthy habits even when it’s not convenient. You must believe that maintaining a health lifestyle is important enough to make a few sacrifices. Eating right, getting exercise and avoiding destructive substances like tobacco, alcohol and excessive amounts of sugar and salt are crucial, as is getting enough sleep each night. Healthy habits are an “automatic” defense against most illnesses and can provide us a long, healthy life.
Another aspect of preventive healthcare is finding and treating disease as soon as possible. Some sort of illness hits everyone eventually, but many, many diseases – when caught early – can be nipped in the bud and full health returned quickly. So it is important to become educated about illness and their symptoms, and what it takes to maintain good health overall. Moreover, it is also important to visit your doctor on a regular schedule – at least annually or possibly more often as you get older – in order to stay healthy and catch any disease early. If detected soon enough, a full cure is much more likely. It is also much more unlikely that most disease will become serious enough to negatively affect your lifestyle with debilitating symptoms or even loss of life.
It is clear that preventive health care is important. To start your own “good health” practices, there are four things you can do immediately without any medical knowledge:
* Don't smoke or use other tobacco products; Drink only in moderation (and red wine in the most acceptable use of alcohol)
* Eat a proper, balanced diet to get the correct amount of nutrients and calories daily
* Exercise at least three days per week; Aerobic exercise will build muscle and endurance
* See your doctor regularly for check-ups
Take the time to learn more; educate yourself. Most importantly, start working on your healthy habits today. A habit is something you do without thinking about it, and building good habits doesn’t take that long. I guarantee that you will thank yourself later by being healthier, having more energy and enjoying life to its fullest.
A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!