Living in this day and age where science and technology are expected to solve majority of our health problems, one might wonder why a “proven” medicine or treatment might not work to some. This is when alternative therapies come in.
What Are Alternative Therapies?
Alternative medicine and therapies offer integrated approach to healing which could include natural or herbal medicines, reflexology, chiropractic treatment, massages, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements. Although most doctors would not recommend their patients to take alternative medicines or therapies, the number of people who are trying this alternative route has surely increased. These alternatives have also become common among some pain centers. Some go to these alternatives because of the pricey medicine costs or because the current medicines they are taking don’t appear to be working for them. Sometimes, people just want to combine both their current medications with these alternatives with the thought that they may heal faster.
Among the many benefits of alternative therapies, pain relief is one of the most common. When traditional medications fail to alleviate the pain, we cannot blame the patient to try alternative therapies. For chronic pain, below are some of the common alternatives to try:
- This alternative treatment involves inserting thin needles into certain points on the body to manipulate the flow of energy. Once considered odd, this treatment has become popular to treat back injuries or sports injuries.
- Yoga and meditation. Yoga combines physical, mental, and spiritual processes. Yoga helps in relaxation and stress reduction which in turn improves the well-being of a person. People who do yoga have reported improvements in their musculoskeletal system and also in their mental health.
- Chiropractic treatment. Although spinal manipulation had been frowned upon, this alternative technique has become an accepted therapy. This is commonly popular to alleviate back pain.
- There has been studies that hypnosis helps relieving pain. This alternative treatment can help ease chronic pains like back pains among some of them. This method helps the patient to refocus his attention to relaxation; thus, the stress and anxiety experienced when in pain are alleviated which in turn reduces and eases the pain itself.
- Probably, one of the most common alternatives nowadays is the massage. This is commonly used to ease muscle pain as well as back pain. Most spa and wellness centers now offer different kind of massages from back massage to whole-body massage. A lot of people now go for massages on a regular basis to relax and reduce stress.
Another benefit of alternative therapies is that it is not as costly as the traditional therapies. Although there might be some alternative therapies that may be costly, majority of them are still less expensive compared with the conventional therapies. Acupuncture and chiropractic treatment can really be less pricey as compared with the traditional pain management therapies.
Alternative therapies can have minimal to no side effects at all as compared with prescribed or conventional treatments. However, depending on the person’s ailment, even some alternative therapies might still have some adverse effect. It is important to first consult your doctor as well before getting any alternative treatment. It is important to take note that not all alternative treatments have been scientifically tested and proven and they are most of the time not regulated.
It is worth noting that there are some situations where modern medicine might be required and that alternative therapies are not always the solution. If you are taking any alternative therapy and it is not working then you should always consider modern medicine. When suffering from certain chronic pains and especially pains that can be an indication of a bigger problem – such as tooth ache – you should also seek medical advice as well as looking at the option of alternative therapies.
Since most alternative therapies focus on relaxation and stress reduction, they generally have positive effects to the whole well-being of a person undergoing the treatment. For example, art and music therapies can also help in relieving symptoms of depression. This kind of therapies releases endorphins which are also referred to as the happy hormone. The persons undergoing this treatment would be de-stressed and would feel happiness. Mental and psychological health has effects on physical health as well so it is important that a person is healthy on those aspects too.