Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) comprises numerous sets of beliefs passed down for many generations. Part of folklore medicine, it has nonetheless gained ground in the West and is hugely popular among people seeking holistic healing.
Allopathy or conventional medicine may enjoy a comfortable position among medical care options but for a growing few, alternative medicine is considered safer. And it is if administered by licensed traditional medicine practitioners who not only know what to prescribe but also know the potential dangers of traditional medicine for some individuals.
Traditional medicine is so old that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), for example, dates to over 2,000 years old. That’s many times the age of conventional medicine. Despite this, focus and advances in conventional medicine have forced it to take a back seat. Fortunately, many are now reawakening to its huge potential for healing. Check out some of these facts which will convince you that traditional medicine is nowhere related to old wives’ tales.
* Between 70 and 90 percent of physicians believe that CAM is legitimate even though we’ve been made to believe that most medical practitioners doubt its efficacy. Areas that have received praise or have been acknowledged to be helpful include counseling, psychotherapy, diet, exercise and behavioral medicine.
* One of the main reasons why CAM hasn’t enjoyed a place alongside conventional medicine is that large-scale studies haven’t yet been conducted on its efficacy. Such studies are expensive and since most research on conventional medicine is funded by pharmaceuticals, CAM is pushed to the side. However, efforts are now being made to change this trend and we’re seeing more positive results.
* According to the WHO, as much as 80 percent of the world’s population relies on alternative medicine in some capacity or the other. Many don’t tell their doctors, however, because of the still existing ‘reputation’ CAM has among certain circles.
* massage therapy, a popular treatment of alternative medicine, has been practiced since ancient times in countries as varied as India, China, Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia. The treatment can be used to relax or relieve certain symptoms in many parts of the body using a number of techniques like deep tissue, medical, sports and stone massage. Massages have now become so popular that they’re often taken for granted and are sometimes forgotten to be part of alternative medicine.
If you’re new to CAM and are eager to give it a try but wonder about the risks, consult your physician. You don’t need to go all-out with the treatments and can opt to integrate traditional medicine with conventional medicine for a more powerful effect. In fact, combining the two – under advice and recommendation from your doctor, of course – is sometimes believed to have more lasting results.
For many, the fact that traditional medicines are not as strong as conventional ones is a big bonus as not everyone’s eager to pop pills and risk becoming dependent. There are many other benefits to following traditional medicine, another being that the treatments don’t just ‘cure’ ailments but give the body the tools to do so. The immune system is given a workout in this case so that the next time the same ailment comes around, it knows how to deal with it better.