The medical advances that have been made in the last 50 years have been absolutely mind-blowing and many lives have been saved as a result. Any ailment that you can think of and there’s usually a pill for it. However, with pills come side effects and, in my experience, these can sometimes be more unpleasant than what you had wrong with you in the first place. There is also the danger that reliance on pills, especially antibiotics, could actually do more harm than good long term; the bacteria that cause the illnesses for which antibiotics are prescribed are becoming more and more resistant over time. This means that, in order to cure some illnesses the antibiotics prescribed need to be more powerful and so it goes on…
Maybe this is why more and more people are looking at more natural, alternative treatments. I’m a big fan of alternative treatments; although I’d head straight to a doctor if I broke my leg or needed emergency surgery (as I did last year for a colon polyp the size of an apple!) I prefer to look at natural remedies first – here’s some information about a few that I’ve tried:
Acupuncture: Fine needles are inserted at specific points to stimulate, disperse, and regulate the flow of vital energy, and restore a healthy energy balance. In addition to pain relief, acupuncture is also used to improve well-being and treat acute, chronic, and degenerative conditions in children and adults. Acupuncture is also used by specially trained vets to treat animals.
I visited an exceptional acupuncturist for many years who treated me for a wide variety of ailments. Best example was a treatment for the flu; I had a temperature of 102 when I arrived and after just 45 minutes my temperature was back to normal and two days later I’d completely recovered! He also helped me when I was dealing with very stressful situations; I would go in with a head full of emotional spaghetti and come out with everything unraveled and a great sense of peace. The only thing I would say is that if you decide to try acupuncture just make sure that you find an experienced practitioner.
Ayurvedic Medicine: Practiced in India for more than 3,000 years, ayurvedic tradition holds that illness is a state of imbalance among the body’s systems that can be detected through such diagnostic procedures as reading the pulse and observing the tongue. Nutrition counselling, massage, natural medications, meditation, and other modalities are used to address a broad spectrum of ailments. India’s government and other institutes throughout the world support clinical and laboratory research on Ayurvedic medicine, within the context of the Eastern belief system. Ayurvedic medicine isn’t widely studied as part of conventional (Western) medicine but just because something is new does not mean it is not worth investigating. I have had ayurvedic massages several times and slept like a baby afterwards (for 14 hours on one memorable occasion – bliss!) but also a treatment for a sinus infection that was incredibly effective in that it relieved the pain almost immediately.
Chiropractic: The chiropractic views the spine as the backbone of human health: misalignments of the vertebrae caused by poor posture or trauma cause pressure on the spinal nerve roots, leading to diminished function and illness. Through manipulation or adjustment of the spine, treatment seeks to analyse and correct these misalignments. Proponents claim that such disorders affect general health via the nervous system. I saw a chiropractor for a number of years, after 2 car crashes and a horse-riding accident, I found that the treatments for my back worked well but I wouldn’t, personally, recommend treatments for the neck. As with all types of medical treatments it is best to find a registered practitioner.
Homeopathy: A medical system that uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances – called remedies – to stimulate a person’s immune and defence system. A remedy is individually chosen for a sick person based on its capacity to cause, if given in overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those a patient is experiencing. Common conditions homeopathy addresses are infant and childhood diseases, infections, fatigue, allergies, and chronic illnesses such as arthritis. A bach flower remedy was recommended to me after I lost my husband and I found that it was very effective in calming me when I was feeling particularly stressed. You can find out more through The British Homeopathic Association
Reiki: Practitioners of this ancient healing system use light hand placements to channel healing energies to the recipient. While practitioners may vary widely in technique and philosophy, Reiki is commonly used to treat emotional and mental distress as well as chronic and acute physical problems, and to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity.
Practitioners say that a treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results. I tried Reiki a couple of times, again my husband died; although I found the experience very relaxing I wasn’t tempted to continue with it long-term. Saying that, what works for some won’t work for everybody and we never know until we try so I would never discount trying an alternative treatment at least once. As James Morcan said “Many of those in the medical fraternity instantly label treatments in the traditional, natural or holistic health fields as quackery. This word is even used to describe Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Indian Ayerveda, two medical systems which are far older than Western medicine and globally just as popular.”