All About Alternative Therapy
Alternative therapies are forms of health intervention not included in today’s mainstream western medical practices. They may be based on traditional or indigenous health practices from around the world, and often involve holistic medicine, mind-body connections, foods as medicines, and/or herbal remedies.
Alternative therapy in its myriad forms dates back hundreds or sometimes thousands of years, but in this time of skyrocketing medical costs and increased access to information via the internet and social media, it enjoys more widespread interest than ever before.
Every region of the world has a traditional system of medicine from which some forms of alternative therapies or natural remedies are developed. For example, China has given us acupuncture, Tibet is the birthplace of Reiki, and Ayurvedic medicine originated in India. The alternative therapies available today may involve more than one kind of traditional healing. The following is a brief list of some of the most prevalent forms of alternative medicine in today’s society.
- Herbal remedies: Herbalism involves the use of plants for medicinal purposes. The use of plants as medicines has been going on for literally thousands of years. Through observation and trial and error, traditional healers of indigenous cultures around the world have discovered plants’ ability to defend themselves against such things as fungal and bacterial diseases. Various plants contain different combinations of chemical compounds (phytochemicals) to aid in this self-defense, which also provides beneficial effects on long-term health when ingested by human beings. The use of herbal remedies is widespread in many parts of the world, and they have become much more popular in the United States and Europe since scientific evidence of their effectiveness has become more available.
- Hypnosis: Also called hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis involves artificially inducing a dreamlike state in which a patient is open to suggestions. Hypnotherapists in Newcastle upon Tyne use hypnosis to bypass the conscious mind to access and stimulate the patient’s subconscious. Hypnotherapy is often suggested by alternative medicine practitioners to induce health-related behavior changes such as weight loss, diet restrictions (cutting out sugars for diabetics, for example), or smoking cessation. Hypnosis is also often used, along with relaxation massage, to reduce and treat the symptoms of stress on the human body.
- Homeopathy: Homeopathic medicine is based on the human body’s ability to heal itself. The practice began in the late 1700s in Germany and is used widely throughout India, Europe, and the UK. The philosophy of practitioners of homeopathy is that “like cures like:” if a substance causes symptoms of illness, a severely diluted form of that substance may cure or prevent that same illness. Homeopaths create pills or liquid solutions with active ingredients from plants or minerals to enhance patients’ normal healing processes. Homeopathy is often used to treat or prevent allergies and digestive complaints as well as skin eruptions and arthritis.
- Acupuncture: A practice that originated in ancient China, acupuncture is a technique that involves the insertion of needles at specific points on the human body to stimulate and regulate the flow of the patient’s “vital energy” and restore a healthy energy balance. Modern scientific studies suggest that the precise placement of acupuncture needles at key points on the body may signal the patient’s brain to release natural painkillers and emotion regulators called endorphin’s into the bloodstream. The practice of acupuncture as well as the similar but less invasive practice of acupressure is gaining popularity in western cultures for the treatment of asthma-related breathing problems, chronic pain relief, and degenerative conditions.
- Holistic Medicine: This is a healing philosophy more than a specific technique or practice. Practitioners of holistic medicine view the patient as a whole, with emphasis on the mind/body connection and emotional and spiritual considerations when developing a treatment plan for an ailment. Holistic healing also takes into account nutritional, lifestyle, and environmental factors to diagnose and treat patients. A holistic practitioner may utilize western medicine and/or complementary therapy with a patient, depending upon the ailment.
- Reiki: This system of healing emerged from ancient Tibet, and was modernized by a Japanese doctor in the early 1900s. Reiki practitioners place their hands lightly on key points on a patient’s body, channeling healing energies to the recipient. A wide variety of techniques are used by Reiki practitioners, including focusing on various spots on the body, varying pressures, and even the placement of hot stones on certain key points as a part of the process. The treatment is most often used to reduce emotional or mental distress related to chronic pain or degenerative disease. Reiki may also be used to help a person achieve spiritual focus and clarity of thought.
What Is Complementary Therapy?
Complementary therapy is simply any therapy that may be utilized alongside modern western medical practices to achieve a desired medical result. With modern scientists’ growing understanding of how many of these alternative therapies work, complementary therapies are being embraced more often by the western medical community as additional options in patients’ treatment plans.
Medical experts do believe that some alternative therapies may improve or relieve symptoms in their patients, and will work to integrate complementary therapies into health care plans.
Contact Quays Clinic Today
Hypnotherapy in Newcastle upon Tyne is a superb way to overcome many emotional, physical, and psychological problems. Many people use hypnotherapy for smoking, weight loss, and confidence-building. If you are looking to find hypnotherapy in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, or Durham, contact Quays Clinic today.
Ian Smith (Distinction) D.Hyp T.F.T M.U.F.H. Telephone: 0774 3353367.