Why is Alternative Medicine Gaining Ground Currently?
Alternative medicine is becoming popular as more people become health conscious and seek inexpensive, yet effective treatment. In becoming health conscious, people adapt a way of life that averts diseases. Thus, more people are turning to alternative medicine because it offers preventative therapy and is holistic in nature. It targets the body, mind and emotional well-being of the patient. Moreover, alternative medicine is a better treatment therapy for those who are uncomfortable with invasive and allopathic treatments offered by conventional medicine. For most people turning to alternative medicine, the idea is returning back to nature and seeking treatment the natural way.
So what is alternative medicine anyway?
Alternative medicine a combination of philosophies, approaches and therapies used for healing that traditional medicine does not often apply, accept, investigate, comprehend or make available. Alternative medicine modalities usually employ preventative and therapeutic measures that are seldom offered in a hospital setting. Those who provide alternative treatment claim that an imbalance of forces within the body as the basis of illnesses and their symptoms. They trust in the body’s capacity to cure and restore itself naturally. Alternative care providers will normally provide therapy depending on a patient’s specific needs; this has the tendency to lead to diverse therapeutic strategies for varying symptoms.
Types of alternative medicine and therapies
There is a wide array of alternative medicine and therapies that exists. Examples include herbal medicine, aromatherapy, homeopathy, nutritional supplements, yoga, meditation, acupuncture and spirituality to mention a few. Since, these forms of treatments can be done on a regular basis without a care provider; most people engage in them and consult only when experiencing difficulties. Alternative therapy encourages a way of life that is healthy and prevents diseases. Most would argue that alternative medicine is the most effective way of preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. The reason is because it focuses on the body, mind and emotion and encourages healthy living. Unlike conventional medicine that is short and goal-oriented, alternative medicine is long-term and integrative.
Reasons why alternative medicine/therapy is popular currently
- Conventional doctors recommend it
It is estimated that nearly one in four patients who has used alternative medicine was recommended by a physician or a nurse. Mostly, physicians will recommend the application of alternative medicine as a complementary solution for traditional health care plan. Some traditional care providers also recommend it to inform the patients about including it in their insurance coverage –insurance companies now cover alternative therapy treatments such as chiropractic and biofeedback treatments. Alternative medicine is gradually becoming acknowledged and gaining acceptance around the western societies. This remains the case even when the WHO estimates that 80% of the global population uses herbal medicine.
- Alternative medicine is comfortable to use
Some of those using alternative medicine are dissatisfied with the invasive nature of conventional medicine. Most desire a way to restore their health naturally without surgeries and allopathic medicine that contain chemicals like mercury and lead that studies show to be harmful to the body. A study has found that older individuals experiencing chronic illnesses turn to alternative therapies more regularly. Some individuals claim that the conventional treatment approach is more about covering up the symptoms than managing its cause, which is the opposite of what alternative medicine does. Conventional medicine focuses on specific body issues, while alternative medicine focuses on the whole being. Still some people are lured because of its prophylactic approach that ensures general balance and health. While for others, particularly those with chronic diseases, it is a last resort.
- Alternative medicine is reasonably priced
The cost of health care is high in most parts of the world. Yet, good health is essential for life. Conventional medicine is generally expensive when considering the surgeries, multiple counter medications and consultations accompanied by a fee. Yet, despite the high cost of service, conventional treatment does not provide a holistic, integrative treatment; rather it focuses on the specific condition. The fee for alternative medicine is relatively inexpensive, even though the frequency and duration of the treatment can last longer. The good thing is that the patient can engage the treatment on a personal capacity and only consult with the practitioner when needed. Normally, the fee charged for alternative medicine will depend on the practitioner’s training and experience, the duration, modality, and the success rate.
- Medical schools now offer alternative medicine training
Half of all medical colleges provide courses on alternative medicine, including those in western countries. These courses focus more on the study of plants as medicine. It shouldn’t be surprising given that people have evolved with plants and herbs for hundreds of years. In fact, most traditional cultures around the world relying on herbs believe that herbs contain trophorestorative abilities that work on the innermost level to restore health. Scientific studies have discovered that plants benefit the human body by transferring information on a genetic level. As some undergraduates and graduates pickup courses in alternative medicine, it is undeniable that the use of alternative medicine will only increase in the future.
Thus, alternative medicine is here to stay because it offers a holistic and preventative approach to healing. The surge in non-communicable diseases coupled with the information age are making people become health conscious. As they do so, they seek approaches that keep off the diseases. Conventional medicine is short-term and goal-oriented, while alternative medicine is long-term and holistic. The long-term treatment approach encourages people to adapt a healthy lifestyle that focuses on the body, mind and emotional well-being.