Thanks to advancements in technology, most of the health problems and diseases that used to trouble humankind can now be treated and cured through medical treatment and other approaches. However, there are still many other effective health remedies that are not necessarily part of “standard care”.
Some of them actually produce favorable results where conventional medicine alone has failed. These treatment approaches are basically outside of mainstream medicine and are collectively referred to as alternative medicine. In some cases, the term alternative medicine is used interchangeably with complementary medicine or integrative medicine.
By simple definition, alternative medicine is a term used to refer to various treatment approaches that are not part of mainstream (scientific) medicine. Some of the most common forms of alternative medicine include herbal medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and meditation, just to name a few.
Most of these treatment approaches dated back ages ago, which is why alternative medicine is sometimes considered as part of traditional medicine. The main focus of alternative medicine is to treat and cure medicine naturally and holistically.
In supportive chiropractic care, for instance, chiropractors seek to restore spine health and wellness through techniques such as spinal adjustment, massage, and corrective exercise. Dr. Jag Dhesi, a certified chiropractor, based in Livermore, says that the best approach to wellness is to treat each case individually and develop a treatment plan based on the specific needs of the patient.
These days, chiropractic care technology has significantly advanced, and pinpointing the root cause of the problem has become easier for experts. Nonetheless, this discipline has, for long, been surrounded by various myths and misconceptions. Here are a few misconceptions about alternative medicine that people still believe today.
1. It’s Just An Alternative
While most people seek alternative medicine when conventional medicine fails to yield the expected result, this shouldn’t be the case at all. Unlike in the past, you no longer have to pick between conventional and alternative medicine these days.
This is because these days, alternative medicine is increasingly becoming recognized and even being taught in school. There are degree programs in alternative medicine that lead to AD. Many medical doctors are also completing their studies and going back to school to study alternative medicine.
In addition to this, medical doctors also work in coordination with alternative practitioners in what is known as conventional and alternative medicine (CAM) care. For this reason, patients should always inform their health providers of any treatments they’re receiving from other health practitioners.
2. It’s Not Mainstream
Well, it might appear so in the book, but honestly, many alternative medicine approaches are effective in delivering positive results to the patient. This is why medical doctors often recommend them, and in fact, a lot of AM therapy is being integrated into standard medical practices these days after passing scientific tests.
3. Natural Doctors Ignore Conventional Medicine
As long as a natural doctor is credible, they’d know it’s unprofessional and unethical to advise a patient to replace prescribed medication before consulting their medical doctor first. As a matter of fact, many doctors coordinate with medical practitioners if at all, they’re not MDs themselves.
4. Alternative Medicine Is A Sham
A lot of people still question the reliability of alternative medicine. But then again, why do licensed medical practitioners prescribe alternative therapies? Well, it’s because a lot of these therapies, like acupuncture, for instance, have been intensely studied and found to work!
5. Experts Contest Alternative Medicine
Some people still believe that big health institutions are against alternative therapies. While this might have been true some years back, it’s no longer the case. These days, some of the most significant health insurers will even pay for alternative treatments like acupuncture, as long as they’ve been tried and tested.
A lot of health facilities also recommend alternative treatment approaches such as herbal remedies and diet change to patients so they can reduce side effects or keep medical bills low by reducing prescription medication.
6. Natural Is Always Good
As earlier pointed out, herbal remedies are part of alternative medicine. Well, most herbal remedies are obtained from natural sources such as the leaves, roots, stems, and barks of certain plants, herbs, and trees. But contrary to popular belief, not all herbal remedies are necessarily safe and effective.
After all, toxic things like mercury are also natural! According to DR. Wendy Biggs, some of these herbal remedies have varying strengths, and precisely, not many of them meet the high standards of consistency required in the pharmaceutical world. For your safety’s sake, this makes it essential always to consult your doctor before you start taking any natural or herbal medicine.
Indeed, conventional and alternative medicine complements each other. It’s all about the treatment approach that is safe and effective in delivering excellent results. All the same, some treatment approaches of alternative medicine may help reduce the harsh side effects of prescription medicine, decrease medical bills, and even help the body to recover more naturally.
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