Alternative medicine is an impressive option for people suffering with chronic pain or debilitating diseases. Alternative medicine is also referred to as complementary alternative medicine (CAM). Four out of ten humans use some form of CAM to help them rather than take a chemically compounded medicine. Alternative medicine includes several forms of use here are some that I will talk about in my paper, homeopathy, yoga, massage, hypnosis, herbal supplements, chiropractic’s, meditation and acupuncture. Homeopathic alternative medicine is where people believe that the same thing that makes you ill will also cure you.
Practitioners who use homeopathic care will prescribe a variety of pills which are herbal to help keep the body in balance. Also a patient may be asked to do yoga and massage. Homeopathic medicine is not as relevant as it used to be but is still used in some cases. Yoga is another alternative medicine and is used to increase flexibility and circulation. Yoga also helps reduce depression, stress and hypertension along with diabetes symptoms. Yoga is a very inexpensive alternative medicine. Of course you cannot just go to yoga and never go to your primary care physician (PCP); yoga can be used to make you feel healthier in general.
Massage is a large part of American society but it is also considered CAM. Massage is when muscles are manipulated to ease tension and pain. The National Institutes of Health has said that massage helps improve the immune system in patients with HIV. Massage is something that many people receive just to relax but is medicine for sports athletes and helps release tension making people feel overall better. Hypnosis is where hypnosis guides a patient to a state of consciousness then helps them improve their health.
Hypnosis has been known to help a patient stop smoking, lose weight and even sleep better. Hypnosis now can help a patient control their pain which is a commendable alternative to pain medication. However, it should be known that hypnosis does not work for everyone. Herbal supplements are a large amount of alternative medicine used by patients. Some common forms of herbal supplements are fish oil which improves heart health, garlic which can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, chamomile is used to ease upset stomach, install calm and help patients sleep.
One of the most controversial herbal medicines is marijuana. Remedies in which medical marijuana has already been used are whooping cough, pain, and insomnia; there have been extracts of cannabis in drugs to help with these illnesses. (Bostwick. J. 2012) Chiropractic’s is another form of alternative medicine, also known as spinal manipulation. This is where bones, joints, muscles, and spine are aligned to improve health and relieve pain. Chiropractic’s has been shown to help with neck and back pain but not really any other medical conditions.
Spinal manipulation should only be performed after all other tests for pain has been completed as a patient would not want to miss another form of serious illness. Meditation and acupuncture are the last two alternative medicine approaches I am going to cover. Meditation is when a patient focuses on slow breathing and keeping clear of distractions. Mediation improves focus and has even been shown to improve attention deficit disorders. Acupuncture is performed by trained professionals who use small needles to manipulate the body’s energy flow.
It is believed that by placing these needles in over 400 specific spots in the body the acupuncturist can prevent medical conditions and help relieve pain, nausea and headaches. I believe that alternative medicine will benefit patients as it is all natural and does not involve chemicals and unnatural medications and therapies. I think that alternative medicine could have a negative effect on health care unless practices become more open to the thought of alternative medicine. In my mind the innovation of CAM will improve quality of life as I see that so many other medical approaches make life harder.
Chemotherapy causes patients to become extremely frail and even causes Neuropathy. Pain medications lead to other side effects along with addiction. I think that the innovation of alternative medicine will decrease health care spending as it is a cheaper way of therapy rather than the cost of some of the medications, labs, and therapies used now. Healthcare now is extremely expensive and will continue to rise as healthcare is always going to be needed, so why would the cost decrease unless other forms of therapies are used. Whether or not alternative medicine will be a trend in the future is a hard question to answer.
Certain parts of alternative medicine will be a trend in the future, such as medical marijuana and yoga. Patients will continue to use medical marijuana to help with their symptoms but I do not believe that they should be prescribed pain medicine or nausea medicine if they are using medical marijuana. This is their medication so why should they be allowed to take another substance on top of it? Yoga has been climbing in popularity and will continue to climb as it is inexpensive and people really feel the effects of using this form of alternative medicine.
Chiropractic’s and homeopathic care have already decreased as alternative medicine. I see that many providers are not homeopathic providers and many patients do not believe in homeopathic therapy. Chiropractic’s is not covered by many insurances and are expensive so many patients do not take this route of therapy. Alternative medicine or CAM is a large concern for society. Many want to use this form as it seems healthier but many providers do not want to use this type of care as it is not as cost effective for them.
I think that CAM will continue to be a topic of discussion for many years to come and will always is a topic that people will not agree upon. Research and beliefs will always collide. References Bostwick, J. (2012). Blurred boundaries: the therapeutics and politics of medical marijuana. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Mayo Clinic, 87(2), 172-186. doi:10. 1016/j. mayocp. 2011. 10. 003 Turner, B. (2013). 10 Most Popular Alternative Medicine Treatments. Retrieved from http://dsc. discovery. com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-most-popular-alternative-medicine-treatments. htm.