The field of medicine has advanced by leaps in the past few decades. This development of medicine can be largely attributed to the great strides made through scientific discoveries, formulation of better scientific theories and overall advancement of technology. Diseases that used to kill thousands of people back then are now under control, some of them having been totally eradicated from most countries. However, even with the current state of medicine, there still remain some diseases which are incurable, and even some curable diseases still require large amounts of money in order to be cured, which is not favourable to the majority of poor people. This is why many people have turned away from conventional medical practices and have instead opted for alternative medicine.
Alternative medicine is any form of medicine which is put forward as having the ability to cure, but without any scientific evidence (which is required for it to be classified under standard modern medicine). Despite this, alternative medicine is slowly gaining ground in more developed countries as a feasible alternative to standard medicine. Below are some of the more famous types of alternative medicine:
• Ayurveda – Also called as Ayurvedic medicine, it has its origins in ancient India and nearby South-East Asian countries, and where it has been practised for many thousand years and still is relatively popular. Ayurveda treatments revolve around the use of natural herbs to make drinkable medicinal mixtures or oils, massages and specific diets to help the body, mind and spirit to achieve a healthy state.
• Aromatherapy – This type of medicine exclusively uses natural resources, specifically what we call essential oils, which can be extracted from the roots, leaves, fruits, seeds and other parts of various plants. These essential oils are inhaled, spread over the body and even drunk by the patient to help relieve various diseases.
• Chiropractic – Unlike the others on this list, chiropractic is widely accepted by the medical community as a viable form of treatment, especially when it comes to joint pains and problems associated with the neck and spinal cord. It is quite likely you may have visited a chiropractor some time ago to get treatment for your back pain. In fact, chiropractic mostly relies on adjusting the spinal cord and various joints to restore mobility and loosen the muscles. Chiropractic can also be used in conjunction with traditional medicine quite easily.
• Acupuncture – This type of medicine relies on inserting thin needles in various key parts of the body called meridians to stimulate nerves and muscles, and thereby alleviate various kinds of pains. This type of treatment was originally a practice in traditional Chinese medicine, but it has evolved and is widely practised in many Western countries. Recently, some practitioners have ditched the thin needles in favour of electrical stimulation, which is considered to be more consistent.
• Balneotherapy – This in another unusual type of medicine which is based on…. water (yes, you read that correctly). You can find this type of treatments at spas and the like. The principle behind this is that water has therapeutic qualities which can alleviate conditions such as pain, swelling or even calm the mind. The water used can be normal hot water, or water rich in minerals such iron, sulphur, calcium and other minerals, and the treatments can vary from just soaking to getting a massage while bathing.