The term Alternative Healing or Alternative Medicine means any form of Therapy or Treatment that is not modern Allopathic form of treatment and it outside of the popular medicine system of western society. There are many lines of popular treatment available because they are believed to be effective. Some of these alternative healing therapies and treatments have been in existence since time immemorial, while some are very recent and some came into existence a few hundred years ago.
What are Alternative Healing Therapies and Treatments ?
The term Alternative Medicine is loosely used to somewhat cover other forms of medicine except Allopathic medicine system. The first World Congress of Alternative Medicines was convened in 1973 by the Medical Faculty of the University of Rome and the provisional program contained about 135 therapies.
If you are open minded or rather experimental then you may have tried yoga, would not mind trying acupressure for pain relief and meditation for stress management. Well then you are one of the many people living in new age who are into the realm of integrative and energy healing. You may also refer these types of healing as complementary and alternative medicine.
Vast number of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Systems
Various kinds and types of Alternative medicine have always existed in all the cultures across the world since the man became wise and needed help to heal the wound or come out of the sickness. These treatments have been known by various generic or specific names such as traditional medicine, spiritual healing or folk medicine etc. These practices are quite old dating back hundred or even thousands of years depending on the country and culture they originate.
If we were to make a list of various systems of alternative medicines currently in practice all over the world then the number may go well beyond 100. For example for the Chinese the traditional systems of health and medical care are Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupressure; for Japanese it is Shiatsu; people in Indian sub continent may know and believe in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga; for the Germans a Heilpraktiker (“healing practitioner”) is recognized as an alternative and complementary health care profession by German law. While Greeks and French may have tried magnetic healing and supporters of Herbalism (herbs as medicines) may be found in Europe, Asia and Middle East.
Some of the most popular or the interesting / unique healthcare and healing methods which are mentioned are:
|Reiki||Tai Chi||Theta Healing||Yoga|
Are all these very old and traditional healthcare systems?
The answer is both Yes and No. While Yoga, Tai Chi, Ayurveda or Acupuncture may date back to centuries, some new methods of systems have been developed in 19th or 20th century and have become extremely popular. For example, Silva Mind Control, Theta Healing, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) originated from USA while Reiki (from Japan) and Pranic Healing (from Philippines) are said to have been rediscovered healing secrets.
There are two common points between these new age healing methods. One they work on the concept of healing energy invoked through healing meditation or prayer for healing. Secondly, they have strong fan following in most parts of the world.
The overview of Complementary and Alternative Medicine practices
It would not be difficult to find many people who are convinced that complementary therapies help them stay healthy. There could be many individuals who would swear by the effectiveness of the alternative medicine or spiritual healing they have received to help them get rid of a declared incurable disease or a said to be irritating health challenge.
Alternative Medicine, Complementary Therapies, Spiritual Healing, Energy Healing, Natural Healthcare, Integrative Medicine – all these are popular terms used nowadays to describe a wide array of healing practices that fall outside purely pharmaceutical or surgical treatments.
Why Alternative Medicine and Healing Therapies are popular?
There are more than reasons to understand this phenomenon of various Alternative Healing Systems getting popular.
One, there are many people who, for various reasons, have not got the relief or are not satisfied with regular allopathic medicine or allopathic line of treatment. Quite a few of these people, therefore, per force turn to the growing number of alternative medicine therapists. They could also be psychics who do the energy healing and do correction not just at the physical level but also at the emotional and spiritual levels too. They are the unquestioned subscribers to the mind – body connection for wellness.
Second reason is the easy availability of alternative healing therapists though each one may be a practitioner of different kind of Alternative Healing Method. In fact, you can find on YouTube itself some medical doctors who practice some forms of alternative medicine. The line of treatment could be acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal medicine, yoga, pranic healing and homeopathy.
Specifically speaking, Chiropractic care is one of the most popular alternative medicine treatments in USA. A large number of Americans suffer from back pain. Chiropractors treat back pain by gentling manipulating the spine. Chiropractors are often able to help reduce pain and enable people to return to many activities. While not considered a conventional medical treatment, chiropractic care has become more of a mainstream treatment. Some health insurance plans will even pay for chiropractic care.
Likewise, each region or country may have success stories and praise for one or more Alternative Healing Treatments which have provided relief to a considerable number of people.
Thirdly, the association with the healer is usually very pleasant as it takes place in a soothing, serene and peaceful environment and the healers are good at developing a good rapport with the patient. This gives a lot of emotional relief to the person who is suffering.
“Aromatherapy is… the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well being.” Valerie Cooksley
Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine which seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process. It is also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be called as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted essential oils and aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It
The critics of Aromatherapy consider this type of treatment as unscientific. However, scientific evidence of its effectiveness is growing and some preliminary clinical studies have revealed positive results.
The Benefit of Inhaling Essential Oils
The inhaled vapours of natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, and when inhaled into the lungs, the natural constituents can supply therapeutic benefit. Diffusing eucalyptus essential oil to help ease congestion is a prominent example.
Essential oils that are inhaled into the lungs offer both psychological and physical benefits. However, if not done correctly and safely, the consequences can be severe.
The theory behind aromatherapy
It is believed that the inhalation of essential oils stimulates the part of the brain; a signal is sent to the limbic system of the brain that controls emotions and retrieves learned memories. That part of brain which is connected to smell – the olfactory system, signals the limbic system to release certain chemicals which make the person feel relaxed, calm, or even stimulated. If the aromatherapy includes massage the effect is to further relax the person. When applied onto the skin they activate thermal receptors and destroy microbes and fungi.
Aromatherapy in some countries
In France, and much of Western Europe aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine as an antiseptic, antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial, much more so than in the UK, USA or Canada. In fact, there are some essential oils that are regulated as prescription drugs in France, and can only be administered (or prescribed) by a doctor.
Thousands of years back, the sages of India developed Ayurveda. Literally Ayurveda means a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). The vast knowledge based system is designed to help persons stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full potential. Ayurveda is much more than a mere system of treating illness. It is based on the concept that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Hence the primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. Of course, there are treatments available for specific health problems.
Ayurveda despite being one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. In the U.S., Ayurveda is considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
The Concepts of Ayurveda
Ayurvedic system believes that everything in the universe is connected. Good health is achieved when the body, mind and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to sickness or poor health.
For followers of Ayurveda, anything that disturbs your physical, spiritual, or emotional balance can cause you to be out of balance with the universe and make you unwell.
Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe. These are space, air, fire, water, and earth.
These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces which control how your body works. These forces are referred to as doshas and they are:
- Vata dosha (space and air)
- Pitta dosha (fire and water)
- Kapha dosha (water and earth)
The unique combination of the three doshas in each individual has a specific influence on his physical, mental, and emotional tendencies. It is believed that the chances of getting sick are linked to the balance of your doshas.
The goal of Ayurvedic Doctor (Vaidya or Hakim) is to help ourselves to re-balance and restore health.
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine or complementary medicine.which is mainly concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine.
A chiropractor is a health care professional and his technique involves manual therapy, especially manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues. The line of treatment may also include exercises and health and lifestyle counselling. Chiropractors aim to reduce pain and improve the functionality of their patients as well as to educate them on how they can account for their own health via exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain and neck pain.
Also many chiropractors treat ailments other than musculoskeletal issues.
Is Chiropractic popular?
Among people seeking back pain relief alternatives, most choose chiropractic treatment. It is estimated that every year about 22 million Americans visit chiropractors. Most of them (about 35%), seek relief from back pain which could be there due to various reasons such as accident, sports injury, or muscle strains. Other problems include pain in the neck, arms, and legs. Chiropractic is well established in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Chiropractic focuses on manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Its founder, D.D. Palmer, called it “a science of healing without drugs”.
Chiropractors’ belief and philosophy is based on the intimate relationship between the nervous system and spine.
EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique
This technique is also known as Tapping Therapy or Psychological Tapping is developed by Gary Craig in the 1990s in the United States.
The basic principles involved are a combination of techniques or methods employed in acupuncture / acupressure, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), psychology and kinesiology (scientific study of human movement).
Basically EFT can be done by a practitioner or by the person himself and this universal technique can be applied for the neutralization of negative emotions.
Stamford engineer Mr. Gary Craig developed the technique of EFT based on the Thought Field Therapy developed by Roger Callaghan.
Although it is not a full description of the technique and this very basic introduction is just intended to give a glimpse of the technique.
How EFT works
As per the EFT method, there are tapping points situated on different points in our body and are on so-called meridian – the energy lines running through our body. The aim of the technique is to release blockages within the energy system which are the root cause of emotional intensity and discomfort. These blockages in our energy system, in addition to challenging us emotionally, often lead to limiting beliefs and behaviors and an inability to live life harmoniously. This eventually gives disease or other behavioral problems.
EFT aims to restore awareness about the Universal Power and build trust in the natural healing abilities of our mind and body, which can let us have physical and emotional well-being in a faster time frame.
Who is a Heilpraktiker ?
Heilpraktiker (Healing Practitioner) is a naturopathic degree in Germany. A Heilpraktiker is educated in the basic modern medical sciences, such as anatomy, physiology and pathology and then specializes in a complementary and alternative field of health care. Therefore, the persons who take the consultation of a heilpraktiker can hope to receive a range of treatments such as homeopathy, hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, massage, phytotherapy, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, to reflexology or acupuncture
A Heilpraktiker is a recognized alternative and complementary health care profession by the government. A Heilpraktiker is a person who is allowed to practice as a non-medical practitioner using any unconventional therapy he or she is trained in.
The argument against this system of treatment is that he lack of regulation makes the practitioners highly variable. Some practitioners have limited training and their primary qualification is a passing score on the licensing examination.
While those in favour argue that Heilpraktiker is a distinct profession of primary health care, emphasizing prevention, treatment and the promotion of optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods which encourage the self-healing process. According to them Heilpraktiker practice blends traditional knowledge of natural, non-toxic and holistic treatments as well as the education of patients in health-promoting lifestyles.
Did you know that by doing an accurate analysis of the iris structure and pigmentation of your eyes and can provide valuable information about your physical and psychological health. This field of health study is call Iridology – a science which is based on the scientific study of the iris – the colored part of the eye. Iridology reveals physiological and psychological conditions, potential health risks, and/or strengths of various organs besides the personality traits.
Through iridology the expert can get an understanding of your inherited tendencies compounded by toxic accumulated in various parts of your body.
Iridology research began in 1670 when Dr. Philippus Meyens published a paper describing the eyes of his patients when they became sick or injured. He also noticed changes in the eye that came with healing and was able to link points on the iris to specific parts of the body.
Currently in the U.S. more people are showing interest in iridology as an alternative method for improving health.
You will agree that eyes are a unique window into health.
Pranic Healing is a energy healing system developed by Master Choa Kok Sui of Philipines. Pranic word is derived from Prana (Sanskrit word) which means Universal Life Force Energy. According to the Pranic Healing system, prana (energy) can heal ailments of the body by contributing to the person’s energy field.
Writing in the Times of India, a student of Pranic Healing claims: “The primary principle of pranic healing is utilising the inherent energy prana or energy of life in all beings for self-healing.
Pranic Healing® is a healing system that utilizes prana to balance, harmonize and transform the body’s energy processes. This invisible bio-energy or vital energy keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health. The Chinese refer to this subtle energy as Chi; Japanese call it Ki and in Hebrew it is called Ruach or the Breath of Life in. This pervasive energy surrounds, interpenetrates and sustains the physical body. It also affects our emotions, our ability to handle stress, relationships and even finances.
The principle of Pranic Healing® is that the physical ailments first appear the energy body – surrounding the physical body and then they manifest as dis – ease in the physical body. This can be felt by the experienced and trained healer in the form of energetic disruptions in the aura.
Pranic Healing® is claimed to be a simple yet powerful & effective system of no drugs, no-touch energy healing. It is based on the fundamental principles that the body’s self healing process is accelerated by increasing this life force that is readily available from the sun, air and ground to address physical & emotional imbalances. Master Choa Kok Sui says “Life Energy or prana is all around us. It is pervasive; we are actually in an ocean of Life Energy. Based on this principle, a healer can draw in Pranic Energy or Life Energy from the surroundings.”
ThetaHealing® is relatively modern technique that draws its strength from intuition, thought and prayer. It can be used by the energy healer or the person on self who use their natural intuition, relying upon “unconditional love of Creator Of All That Is to do the healing or the correction. The Theta healers are taught to lower their brain wave cycle to go to the “Theta” state, to create instantaneous physical and emotional healing and other results
Therefore, Theta Healing can also be called a meditation technique which combines spirituality – though not specific to any one religion but accepting them all – with the purpose of getting closer to the Creator. As like many other Holistic Healing or Energy Healing Systems, it is about training your mind and spirit that allows you to clear limiting beliefs and live life with positive thoughts, developing virtues in all that we do. Basically it is done through regular practice of meditation and prayer.
The person behind Theta Healing
The Theta Healing technique was created by Vianna Stibal in 1995 during her own personal journey to fight health challenges and after she healed from a 9-in tumor her leg.
Vianna Stiba is from Idaho Falls in the United States. A gifted intuitive, Vianna worked as a naturopath and had a successful practice where clients would come to her for intuitive readings. She used a technique of visualizing going up through the top of her head through her crown chakra, and entering the person’s space to look inside the body. While in this state, she found could communicate with Creator, and be given answers to her questions.
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