Going the Alternative Treatment Route to Enhance Your Health

a masseur massaging a person

You’re not alone if you’re looking for alternative medicine and treatments to improve your health. According to research, nearly 38% of adults in the United States use some form of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). CAM is a catch-all term that includes everything from acupuncture and meditation to yoga and herbal supplements.

There are many reasons people turn to CAM. Maybe conventional medicine isn’t working for them. Or perhaps they’re looking for a more natural approach to their health. Whatever the reason, several alternative medicine and treatments can positively impact your health. Here are seven of the most popular CAM therapies.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional medicine technique from China that requires sticking thin needles into specific points of the body. It is believed that this can help to improve the flow of energy or Qi throughout the body.

There are different types of acupuncture treatments available. Some use electrical stimulation along with the needles, while others use heat or pressure instead of needles. Each of these approaches is said to offer different benefits.

That being said, acupuncture proponents believe acupuncture, in general, can help alleviate pain, improve sleep, and reduce stress. Some scientific evidence supports these claims, but more research is needed. Whatever the case, acupuncture is relatively safe and has few side effects. Thus, it is one of the best alternative medicine and treatments available.

2. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to promote relaxation or relieve stress and anxiety. Research on the efficacy of aromatherapy is limited. Still, some early studies suggest that it may help improve the quality of life in cancer patients and reduce stress in healthy adults.

Additionally, essential oils can be used in a diffuser or added to baths, massages, or lotions. If you’re interested in trying aromatherapy, purchase high-quality essential oils from a reputable source.

3. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a type of alternative medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors use various hands-on techniques to manipulate the spine and other body parts. Some research suggests that chiropractic care may help relieve back pain, neck pain, headaches, and osteoarthritis pain.

Moreover, chiropractic care is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. Thus, it is one of the best alternative medicine and treatments available.

A large number of Americans visit chiropractors every year. In fact, according to research, chiropractors treat about 35 million adults in the United States, and the interest in chiropractic care is growing significantly.

a male chiropractor doing neck adjustment on a male patient

4. Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements are plant-based products used to treat various conditions, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, and pain. Some popular herbs used in supplements include ginseng, lavender, and chamomile. These supplements are available in many forms, such as capsules, teas, and tinctures.

While herbal supplements are generally considered safe, you must speak with your doctor before taking any, as they can interact with other medications you may be taking.

5. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a type of CAM that involves manipulating the body’s soft tissues to relieve pain, relax muscles, and improve circulation. Massage therapy treats various conditions, including lower back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.

When opting for massage therapy, choose a licensed and experienced massage therapist. Moreover, let your massage therapist know if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant, as certain types of massage may not be appropriate.

6. Meditation

Meditation is a mindfulness practice that involves focusing your attention on a particular object or activity while clearing your mind of distractions. This practice has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental and physical health, including reducing stress, anxiety, and chronic pain.

There are various types of meditation, such as breath awareness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation meditation, and guided meditation, to name a few. So, finding one that suits your needs and interests is essential.

For instance, if you’re interested in improving your focus, breath awareness meditation may be a good fit. Similarly, progressive muscle relaxation meditation may be a better option if you’re looking to reduce stress.

7. Yoga

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that combines physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation. It has been shown to improve flexibility, strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and mental well-being. Essentially, it helps reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain, blood pressure, and heart rate.

If you’re interested in trying yoga, there are different types to consider. Some of the most popular include Hatha, Vinyasa, and Bikram. In addition to these, there are specialized yoga classes, such as prenatal yoga and yoga for seniors.

Yoga is generally considered safe for healthy adults. However, you must speak with your doctor before starting a yoga practice if you have any medical conditions or injuries.

There are many types of alternative medicine and treatments available. While some have more scientific evidence than others, all have the potential to improve your health. So, speak with your doctor to see if any CAM therapies suit you.


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