A Safe Choice: Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
Human beings have been able to survive as a species because we are naturally suspicious of anything new that comes along. We are suspicious of anything not usually seen in our environment. Although complimentary and alternative medicine have been in existence for centuries, since they were not in the spotlight for the past 100 years or so many people assume these practices are new and are therefore suspicious of them.
Everything Old Is New Again
Not very long ago, there were no huge pharmaceutical companies to pump out millions of pills. And yet, our species thrived during that time. They did this by using what we refer to today as complimentary and alternative medicines. What many people don’t realize is that massage, herbal supplements, acupuncture, and other similar treatments are much older than modern medicine. In fact, according to some sources, up to 75% of the world’s population still relies on complimentary and alternative medicine practices. Really, the surgery, laser treatments and pills we rely on today are the alternative in the medical field, not the norm.
Complimentary and alternative medicine has been developed carefully over thousands of years. It is a science, and these treatments are not based only on superstition and myths. Throughout time, everything comes in cycles, whether it be fashions, seasons, or science. It appears that now, people are cycling back towards complimentary and alternative medicine treatments.
Complimentary and alternative medicine expects you to play an important role in your own treatment. As with any type of medical care used during modern medical treatment, side effects and allergic reactions are possible. As an example, St. John’s Wort, which is a popular herbal supplement, cannot be taken with prescription anti-depressants. The two medicines will cancel each other out, thereby leaving the user untreated and possibly deeper in depression than they were before, which can be quite dangerous. If you are taking prescription anti-depressants, talk to your doctor before switching to an herbal supplement.
A complimentary and alternative medicine practitioner will ask questions about your entire medical history. It is important that you tell them about any prescription drugs you are taking, whether they are for physical or mental health. Also, inform them of any allergies so they can eliminate any treatments that may cause a negative reaction.
Anyone seeking complimentary and alternative medicine treatments will need to have patience with their practitioner. Some of the treatments are not instantaneous and it may take several sessions before relief is found. This is not due to your practitioner being unskilled, but rather because it takes your body time to adjust to this new system of medicine.
Life changes may be part of your complimentary and alternative medicine treatments. There is no pill, tea, or herbal supplement that can be truly effective if you continue to smoke a pack a day, eat a diet of junk food, and refuse to exercise. You are responsible for your health, and should be willing to make these changes.