Over the past few years
there has been greater interest in the alternative modes of therapy. One
of the reasons for this is the been some disenchantment with the
conventional western medicine. But the problem remains that despite some
interest in alternative medicine, people are not able to get the right
kind of information. There are widely conflicting stories circulating in
the media as to the efficacy of alternative medicine.
Here is an attempt to answer a few basic and important queries
regarding alternative medicine.
Q. What is Alternative Medicine?
A complete definition of alternative medicines is difficult to derive
as it means different things to different people. In general terms,
Alternative therapy is all those modalities and techniques of healthcare
which are not provided by the conventional allopathic practitioner.
It is an all encompassing term for systems of medicine like ayurveda,
acupuncture, homeopathy, Reiki etc.
Even if you do not know what alternative medicines are you would have
used them in one or other way in your own life. If you have ever had tea
with Tulsi leaves and a bit of ginger in it, or if you have decided to
fast for a day because of an upset stomach you have already used
Alternative Therapy techniques. If you've ever massaged your temples to
ease a headache, applied an ice pack to a sprained ankle, or listened to
your car radio to de-stress during a traffic jam, you've already
practiced some simple natural healing techniques.
In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that between 65 and 80
percent of the world's population (about 3 billion people) rely on
traditional (alternative) medicine as their primary form of
Q. Why is everybody talking of Alternative Medicine?
There is a growing realization that, contrary to previously held
beliefs, conventional medicine (the medicine that most people are
familiar with: antibiotics, surgery, etc.) cannot solve all of our
health problems. And that this system of medicine is giving as many
problems as it is solving.
There is a growing acceptance that health is more than just the
absence of disease and involves more than just the physical body.
Also Alternative Therapy treats you as a person who is a part of the
nature rather than just a case of a particular disease has brought more
and more people to the folds of Alternative Therapy. Scientific
research, as well as public awareness are busy establishing that many
alternative medical treatments are more effective, more economical, and
less invasive and less harmful than conventional medical treatments.