One of the most incredible things about the human race is their ability to adapt to change and the environment they live in. The greatest way we have learned to adapt is perhaps to create medicine for ourselves if we are sick. It has taken thousands and thousands of years for medical science to reach the stage it has today, where western medicine can save someone even if they have a bullet in their brain.
However, there are still some more natural and ancient ways of medicine which are practiced to this day. And although it might not seem like these are the ‘right’ ways, many people swear by them to keep them healthy. So let’s take a look at what medicine looks like in its other forms.
Acupressure is similar to having a massage, but instead of the practitioner just releasing pressure through the whole body, they put pressure on specific spots of interest. These places are known as meridians, and they are the channels of energy which travel throughout the body, connecting it. The idea behind this type of medicine is that an illness can be caused when a meridian is blocked. Therefore practitioners will try to relieve blockages and bring balance back to the body. It is known to decrease nausea in chemotherapy patients.
Most likely founded in China, acupuncture is one of the more well-known alternative medicines. It involves penetrating the skin with small needles in key points to help relieve chronic pain and even to combat depression.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to help heal the body. Essential oils are found in roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and blossoms of plants. Oils can be used in several ways depending on the condition: they can be inhaled, massaged into the skin, or taken by mouth if the case is more severe. There are tonnes of essential oils out there and they all have different benefits for the body. For example, grapefruit oil can be helpful in reducing inflammation in the body, tea tree oil is great for fighting infection, and even cannabis oil can prevent cancer- shown at F.M.M.N. Aromatherapy can help relieve pain, relax the body and even help people with anxiety and depression.
4. Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurvedic medicine comes from India, and is one of the older types of medicine which is still used to this day. Practitioners will use a variety of different techniques to bring balance to the body and mind of the patient. This type of medicine encourages wellness and is centred on the connection between physical and mental health. They use massaging, herbs, special diets and other techniques to help their patients with ailments.
Hydrotherapy is the more common term for this type of medicine. It is based on using water to help people get over injuries and strengthen their muscles. The idea is that because water makes up so much of our bodies, having water surrounding the skin can treat conditions like pain, acne, swelling, anxiety amongst other things. It is also thought that water can boost the immune system in an unwell person.
Biofeedback is a technique which allows people to control automatic processes in the body. These can include heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, muscle tension and more. The idea is that by controlling these processes one can improve conditions such as chronic pain, high blood pressure and migraines. The way this technique is done is by learning relaxation techniques from the practitioner. In sessions the practitioner will place electrodes on the skin to measure different process in the body and guide the patient to use these relaxation techniques, but eventually the patient can go home and do these themselves.
Chiropractic is an accepted form of medicine in the western world and you will often see these will back pain referred to a chiropractor for realignment. This type of medicine focuses on the nervous system and musculoskeletal. It is used largely to treat pain in the neck, back, joints, head, and limbs. It usually involves applying controlled force to the spine to adjust it and free up the spinal cord and nerves.
Naturopathic medicine is focused on the way we can be treated using holistic methods. It will very often be used is premised on the healing power of nature. It involves doctors helping their patients use supplements for vitamins and minerals, helping with mental conditions and also advising on nutrition.