Ancient Chinese health-care practitioners had a different approach to maintaining optimum wellness in the body: they tied in what was happening to the whole person and took into account the diet and mental state as well.
Today those beliefs are coming back into play in a big way. The new term is "complementary and alternative medicine," or CAM for short. This section explores those beliefs and "other approaches."
What can this type of care encompass? As the term "complementary" suggests, these treatments can be in addition to and practiced along with traditional medicine. A few of the most popular techniques within the CAM category could be classified as:
- Healing touch
- Herbal medicines
Sometimes the various procedures do not just involve one remedy or practice, such as massage, but involve the use of several therapies all working together. In massage, the different factors at work include philosophy, touch, and the presence of energy in the body.
Many CAM therapies have been practiced for centuries. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), two of the many herbal remedies include gingko and ginseng. These supplements are not used in treating a specific disease or symptom, but are instead meant to restore balance to the whole body. Chinese remedies have been extensively studied as treatments for such conditions as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Traditional or "Western" herbal treatments are also very popular. A few of these natural treatments can be considered to include:
- St. John's wort - To relieve mild to moderate depression
- Chamomile - Used for stomach upset
- Flaxseed, soy and garlic - To lower cholesterol
- Cranberry - For preventing infections of the urinary tract
- Peppermint oil - To prevent heartburn
When considering "Other Approaches" to health care and well being, the following therapies should be at the top of one's list:
- Chelation Therapy - This is a mainstream treatment which is used to treat heavy metal poisoning. Chelation therapy can also be used to treat cancer, heart disease and many other serious conditions.
- Iridology - This is an alternative medical treatment using the colors, patterns and other characteristics of the iris in order to determine information regarding an individual's systemic health. In iridology, the eyes are seen to be the "windows" into the person's state of health.
- Cell Therapy - This type of therapy utilizes adult stem cells to unleash healing power and fight such debilitating diseases as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.
- Oxygen Therapy - This treatment introduces substances into the body to increase the body's oxygen level. In this way, it is thought the extra oxygen increases the body's abilityto destroy disease-causing cells.
We have much to learn regarding the art of healing the body. In the future, perhaps these alternative approaches are our best chance at finding just the right combination for achieving and maintaining optimum health.
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