More than 40 percent of people in the United States now use some form of alternative medicine, treatment, or therapy to eliminate pain, treat illness, and restore the body to full health. These medicines, which are generally defined as either alternative medical systems, mind body interventions, biologically based therapies, energy therapies, or manipulative and body based therapies, are quickly becoming an American tradition as specialist departments and acupuncturists are now present across the country.
Alternative medicine has grown significantly during the last two decades, largely due to extensive funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Some of the most popular treatments today, which include nutrition counselling, massage, healing touch, Reiki, clinical aromatherapy, osteopathy, and acupuncture, are being used to treat a whole range of diseases, illnesses, and injuries. Data from the CDC National Health Statistics Report shows that 17.1 percent of American adults are using alternative procedures to treat back pain, while more than five percent are using them for neck and joint pain. Osteopathy is a great example of how modern techniques have evolved in recent years as patients are now able to undergo procedures such as electropathy, which uses a low frequency electrical impulse to stimulate the endorphin system to accelerate the process of healing.
Alternative medicine is generally focused on whole-body care and practitioners believe emotional and spiritual well-being is intertwined with the physical body and tangible health benefits. This differs from traditional medicine, which views disease as a separate and distinct entity from the actual person. The holistic approach to health is one of the main reasons why alternative procedures are gaining popularity. They are also seen more as a long-term solution as many are preventative in nature. While traditional medicine only provides treatment once disease is present, alternatives such as acupuncture, diet therapy, and meditation are designed to promote maximum health at all times.
As mentioned earlier, alternative medicine is the realm of the body and mind and reducing stress. Conventional medicine does not take into account any emotional tension when prescribing treatments, which can have a detrimental impact on the immune system through stress. Alternative medicine can be viewed as a more organic and natural process that aims to bring the body’s energy and harmony back into balance. There are no nasty chemical and toxins either, which can build up in the body when using certain conventional medications.
A growing number of medical professionals now believe alternative therapies and medicine can play a huge role in restoring health, especially when combined with standard medical treatments. However, it is still difficult to say with certainty that some of the procedures are actually safe and useful. There was previously a vacuum of scientific research in the alternative sector, but research studies on the subject are now soaring in response to consumer demand.
It remains difficult to know the long-term implications for some non-standard therapies, and confusing marketing and potentially dangerous interactions can complicate matters further, but there is information readily available from the US Food and Drug Administration and the NIH for a wide range of supplements and herbal products.
Integrative medicine (IM) is a philosophy of alternative medicine that is focused on treating the whole person, which depends specifically on the partnership between the doctor and patient. The official Dr. Richard Firshein is one of the best IM practitioners as he is able to treat the spirit, body, and mind as one, at the same time. There are three main areas of integrative medicine – individual psychotherapy, medical acupuncture, and medical hypnosis. Psychotherapy is designed to help patients cope with stress; acupuncture treats chronic pain, cancer treatment side effects, and other issues by inserting disposable needles at critical points in the body; while hypnosis promotes better control of body responses and physical relaxation. Dr. Richard Firshein offers a range of these IM therapies and procedures at The Firshein Center in New York City.
Technological advances have had a major impact on alternative medicine during the last decade. According to research by Versel, the market for wireless healthcare products and services in the United States surged to $4.4 billion in 2013, which is a staggering increase on the $300 million spent in 2009. The growth is being driven by a combination of the general public’s increased awareness of health and transformative changes in telemedicine tech. Many of the latest wireless health products, which can be attached to the body and monitored via mobile apps, are alternative in nature as they are designed to maintain and improve a user’s health, metabolism, and other factors, all day long.