Alternative medicine is therapeutic or preventive health care practices, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine, that do not follow generally accepted medical methods and may not have a scientific explanation for their effectiveness.
Alternative medicine practices are often based in belief systems not derived from modern science. They may therefore incorporate spiritual, metaphysical, or religious underpinnings, untested practices, pre-modern medical traditions, or newly developed approaches to healing. If an alternative medical approach, initially untested, is subsequently shown to be safe and effective, it may then be adopted by conventional practitioners and no longer considered "alternative".
1. Traditional Chinese Medicine
The Chinese believe that there is a vital force or energy in the body called the qi (pronounced “chee”) that flows through the body and between the skin surface and the internal organs, along channels or pathways called meridians. There are 12 major and eight minor meridians. Qi regulates the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical harmony of the body by keeping the forces of yin and yang in balance. Disease is understood as a loss of balance between the yin and yang energies. TCM seeks to restore balance to the entire person, not just the affected area, by using one or a combination of the following:
Acupuncture is one of the main forms of therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has been practiced for at least 2,500 years. In acupuncture, certain points on the body are stimulated by the insertion of fine needles. Acupuncture needles are solid, unlike the hollow hypodermic needles used in mainstream medicine to give injections or to draw blood.
Acupuncture is thought to restore health by removing energy imbalances and blockages in the body. Acupuncture may be used to raise or lower the level of yin or yang in a specific part of the body in order to restore the energy balance. It is used to prevent and treat many acute and chronic conditions, relieve pain and as an anesthetic for surgery. Very fine needles are inserted into the skin to stimulate specific points (acupoints).
Auriculotherapy, also called ear acupuncture, applies the principles of acupuncture to specific points on the ear. Auriculotherapists believe that healing processes can be promoted by working with these points on the ear, because the ear contains many blood vessels and nerve endings that, when stimulated, influence the organs and bodily functions.
Acupressure or Shiatsu massage is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique based on the same ideas as acupuncture. It involves the use of finger pressure rather than needles at specific points on the body. Acupressure manipulates the body's own energy and is effective for general preventative healthcare as well as the treatment of disease, trauma and pain. Acupoints used in treatment may or may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom. The TCM theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian (pathway) system to bring about relief by rebalancing yin, yang and qi.
Acupressure is considered to be a safe form of therapy and side effects are rare.
Chinese Foot Therapy
Foot therapy of traditional Chinese medicine is of the belief that general diseases of the body can be cured by therapy applied to the foot. As part of the human body and in the same environment with other parts of the body, the foot is closely related to the internal organs. It can reflect pathological changes in the body, and can therefore be used to make diagnoses of diseases.
As the same time, various types of stimulations applied to specific reflecting areas on the foot can improve and preserve health, and prevent and treat diseases. Foot therapy has become very popular because of its easy, safe and wife application and good therapeutic effect
Medicinal herbs in their whole and natural form are used to treat and prevent mental, physical and emotional illness. Herbs can restore harmony to the mind, body and emotions much as pharmaceutical drugs can, but with fewer or no side effects. Herbal therapy frequently is used in conjunction with acupuncture.
Chinese Body Massage
Chinese massage is closely related to acupuncture in its use of the meridian system and is considered to be effective for a similar range of health problems. It is an effective and comprehensive therapy and is regarded alongside herbs, diet, qigong and one of the fundamental arts of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Massage techniques are understood to affect the jing luo by activating qi and blood ( in the sense of increasing its activity), regulating qi and blood ( in the sense of dispersing stagnation and guiding counterflow), and dredging the channels ( in the sense of removing external pathogens like cold and damp).
Massage also relaxes the jin (refers to the function of all soft and connective tissue in relation to movement and flexibility) to ease spasm and increase flexibility and straightens the joints. Both jin and joints closely affect the flow of qi in the jing luo.
2. Chiropractic medicine
Chiropractic takes from the best of both worlds: the caution and logic of medical science, and the natural and holistic healing philosophies more common to traditional healing customs. Chiropractic treatment helps by manipulating partially misaligned and dysfunctional vertebrae and other off-center joints that may impinge on normal neurologic function. Basically, a chiropractor corrects this problem by realigning the body. Chiropractors look at structure, load, and function. If the structure is not properly aligned, it does not function properly.
It is a natural, drugless, nonsurgical approach for lower back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, headache, scoliosis, knee, ankle and wrist injuries. Gentle mobilization or manipulation of the joint is done is done as a means of minimizing inflammation because movement has a way of pumping out the inflammation.
The patient is empowered and encouraged to use his own natural healing powers to reach a state of optimum health and wellness, providing an alternative to the normative medical practices. Medical doctors now regard chiropractic manipulation in the highest rating, as a generally accepted, widely used and well-established method.
3. Pranic Healing
Prana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "life-force" - the invisible bio-energy or vital energy that keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health.
Pranic healing is a form of energy healing which makes use of Prana, or vital energy, in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. As an art and science, pranic healing was widely practiced in ancient civilizations in China, Egypt and India. In pranic healing, cure is effected by simply removing diseased energies from the patient's invisible energy body and by transferring fresh vital energy (Prana) to the affected areas with the use of the hands. Using a scientific "no-touch" methodology, pranic healing can prevent, alleviate, and heal a whole spectrum of physical, emotional, and mental ailments.
Pranic healing can heal simple physical disorders like headaches, toothaches, coughs, sore throats, fever, stomach aches, diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, muscle pain, sprains, and minor burns. It can also treat severe ailments, tuberculosis, hypertension, heart problems, hepatitis, myomas, cysts, migraine, arthritis, and epilepsy. Emotional and mental disorders like stress, tension, anxiety, depression, phobias, manias, paranoia, schizophrenia, and other related ailments may also be remedied.
Pranic healing is not intended to replace modern medicine. Rather, this ancient healing methodology is intended to complement conventional medical practices as well as other alternative healing methods.