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We are living in a golden age of wellness. Never before have we had this level of access to medicine, treatment modalities, and education about our health. And while there will always be a market for traditional Western approaches to healing, the fields of complementary medicine are gaining in popularity — due in part to concerns about opioid drug addiction.
The wealth of options when it comes to healthcare, however, can also make deciding on a course of treatment a confusing proposition. That’s why we’re rounding up some of the most popular, and promising, complementary treatments being used today.
Chiropractic is concerned with the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine, and how it affects the nervous system. Practitioners of this treatment aim to correct imbalances in the spine, called subluxations, by manually manipulating the patients’ limbs and joints.
A chiropractic adjustment can relieve pain, improve range of motion and mobility, and help restore equilibrium to the patient.
Acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine. According to its philosophy, a person’s energy force, or qi, follows particular pathways within the body. When those paths are blocked, the energy becomes stuck, resulting in imbalance of the entire system.
Acupuncture seeks to unblock that stuck qi, restoring balance and well-being. It does so through the use of extremely thin, flexible needles inserted into the skin at specific points.
Contrary to what you might think, being pricked with these needles doesn’t hurt. In fact, many adherents of acupuncture say that the experience is incredibly relaxing.
The guiding principle behind the practice of homeopathy is called The Law of Similars. Homeopaths believe that the human body can cure itself, and uses highly diluted tinctures made from natural substances to trigger that self-healing. These are called “remedies.”
Unlike Western medicine, homeopathy holds that the smaller a dose of a remedy, the more effective it will be. Although there are commercially prepared remedies intended to combat a wide range of conditions, proponents of homeopathy believe it’s more effective to take a complete medical history from the patient and recommend a remedy tailored to their unique symptoms.
Both homeopathy and naturopathy seek to identify and eliminate the underlying disease or condition, rather than to mask or suppress its symptoms. But while homeopathy takes one specific route, naturopathy comprises a huge range of techniques and treatments.
These can include bodywork such as spinal manipulation and massage, nutrition, herbalism, hydrotherapy, ozone therapy, rolfing, reflexology, and enema therapy — to name just a few. Like other forms of complementary medicine, naturopathy treats the patient from a holistic viewpoint and attempts to restore balance to the body’s systems.
“Ayurveda” literally means “the science of life.” This ancient practice from India places equal weight on the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health. It uses meditation, herbal medicine, massage, solar therapy, breath work, nutrition, and physical exercise to treat patients.
One of the primary components of ayurvedic medicine is the use of herbal and mineral compounds to promote harmony between the body, mind, and spirit.
Which of These Approaches Are Best for Accident Victims?
These complementary therapies represent the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to treatment possibilities for a car accident victim. With so many approaches available, how can you know which to try, and which are just bunkum?
A good place to start is with your primary care physician or a specialized car accident doctor. He or she can discuss Western medical treatments with you, and also provide some insight as to complementary therapies to try.
You may have noticed that complementary treatments are sometimes called “alternative” medicine. That usage is falling out of favor, however, because it suggests that homeopathy, reiki, and the like are substitutes for allopathic (traditional Western) medicine. Most practitioners of these modalities agree that they are best used to augment treatment that’s backed by science and clinical studies.
It’s also important to remember that different people respond to these therapies in vastly different ways. So you might not have the same results as a friend, neighbor or coworker. It may also take some experimentation before you find the right combination of treatment methods that works for you.
Have you ever sought out complementary medicine practitioners, and if so, what has your experience been? Share your opinions in the comment section below!