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What is “Alternative Medicine”?

massageAlternative medicine, as a whole, is exactly what it sounds like – an alternative form of healing when compared to “traditional” medicine, which is what those of us (by and large) here in the Western world are typically accustomed to. Alternative medicine encompasses a vast array of treatments and practices, and is often times used by patients in conjunction with standard medical practices.
There are a multitude of different forms of alternative medicine, many of which the general population really doesn’t know all that much about. Here at Fletcher Chiropractic, we want to make sure that our patients have all the information regarding the different types of care available – after all, it is the care of your body that we’re talking about, which means that you should have a say in the type of treatment it receives. With that said, we thought we’d take just a few minutes to review some of the more common types of alternative medicine available to patients.
Chiropractic is the most common type of “alternative medicine” in the US today.  It is the diagnosis and treatment and musculoskeletal system ailments.  It focuses more on a natural approach to health and it involves the use of hand on therapy consisting of joint manipulation and soft tissue therapies including exercise rehabilitation and muscle therapy.
Lets now talk about acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing practice that involves placing very thin needles at very specific points along the body. The purpose behind acupuncture is to release the flow of the body’s vital energy (chi) by stimulating points along the energy pathways. Acupuncture is often turned to for the treatment of pain, however it’s quite handy for treating a variety of other ailments and conditions, as well.
Next up is acupressure. Acupressure is quite similar to acupuncture except that, in lieu of needles, pressure is applied to certain points along the body’s energy channels. Acupressure is used to relieve blockages along these channels so that energy can flow freely which, in turn, restores wellness to the patient.
Now, what about homeopathy? Homeopathy is based on the principle of treating “like with like”, meaning that a substance that – when taken in large quantities – causes an adverse reaction that can, in turn, be used in very small quantities to treat those same symptoms. Homeopaths work with their patients to gather extensive histories and background information prior to prescribing a remedy. The remedies are a highly diluted substance (which usually come in a liquid or tablet-like form) that are meant to jumpstart the body’s natural systems of healing.
Next on the list is naturopathic medicine. Doctors of naturopathy receive training in both alternative and conventional medicine and seek to understand what’s causing an illness by looking at the mental, spiritual, and physical symptoms that manifest within the patient. Naturopathy involves a variety of treatment techniques, which can include nutritional counseling, behavioral changes, homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal medicine.
The last form of alternative medicine that we’re going to look at today is reflexology. Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific areas on the ears, feet, and hands – the theory is that these points correspond to different bodily systems and organs. By applying pressure to these points, it is believed that specific organs – and overall health – will be benefited in a positive manner.
Here at Fletcher Chiropractic, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, we want to make sure that our patients are healthy from head to toe! If you’re interested in learning more about any of the services that we provide – including chiropractic, acupuncture, and nutritional counseling – please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
source: medicinenet.com; healthline.com