There are many ways that you can look to maintain you and your body. As well as conventional medicines, plenty of people use complementary or alternative therapies to keep things as they wish – either alongside medication or instead of it. Whether you want to take good care of your body, or you’re dealing with a medical issue, alternative therapies may be something you have considered or are considering to explore.
Here’s a quick overview of what that means, and some of the options that may be available to you.
What are alternative therapies?
The NHS in the UK says there isn’t a universal agreement on what complementary and alternative medicines are. However, it cites the terms used by the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
- Complementary: When a non-mainstream practice is used alongside conventional medicine.
- Alternative: When a non-mainstream practice is used instead of conventional medicine.
There are many different types of alternative therapies; some of which you may have heard of, others less so. The advantages and benefits of alternative therapies have been debated, although there are some therapies that are effective for treating certain conditions.
Below are some of the alternative treatments you may have come across. If you do consider these therapies, it’s best to speak to your doctor beforehand. This is because some of these items may interact with medicines you’re already taking.
This treatment is about stimulating specific parts of your body, and one of those ways is to penetrate your skin with thin needles. Electrical stimulation is another way of doing this.
Acupuncture can have a positive effect on certain conditions, such as insomnia and premenstrual syndrome (PMS), plus many types of chronic pain, including osteoarthritis and neck pain. A 2016 study found it may also be useful for chronic or tension headaches.
This form of therapy focuses on the structure of the body (mainly the spine), and how it works. A trained chiropractor will manipulate the spine, or other parts of your body, to make sure it’s in alignment.
The aim of this is to make sure pain is eased, and the body works properly so that it can heal naturally. Much of the research on this practice has focused on the lower back, but there’s evidence that it can help with neck and joint pain, as well as headaches.
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Herbs are the base for some of our modern drugs, with about 25% of pharmaceuticals coming directly from plants. What’s more, herbal remedies have been used for many hundreds of years.
Brands such as healthmonthly.co.uk offer herbal remedies that may help with certain conditions and ailments that you may be living with. They can be anything from digestive problems to high blood pressure, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
If you have any questions before starting a treatment, speak with your doctor first. They will be able to help you decide if it is suitable for you to start it, what the side effects may be or how it’ll affect any other treatments you have, plus other queries you may have.
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