Millions of years ago, when men didn't possess
the knowledge of treating illnesses and ailments as we do now, they resorted to
using simple techniques to help the body achieve a state of wellbeing. These
practices are still done today, classified under alternative medicine. They are
gaining popularity due to their non-invasive techniques and a commendable
audience among people around the globe.
Due to an exponential increase in the acceptance
of these practices, a new controversy came into play. Conventional medicine
practitioners claimed that these practices have no medical background
whatsoever, and that they just act like a placebo. An argument emerged that
these practices work by compelling the mind to think and accept the healthy
state and don't produce any changes in the body itself.
The most extensive researches conducted so far
still fail to decipher the reality, leaving the question 'Is alternative
medicine a reality?' unanswered. However, not all branches of this mysterious
science had the same fate. Some of them, like aura and chakra balancing, past
life therapy and angel healing failed to get past the accusations whereas a
select few including Acupressure, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Ayurveda and
Naturopathy made it to the podium.
There is enough evidence to determine the
effectiveness of some of these practices, passed down through generations, by
our ancestors. For instance, Acupuncture, Acupressure and Reflexology are based
on the theory that our body has channels of the vital life force energy (Qi)
throughout it, and that diseases are mere manifestations of energy blockages
within these channels. These practices bring about well-being by pressing or
needle-stimulating points on the body, which are believed to be energy
regulators. The energy blockages are thus removed and health is restored. The
fact that energy does flow through the human body through channels was
confirmed by a vast number of studies and finally, these practices got a clean
Similarly, naturopathy is another
widely-accepted form of alternative medicine due to its emphasis on healthy
living. Hippocrates, now known as the father of modern medicine, actually was a
follower of naturopathic practices and resorted to using natural methods to
cure diseases whenever possible.
Naturopaths usually view the disease as a
manifestation of both physical and mental imbalances. Naturopathic practices
involve balancing both the physical and mental aspects of the body by use of
mud packs, cold and hot baths, toxin clearing and lifestyle changes. Since
these practices very rarely bring about any negative impacts, naturopathy too
succeeded in establishing its effectiveness without any controversy.
Herbal medicine and Ayurveda too managed to
escape the clutches of controversies and accusations by being purely natural in
nature, and also because they did show effective results in most people. Also,
they gave a very clear explanation of their mode of action-plants and herbs
contain different biochemicals and substances that help improve organ function
and ward away most deficiency diseases.
The field of Alternative medicine has also
bought together many strange therapies into existence, some of them purely
fictitious, whereas some other unfortunate ones who failed to pass the test. A
few examples are aura clearing, crystal therapy, Rebirthing, Shamanic healing,
Neuro-linguistic programming, osteopathy, Bach flower remedies, color therapy
medicine practitioners use colors to heal the body. Yellow flowering plants
treat jaundice and blue/ violet flowered plants treat insomnia. This theory is
known as the 'Doctrine of Signatures'.
Iridology uses the references of the iris (the
colored portion of the eye) to determine possible illnesses and treat them.
Magnet therapy uses magnets to clear
circulation, charge water and make you buzz with energy.
Ayurvedic system of medicine classifies an
individual into 3 different categories based on their dominant constitution-the
kapha, the pitta and the vata.
Aura-soma technique determines a person's life
mission, obstacles and difficulties, progress and future possibilities by the
color the individual selects or prefers.
Blood letting is a scary procedure carried out
in Japanese medicine which involves piercing the skin with a 3 edged needle to
let out blood. This procedure is thought to relive pain, and sometimes even
Tongue diagnosis-which forms a major part of
Ayurvedic, Tibetan and many other holistic medicine forms, surprisingly detects
diseases even before they exhibit the symptoms.
Complementary medicine for Dummies