In more recent times that the world is seen as a global village, it has become easier for people to learn new things from different cultures and walks of life. In a world where migration is seen and accepted as a sociological construct, it is expected that the cultures of different people would travel along with them as well as pick up new ones from their host community. This movement around the world and appreciation for the peculiarities of some cultures has resulted in the rapid development of the globe as well as fostered better integration. One such area that has been touched by this cultural integration is health.
The health sector has been revolutionized and is still been changed by this phenomenon. In the U.S. for instance, orthodox medicine has always been the main form of treatment. However, with the cultural diversity that the U.S. has experienced, there has been to a large extent some form of cultural assimilation. This was further revealed when orthodox medicine couldn’t proffer lasting solutions to some illnesses like epilepsy, chronic pain, among others coupled with the growing cost of health care. People with such illnesses naturally drifted to seek other health treatments that were more affordable and effective. This gave rise to alternative medicine.
Alternative medicine is a form of treatment that sees the whole body as an entity, in which a problem for one part affects the other part of the body. In fact, alternative treatment is more of a lifestyle than a form of treatment as it doesn’t just address medical symptoms but also the main cause of the problem and hence eradicates it. In this article, we would be considering alternative treatments that have proven effective over time, and some illnesses they help cure or prevent as the case may be.
Yoga is a combination of physical, spiritual, and mental practices and activities that has its origin in ancient India. It involves you doing breathing exercises, meditation, and exercises. It improves happiness and health. It helps to train the mind and build positive energy. Helping to achieve a holistic harmony between the body, mind, and environment. Research shows that chronic pain causes changes in the brain structure that are linked to depression and anxiety. Now practicing yoga has just the direct opposite effect on the brain.
Yoga being a very physical activity changes the human perception of pain as it is believed that in the practice you get to master your pain. These mind-body practices have been researched and the outcome is it reduces pain. Research also shows that yoga improves the gray and white matter in the brain, a reduction of which causes memory impairment, decreased cognitive functioning, and pain perception. Yoga improves gray matter through neurogenesis and white matter via neuroplasticity. Research has revealed that changes in gray matter are the most significant psychological factor in chronic pain.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method of reducing pain and balancing body energy. It is the act of inserting needles, pressure, and heat into the body at specific points and varying depths. These needles are inserted at strategic points in the body where nerves, tissues, and muscles can be stimulated. This process triggers pain receptors in the body to douse pain and generally increase blood flow. Beyond pain, it is useful for blood pressure regulation and reduces the chances of stroke as the muscles are well stimulated.
Acupuncture has proven to be a highly effective treatment for chronic pain, especially back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis. It drastically reduces episodes of chronic pain, headaches, and migraine. It reduces pain by deactivating the source by regulating endorphin levels and blocks the pain signals coming from the nerves. It has also been useful in treating fibromyalgia.
Diet therapy is the process of eating food with the end goal of being healthier. With the help of a dietician, you are guided on how to eat and get the best nutrients from the meal coupled with when best to eat and when not to. It is eating in a regulated and monitored fashion with the end goal being to decrease, increase, or maintain a bodyweight, which is basically being healthy. Dieting helps with weight loss for those who are obese, reduce cancer risk, help manage diabetes, prevents stroke, improves memory, and overall body functioning.
Dieting incorporates eating a balanced diet which includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, starch, and lean protein. Vegetables and fruits provide antioxidants to protect the body cells from damage. Fiber helps control the cholesterol level and blood sugar levels, and lean protein help build muscles. An essential advantage of dieting is the discipline it helps an individual attain, resisting the urge to eat late, eating as when due are key factors in developing our body and mind which is the message of holistic living, taking charge of one’s life.
Cannabis falls under herbal medicine, in which a plant is used for its medicinal benefits to bring healing to a patient. Cannabis as a medicinal plant has been one of the fastest-growing forms of alternative treatment in the world today. The two main components of cannabis that are chiefly responsible for its medicinal properties are THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive substance in cannabis that gives the high which makes it useful in treating anxiety disorders and depression. While CBD is responsible for helping with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. However, cannabis as a whole helps in the treatment of chronic pain, glaucoma, cancer, arthritis, and a lot more. One can easily see more conditions that cannabis can help with in the modern digital age.