Natural, Alternative Healing vs. Western Medicine By Bret Mosher on February 28, 2013

Natural, Alternative Healing vs. Western MedicineAchieving good health and lasting wellness is an important step in living a rich and fulfilling life. There are many ways that this can be achieved. Sometimes traditional western medicine will prove effective for people, but more and more adults have been looking into alternative therapies. These have often proven quite effective in improving a person's overall well-being. There are many misconceptions about what San Diego functional medicine involves, so the team at our practice would like to look at how alternative therapies stack up against traditional western medicine techniques.

What is alternative medicine exactly?

Alternative medicine is also referred to as complementary medicine, functional medicine, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). These medical treatments tend to be those not taught in traditional western medical schools. These alternative medicine therapies emphasize total wellness, balance of various internal systems, and a sense of harmony of body and mind. When you meet with a North County San Diego alternative/complementary medicine specialist, you can learn more about each alternative medicine therapy that is performed and how it can benefit you.

How popular has alternative medicine become?

It is estimated that almost 40% of all adults today have tried some sort of alternative medicine therapy. These numbers have been growing over time, and they may continue to grow given the shortcomings of many traditional medical treatments, not to mention the high cost and limited effectiveness of many pharmaceuticals.

Examples of Alternative Medicine Treatments

Below are some basic classifications of alternative medicine treatments and what they may entail.

  • Whole medical systems - These kinds of alternative medicine treatments tend to stress the ability of the body to heal itself. This includes therapies such as massage, lifestyle changes, and San Diego acupuncture.
  • Mind-body medicine - These kinds of treatments tend to stress the interconnectedness of the mind and body, with emphasis on relaxation and meditation options.
  • Biologically based practices - These therapies tend to be ones that rely on the use of natural ingredients and herbs as dietary supplements.
  • Manipulative and body-based practices - These kinds of treatments will stress the ability of touch and body manipulation to promote total wellness (e.g., massage, chiropractic therapy).
  • Energy medicine - Energy medicine will focus on different ways to improve energy levels and energy flow inside the body.

What does alternative medicine offer that western medicine doesn't?

As you can see from the descriptions listed above, alternative medicines stress the ability for the body to correct issues on its own in non-invasive ways using natural ingredients. Western medicine tends to put emphasis on synthetic compounds and more invasive therapies that can prove harmful in the long run.

This is not meant to rule out western medicine entirely, however. There are very valuable western treatments and types of advanced care that can be extremely effective for various systemic conditions. However, more and more clinical trials are showing that alternative therapies can be effective for addressing certain kinds of health issues.

Can alternative medicine and western medicine be combined?

Definitely. As more doctors are accepting alternative medicine as a potential treatment or supplement to treatment, more and more patients are undergoing both western medical treatment and alternative therapies as well. It's not unheard of for people to undergo state-of-the-art medical treatment while also trying to improve their health through the use of Chinese herbs and dietary supplements.

Learn More About Your Alternative Medicine Options

If you would like to learn more about alternative health care treatments and how they can be of benefit to you, be sure to contact our alternative medicine center in Poway today. Our entire team will be more than happy to discuss all of your options for effective care that stresses total wellness and a full sense of health.

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