The many American still think of alternative medicine as bogus, voodoo or just plain quackery. But with further investigation we find alternative medicine offers a broad-based, proactive approach to health and healing. Unlike the more traditional view that presents a more narrow, reactive approach where we give the doctor the control and only follow his lead.

Where conventional medicine has come to rely on prescription pills and surgeries as solutions for many health concerns, alternative medicine looks first to non-aggressive, non-invasive forms of treatment. Natural medicine goes beyond the surface symptoms, working to mend what triggered those symptoms in the first place.

Because each of us are subjected to different environmental influences, hereditary factors and lifestyle choices, we also need a wide array of therapies and treatment options from which to choose. Many of our modern health concerns have intricate underlying causes and initial treatment when dealing with serious illness should always start with a caring physician. If you intend on using alternative therapies it should not conflict with or be kept a secret from your physician.

Alternative medicine draws on multiple sources to treat patients. Sometimes nutritional therapy will work to resolve an issue for a patient, along with some key supplements. Other patients may need to learn relaxation techniques. Still others will require a combination of treatments to reach a state of wellness.

Natural ways of boosting health and healing are not big moneymakers, which is why many natural remedies are not studied or used. The drug companies are not going to underwrite large-scale studies for the simple reason that natural alternatives, such as plants, cannot be patented- thank goodness.

The foundation of any program of alternative medicine is built on the following solid practices that promote optimum health everyday.

Sound Nutritional Practices: What is considered the standard American diet is low on actual nutrients, but high in fats and sugars.  It’s usually leads to malnourishment and can lead to a variety of health complaints and disease states. A whole foods diet will nourish the body bringing youthful health and vitality at any age. Include organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries, healthy fats, and protein from grass-fed beef and toxin-free fish.

 Supplements: Even when you eat a healthy, whole foods diet, it’s possible to miss key minerals due to the exhaustion of the soil in which many of our foods are grown.
A good multivitamin is paramount to help round out your nutritional base.

Exercise: Study after study touts the benefits of physical activity. Short, intense bursts of exercise followed by periods of rest are paramount in promoting health.

Relaxation: Stress is debilitating, so learning how to relax, whether it’s through meditation or a form of exercise is important for optimum health.

Alternative medicine can and does work in conjunction with conventional methods. In fact it will optimize any conventional treatment and shorten the time of treatment for injury or illness. The idea is to achieve true healing and wellness – not just treat symptoms. Till next time, Rebecca.