In our upcoming podcast, Spirituality in Medicine, we talk with Dr. Turya Nair about how her patients are beginning to take interest in alternatives for medicine. There are many reasons why a patient may want to try this approach. For example, the patient may be looking for something natural, they may be doubtful of medication, or they may want the freedom to choose their own treatment in addition to medicine.
This history of alternative medicine dates back to the 18th century with Homeopathy, founded and practiced by Samuel Hahnemann in Europe. This form of medicine provided remedies taken from plants, minerals or animals. Other alternative methods came from traditional Chinese medicine, originating in ancient China. As well as, Ayurvedic medicine, originating in India more than 3,000 years ago and Native American Traditional Healing. Native American healing focused on the balance of mental, physical and spiritual wellness (Gumberg Library).
What is alternative medicine?
Alternative medicine is any form of medicine or healing that does not fall into accepted medical practice. (Medical News Today). Most alternative therapies are not subject to testing by law and hold no scientific evidence that they work. There are many types of alternative medicine that have been around for thousands of years. Although they have small differences, there are other terms to describe non-traditional medicine;
- Complimentary medicine – Nonconventional medical approaches as an additional treatment to traditional medical treatment.
- Integrative medicine – An approach to medicine that combines traditional medicine such as drugs, surgery, and lifestyle changes
- Holistic medicine – A form of healing that considers the whole person, body, mind, spirit and emotions, in the quest for optimal health and wellness (WebMD)
What are the types of alternatives for medicine
Some types of alternatives for medicine include;
How alternatives for medicine can benefit you and those with Diabetes
- Lower Stress and Anxiety
- Help sleep
- Help balance
- Change mindset
- Reduce symptoms of chronic conditions
- Reduce physical pain
Each alternative for medicine can benefit people in different ways. There are positive effects in some approaches that can help in addition to medication. This gives the patient a chance to choose a treatment for themselves. It can help them take control of their health condition. Their treatment also becomes more than a prescription.
Why are patients becoming more interested
- Spirituality and Religion
- More options for treating health conditions
- Wanting a ‘natural’ treatment
- Mistrust in medicine
Medical mistrust has been well known throughout history. It has also been the topic of many discussions today. From a past of testing medicine in harsh ways, the doubt some patients have in medical growth can be expected. Especially in minority communities, “Black and Hispanic Americans have higher rates of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes” (American Bar).
With more options to treat health conditions, people are able to add their interests into their care. Patients are becoming more involved in how they want to feel better and be healthier.
Why knowing how alternatives for medicine can benefit you is important
There are many reasons why a patient may want to try alternatives for medicine in addition to their treatment. Therefore, doing research and talking with your physician about alternatives for medicine can help with a treatment plan that works best for your interests. Every person has their own personal beliefs, priorities and goals when it comes to their health. As a result, alternatives for medicine can create a positive mindset and a sense of independence. In conclusion, they can be a great way to have more options that can help with your healthcare. (The Atlantic).