Alternative And Complementary Remedies For Obesity, Diabetes, And More

By Richard Ealom

Alternative and complementary medication are of such concern to the medical community that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has an entire agency dedicated to scientific research into non-conventional treatments. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative medicine (NCCAM) uses scientificl research to explore complementary and alternative healing practices, including natural cures as well as other practices mentioned below.

The phrase alternative medicine refers to health care techniques that are used instead of mainstream medicine. For illustration, making use of a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing radiation and chemotherapy is alternative medication. Complementary medicine is not the same as alternative medicine. Complementary medication is used together with mainstream medication. Using nutritional supplements for diabetes in addition to conventional medical treatment is an example of complementary medication.

Complementary and alternative medicine includes a variety of medical systems. Eastern cultures have used traditional Chinese medication, Ayurveda, and acupuncture for centuries. Homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine are more recent alternative medical systems.

Mind-body medication utilizes techniques such as meditation, art, mental healing, and dance to enhance the mind's ability to affect the functioning and healing of the body. Clinical depression may responds well to these techniques.

Food supplements, herbs, and vitamins are natural remedies used in complementary and alternative therapies. For illustration, research shows that leaves and flowers of the hawthorn tree are safe and effective for treating mild heart failure. Flaxseed oil can be used to treat arthritis, while ginger decreases pregnancy-related queasiness and vomiting. NCCAM continues to research the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on heart disease.

Chiropractic, massage therapy, and osteopathic manipulating involve moving areas of the body to re-establish alignment, relax the body, and support healing. Energy medication uses invisible energy fields for healing. Reiki, therapeutic touch, and the use of electromagnetic fields are examples of energy medication. Reiki is a twentieth century Japanese healing art in which the practitioner places his or her hands above the body of the person being treated. Besides promoting overall health and well being, Reiki can give relief from the side effects of conventional medical treatments such as chemotherapy.

NCCAM funds research on complementary and alternative treatments for obesity. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the North America, affecting children as well as adults. A number of health problems, such as type two diabetes, that had previously been seen mostly in adults have now become common in children and adolescents. The complexity of obesity warrants a multi-sided line of attack to avoidance and treatment.

The NCCAM urges people who are utilizing complementary, alternative, and natural cures to tell their MD's. Doctors need to be aware about other remedies because of potential conflicts with mainstream therapies. For illustration, certain natural remedies interact with prescription medications and may cause unwanted sides effects.

There is another reason to discuss complementary and alternative treatments with doctors. Increasingly, physicians trained in mainstream medication understand the curative power of other approaches. Many are well-informed about complementary and alternative therapies and willing to work with patients who are interested in using natural remedies and cures and other non-conventional avenues of healing. - 30540

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