Natural Therapies And Unconventional Treatments Vs Conventional Medicine

 

Conventional treatments involving prescription medicines and advanced medical equipment have long been instrumental in treating illnesses, managing disabilities, lowering overall treatment costs, and reducing death rates due to cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

However, medical breakthroughs in terms of alternative treatments and natural therapies have also been very significant in the past few years.

Access to information through the internet and the growing international community surrounding alternative medicines and unconventional treatments have increased much-needed awareness about these practices.

What are alternative medicines, and how do they differ from conventional treatments? What are their pros and cons? This article will address all your queries.

We’ll also introduce a comprehensive, state-of-the-art health resource full of alternative treatment options and practical solutions that can help you and your loved ones in the future.

 

What Is Conventional Medicine?

Conventional medicine is a treatment system involving medical doctors and other healthcare professionals like nurses, pharmacists, and therapists.

Also called mainstream medicine, standard medicine, allopathic medicine, and Western medicine, this type of medicine involve treating and addressing symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.

It is a treatment approach based on lab experiments, research, and trials, a widely used and accepted system by most health professionals.

Conventional medicine focuses on a one-organ approach. For instance, if you have a sore throat, your doctor would prescribe a drug to address the symptom. A cardiologist would focus on the heart, a neurologist on the brain, and a lung specialist on the lungs.

In this approach, one main organ becomes the point of care and not the rest of the body or overall health.

 

Pros And Cons Of Conventional Medicine

Pros

  • Involves highly trained practitioners and professionals.
  • Supported by centuries of scientific research and evidence.
  • Best treatment approach for emergencies, major injuries, and serious illnesses.
  • Bound by strict regulations and guidelines.
  • More easily accepted by health insurance companies.
  • New medications have reduced death rates for cancer, stroke, and other serious diseases.

Cons

  • Involves long recovery times after surgeries.
  • Involves pain medications that can be addictive and come with side effects.
  • Death from hospital accidents, injuries, and infections are high.
  • Generally, it treats only the symptoms and not the root cause.
  • Can be very expensive.
  • Patients are not always encouraged to make lifestyle changes.

 

What Are Alternative Medicines?

Alternative medicine refers to all non-mainstream medical treatments that do not fall into the spectrum of conventional medical practices.

It is very different from conventional medicines in that the treatment approach focuses on the whole body rather than just one organ.

The basic principle behind most alternative medicine is body balance. Everything from the patient’s medical history, personality, lifestyle choices, diet, exercise habits, and even daily stress levels are taken into account.

A simple example of alternative treatment is when you’ve been prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure, but you choose to change your whole diet as a roundabout way to reduce it instead.

 

Types Of Alternative Medicines

Acupuncture

This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves stimulating specific points in the body using thin, sterile needles inserted into the body by a trained practitioner.

Acupuncture can help treat headaches, insomnia, depression, PMS, anxiety, and neck and back pain.

Acupressure

Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but practitioners use their hands, elbows, or feet to put pressure on specific points instead of needles.

Acupressure has been found to help relieve pain, headaches, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic medicine provides relief by focusing on the structure and functions of the body. It is widely used for treating spinal problems, back pain, neck pain, joint problems, and chronic headaches.

This treatment involves a trained chiropractor adjusting and aligning the spine and other body parts.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine is a 3,000-year-old Indian medical practice that relies on special diets, herbs, and unique methods to treat various illnesses.

Herbal Medicine

According to the WHO, around 80% of the world population uses herbal medicine to treat health issues like premenstrual syndrome, allergies, chronic fatigue, and more. The treatment involves various plant parts like berries, leaves, flowers, and roots to treat these problems.

 

Pros And Cons Of Alternative Medicine

Pros

Whole Body Care

Alternative medicine emphasizes whole-body care, where practitioners address a patient’s emotional, mental, and spiritual health along with their physical body. It takes a detailed look at the patient’s diet, lifestyle, daily routine, and other factors that could contribute to illness.

Address The Root Cause

One of the primary reasons for the rising popularity of alternative medicine is its approach that involves treating the illness at its root. Unlike conventional medicine, which centers on treating the symptoms, alternative medicine prioritizes preventing disease before it manifests.

Personal Attention

Conventional medicine practitioners are often strapped for time due to packed waiting rooms and health insurance gridlocks; alternative medicine emphasizes one-on-one care and consultation.

Less Expensive

Alternative medicine largely relies on herbs, oils, energies, and therapeutic touches to heal.

Cons

  • Limited acceptance by health insurance companies
  • Some herbs can lead to adverse reactions
  • It cannot diagnose serious illnesses like cancer and heart disease
  • Not always backed by scientific research
  • Treatment time is generally longer than conventional medicine
  • Lack of regulations

 

References:

https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/what-is-patient-safety/errors-injuries-accidents-infections

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2/full

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00404-001-0270-7

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1136/acupmed-2014-010720

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1524904212001877?via%3Dihub

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S002074891400296X?via%3Dihub

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3887317/

https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/conventional-medicine

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21033-chiropractic-adjustment

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurvedic-medicine-in-depth