Overview

Alternative Medicine | Complementary Medicine | Integrative Medicine:
Today there is an increasing trend in society to look outside the conventional role of medicine to find answers for one’s health care problems and that of their family members. While conventional medicine is preferred in the treatment of trauma and emergencies, Alternative Medicine approaches unconventional therapies that are used in place of conventional medicine excelling in prevention and the treatment of chronic disease. Complementary Medicine is another option; using unconventional therapies as a supplement to conventional medicine. Many of these unconventional therapies are now being recognized and integrated with conventional health care services. Termed Integrative Medicine, these therapies combine conventional medicine and complementary approaches and supplements yet do not replace conventional therapy. Integrative Medicine is based on a physician-patient partnership in which both conventional and alternative modalities are used to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential. It is used for:
* Managing symptoms * Increasing wellness (quality of life and sense of well-being) * Improving treatment efficacy * Curing illness in some cases.

Homeopathic Medicine:
Homeopathic Medicine was developed in the early 1800s by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and pharmacist. This form of holistic medicine is used to treat the person’s whole “state.” It is based on the principle of treating like with like (the principle of similars). Extreme dilutions (the minimum dose) of animal, vegetable, or mineral preparations are used to stimulate the innate human healing systems. Symptoms are often considered positive and are not suppressed. Supporters of homeopathic medicine believe that these diluted extracts can be potent remedies for illnesses and diseases. Examples of application of homeopathic remedies to simple problems include treating the common cold, earaches, hay fever, digestive problems, respiratory infections, and the flu. Constitutional remedies are treatments that are obtained in consultation with a trained homeopath, and are focused on improving over all well-being.

Energy Medicine:
Energy Medicine has an emphasis on therapies that are directed towards alteration of energy fields originating within the body (biofields) or outside of the body (electromagnetic fields). Magnet therapy (also known as magnetic field therapy or biomagnetic therapy) involves the use of magnets, magnetic devices, or magnetic fields to treat a variety of conditions, including circulatory problems, certain forms of arthritis, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and stress. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and microcurrent therapies are examples of devices that use the application of external electromagnetic energy for promotion of health. Some examples of therapies that deal with effecting the body’s own bioelectromagnetic system include Chi-kung, Reiki, Radionics, Healing Touch, and Therapeutic Touch.

Chi-kung, also referred to as Qi gong, is an ancient Chinese exercise system that aims to stimulate and balance the flow of “chi” or vital energy, along the acupuncture meridians, or energy pathways. Chi-kung is used to reduce stress, improve blood circulation, enhance immune function, and treat a variety of health conditions.

Practitioners of Reiki, an ancient Tibetan healing system, use light hand placements to channel healing energies to the recipient. Reiki is commonly used to treat emotional and mental distress as well as chronic and acute physical problems. It is also used to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity. Reiki practitioners may vary widely in the techniques they use.

Therapeutic Touch or healing touch is practiced by registered nurses and others to accelerate wound healing, relieve pain, promote relaxation, prevent illness, and ease the dying process. The practitioner uses light touch or works with their hands near the client’s body in an effort to restore balance to the client’s energy system.

Radionics a method of diagnosis and treatment at a distance which utilizes specially designed instruments that practitioners can use to determine the underlying causes of diseases within a living system – be it human, animal, plant, or the soil itself. While Radionics is mainly used to diagnose and treat human ailments, it has also been used extensively in agriculture to increase yields, control pest, and enhance the health of livestock.

Oriental Medicine | Acupuncture:
Oriental Medicine is an ancient holistic system of healing that uses a variety of modalities. Medicinal herbs (and occasionally some animal and mineral products) in whole and natural form are used to treat and prevent mental, physical, and emotional illness. Herbs are believed to restore harmony to the mind, body, and emotions. Eastern Herbalism is frequently used in conjunction with acupuncture and the other modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some of the therapies include acupuncture, acupressure, Tuina, Shiatsu, and Chi-kung (also referred to as Qi gong).

Acupuncture literally means “needle piercing.” Very fine needles are inserted into the skin to stimulate specific points called acupoints. It has traditionally been taught as a preventive form of health care, but has also been found useful in the treatment of a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years in China as a major part of their primary health care system. In modern times, it is used for the prevention of and treatment of diseases, for the relief of pain, and as an anesthetic for surgery. There are various painless, non-needle methods of acupuncture administration, including electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and laser.

Acupressure is based on the principles of acupuncture. This ancient Chinese technique involves the use of finger pressure (rather than needles) at specific points along the body to treat ailments such as arthritis, tension and stress, aches and pains, and menstrual cramps. This system is also used for general preventive health care.

Shiatsu is a Japanese word that means “finger pressure.” Pressure is applied to points in the body using fingers, palms, elbows, arms knees, and feet, working on the body’s energy system. Different techniques are used to relieve pain and release energy blockages. This is a form of acupressure.

Chinese Bodywork Therapy Tuina is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy that has been used in China for over 2,000 years. Tuina uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation.

Chi-kung, also referred to as Qi gong, is an ancient Chinese exercise system that aims to stimulate and balance the flow of “chi” or vital energy, along the acupuncture meridians, or energy pathways. Chi-kung is used to reduce stress, improve blood circulation, enhance immune function, and treat a variety of health conditions.

Fibromyalgia | Chronic Fatigue:
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or CFIDS) have a number of symptoms that crossover, some of which include chronic fatigue, headaches, post-exertional malaise, muscle pain or aching, irritable bowel symptoms, and unrefreshing rest. Both of these chronic illnesses are difficult to accurately diagnose; however, the immune system seems to be affected in most patients. Various treatments are offered and many times change in diet as well as daily routine can help. Many alternative medicine therapies have been helpful for those suffering from these symptoms, especially in the area of Botanical Medicine, Nutritional Therapy, Functional Medicine, Biofeedback, and Guided Imagery. Massage therapy, physical therapy, energy medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, and other modalities from Traditional Chinese Medicine can have beneficial effects as well.

In Botanical Medicine, plant preparations are used as medicine to restore health and maintain health. Herbs are complex in that they contain many different active chemical constituents and work best when used whole in their natural state or extracted state. Herbs are used to regulate the immune system, alleviate disease or symptoms of disease, prevent disease recurrence, and to detoxify the system.

Nutritional Therapy is the therapeutic use of individualized dietary/nutritional programs, specific foods, vitamins, and minerals to balance the body and prevent illness. Nutritional Therapy requires knowledge of biochemistry, physiology, nutritional science, concepts, and strategies.

Functional Medicine uses an approach to the treatment of chronic disease that is based on the principle that restoration of proper cellular metabolism. It accomplishes this through reducing cumulative toxic load and oxidative stress to the body, and allowing for normalization cellular energy production leads ultimately to a reduction of the signs and symptoms of chronic disease. While standard nutritional support protocols alone are quite beneficial for cases of mild to moderate chronic disease, more severe cases often require a more comprehensive functional approach. The functional medicine philosophy was initially developed for clinical use in chronic fatigue patients with excellent results, and because of the commonality observed in many chronic conditions, it has been used over the years in other disorders with great success, including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and auto-immune disorders.

Biofeedback is a technique that promotes the normalization of body’s innate healing system through providing feedback on small biological and metabolic changes in one’s own body (temperature changes, heart rate, muscle tension, etc.) with the aid of sensitive machines. By consciously visualizing, relaxing or imagining while observing light, sound, or metered feedback, the client learns to make subtle adjustments to move toward a more balanced internal state.

Guided Imagery involves using mental images to promote physical healing or changes in attitudes or behavior. Practitioners may lead clients through visualization exercises or offer instruction in using imagery as a self-help tool. Guided imagery is often used to alleviate stress and to treat stress-related conditions such as insomnia and high blood pressure. People with cancer, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other disorders also use it, in order to boost the immune system.

Arthritis | Degenerative Disease:
Arthritis and other degenerative disease conditions affect 43 million Americans, according to the CDC’s National Center for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. These degenerative diseases create a challenge for those trying to function normally in society while managing the pain from their disease. If it is osteoarthritis (a.k.a. degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis, or some other form of this disease, the patient wants to obtain help for the pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints. Many clinicians offer various alternative medicine treatment options for handling the pain, such as acupuncture, electromagnetic therapies, homeopathy, life style management, manual (massage) and other bodywork therapies, physical therapies, skeletal manipulation and dietary supplements to ease the symptoms and add to their relief.

Osteoporosis:
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Osteoporosis is a major public health threat to an estimated 44 million Americans. This is a disease that is described as having low bone mass and structural deterioration of the bone tissue. These factors lead to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures – usually of the hip, spine, and wrist. It usually affects women; however, men can be affected as well. Prevention is the key to reducing this trend in Osteoporosis. A balanced diet, the right vitamins and minerals, weight-bearing exercise, and a healthy lifestyle help to lower the prevalence. Alternative medicine treatments that can restore losses in function caused by changes related to Osteoporosis include physical, and manual therapies, exercise physiology, botanical medicine, nutritional therapy, and biofeedback.

Physical therapy is the treatment of disease and optimization of health by physical and mechanical means. Multiple modalities of therapy are applied to relieve pain, restore, and rehabilitate body tissues. A physical therapist is a specialist trained in using exercise and physical activities to condition muscles, joints and soft tissues, improve level of activity, and improve tissue flexibility and joint mobility. Physical therapy is especially helpful in those with physical debilitating illness (for example stroke), various injuries, and chronic degenerative diseases of the musculo-skeletal and nervous systems. Many physical therapists specialize in specific modalities and have special expertise in treating certain disorders. Some examples are therapies directed at bladder continence, posttraumatic pain, and disorders of balance or problems with vertigo and dizziness.

Headaches | Chronic Pain:
Over 45 million Americans suffer from headaches – adults as well as children, according to the National Headache Foundation. The three major types of headaches are tension (tension-type), vascular (migraine and cluster), and organic (headaches in children). There are many effective treatments within alternative medicine that help resolve the symptoms. Some of those therapies include acupuncture, acupressure, homeopathy, manual therapies, Qi gong, chiropractic, and yoga. Another common alternative treatment is herbal therapy, as some herbs are believed to relieve headache pain.
Others suffer from Chronic Pain. This is persistent pain that continues for weeks, months, and even years. It is debilitating and wears on individuals dealing with the malady. Medications, acupuncture, local electrical stimulation, and brain stimulation, as well as surgery, are some treatments for chronic pain. Some physicians use placebos, which in some cases has resulted in a lessening or elimination of pain. Psychotherapy, relaxation and medication therapies, biofeedback, and behavior modification may also be employed to treat chronic pain.
Acupuncture literally means, “needle piercing.” Very fine needles are inserted into the skin to stimulate specific points called acupoints. It has traditionally been taught as a preventive form of health care, but has also been found useful in the treatment of a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years in China as a major part of their primary healthcare system. In modern times, it is used for the prevention of and treatment of diseases, for the relief of pain, and as an anesthetic for surgery. There are various painless non-needle methods of acupuncture administration including electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and laser.
Acupressure is based on the principles of acupuncture. This ancient Chinese technique involves the use of finger pressure (rather than needles) at specific points along the body to treat ailments such as arthritis, tension and stress, aches and pains, and menstrual cramps. This system is also used for general preventive health care.

Yoga is a general term for a range of body/mind exercise practices used to access consciousness and encourage physical and mental well-being. Some forms concentrate on achieving perfection in posture and alignment of the body; others aim at mental control to access higher consciousness. Between these two are forms of yoga that focus on the interrelationship of body, mind, and energy.

Cranio-sacral Therapy is a manual therapeutic procedure for remedying distortions in the structure and function of the brain and spinal cord, the bones of the skull, the sacrum, and interconnected membranes. This type of therapy arose from the discipline of osteopathic manipulation. Manipulative techniques involving the gentle manipulation of the bones of the skull and sacrum are used. The aim of the treatment is to balance the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and stimulate the body to heal itself. It is used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, TMJ, and a range of other conditions.

Myofascial Release Therapy is a hands-on technique that seeks to free the body form the grip of tight fascia, or connective tissue, thus restoring normal alignment and function and reducing pain. Using their hands, therapists apply mild, sustained pressure to gently stretch and soften the fascia. Myofascial release is used to treat neck and back pain, headaches, recurring sports injuries, scoliosis, and other conditions.

Neuromuscular Therapy emphasizes the role of the brain, spine, and nerves in muscular pain. One goal is to relieve tender, congested spots in muscle tissue and compressed nerves that may radiate pain to other areas of the body.

Psycho-Therapy/Counseling offers the psychological treatment of mental, emotional and nervous disorders, based primarily upon verbal or non-verbal communication with the client. This is in contrast to treatments using chemical and physical measures.

Relaxation and Visualization are two separate stress relieving techniques often used together to reduce muscle tension and overcome mental and emotional problems. Relaxation balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic (autonomic) nervous system. Therapists use and teach techniques which de-stress muscles and induce a calm mind and body. Visualization is the conscious use of your imagination to create positive images used to heal. Visualization encourages right-brain activity and uses images to assist with healing from the injurious effects of previous experience, and prepare the subject for potential stressful future experience.

Biofeedback is a technique used especially for stress-related conditions such as asthma, migraines, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Biofeedback is a way of monitoring minute metabolic changes in one’s own body (temperature changes, heart rate, muscle tension, etc.) with the aid of sensitive machines. By consciously visualizing, relaxing or imagining while observing light, sound or metered feedback, the client learns to make subtle adjustments to move toward a more balanced internal state.

Chronic Disease | Cardiovascular Disease | Cancer | Diabetes:
According to the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. These diseases account for 7 of every 10 deaths and affect the quality of life of 90 million Americans. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable. Since Alternative Medicine excels in prevention, this is a key target area for practitioners to concentrate much of their therapy efforts for improvement.

Allergies:
Allergies are high sensitivities to a usually harmless substance. There are multiple types of allergies and people can develop them throughout their life. Some of these allergies might be listed as food, childhood, seasonal, pet, dust mite, gluten intolerance, lactose, and pollen. Alternative medicine offers various ways for a person to cope with allergic symptoms other than the traditional medical treatment and medications. Some of these treatments are acupuncture, acupressure, homeopathy, chiropractic care, NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques), EPD (enzyme potentiated desensitization), nutritional medicine, functional medicine, botanical medicine and reflexology.
Acupuncture literally means, “needle piercing.” Very fine needles are inserted into the skin to stimulate specific points called acupoints. It has traditionally been taught as a preventive form of health care, but has also been found useful in the treatment of a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years in China as a major part of their primary healthcare system. In modern times, it is used for the prevention of and treatment of diseases, for the relief of pain, and as an anesthetic for surgery. There are various painless non-needle methods of acupuncture administration including electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and laser.
Acupressure is based on the principles of acupuncture. This ancient Chinese technique involves the use of finger pressure (rather than needles) at specific points along the body to treat ailments such as arthritis, tension and stress, aches and pains, and menstrual cramps. This system is also used for general preventive health care.

Chiropractic care is therapy that works on the musculo-skeletal system, focusing mainly on the spine and its effect on the nervous system. It restores the spinal and musculo-skeletal system to normal by using manipulative techniques and specific adjustments, manipulating one joint at a time.

NAET is a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to eliminate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.

EPD is a method of allergy or immunotherapy treatment using extremely small doses of allergens potentiated by the addition of beta-glucuronidase (an enzyme normally present in the body) to desensitize people from their allergies. It has been seen to be effective for inhalant, food, and chemical sensitivities, along with acting on other significant health problems.

Reflexology is based on the idea that specific points on the feet and hands correspond with organs and tissues throughout the body. With fingers and thumbs, the practitioner applies pressure to these points to treat a wide range of stress-related ailments.