HomeNewsAlternative medicine

Alternative medicine

By Naseem Alzu’bi

The concept of alternative medicine is used to express any medical practices that do not fall under the concept of traditional medicine. It is also used to express medical practices that have not been consistently shown to be effective in this field. Sometimes, it is used to describe the famous and traditional medical practices of various societies that do not…  On any scientific basis and not linked to confirmed evidence.

 Critics believe that the concept of alternative medicine is one of the elusive concepts that is used in order to provide a good impression of the medical method used. In one of his writings, Richard Dawkins, a British biologist and ethologist, presented that there is no alternative treatment or medicine. Still, rather there is an effective treatment and medicine and an ineffective treatment and medicine.

_Alternative medicine : 

Alternative medicine is not learned within traditional medicine; instead, it is based on ancient historical foundations and various experiences in treatment without building them on a taught scientific basis. Many people, especially non-advanced people, use alternative medicine, so alternative medicine is used as primary medicine. The treatment does not depend on medicines and chemical drugs but rather another method in which medicinal herbs, natural materials, and other traditional methods are used that have proven effective in treating many diseases. Alternative medicine has existed since ancient times and was known in the oldest human civilizations, such as the Pharaonic civilization, and has remained in existence until now.  Despite the development of modern medicine and the development of its devices and tools, alternative medicine has proven its effectiveness in treating many diseases.

_Types of alternative medicine:

 The World Health Organization, through the National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine, has classified the types of alternative medicine in several kinds, including:

  1. Treatment with herbs and natural products: Treatment with herbs and natural products is considered one of the oldest methods of treatment and alternative medicine, which are the true beginnings of traditional medicine. The most famous herbs and natural products in alternative medicine are the following : 
  • Mint: The mint plant contains many elements that the human body needs, so it is used to treat many medical problems, such as stomach pain.
  • Chamomile: It has multiple benefits in treating heart disease, acidity, nausea, and ulcers.
  • Parsley: It is a vegetable that has a pleasant smell and contains many elements necessary for the human body, such as potassium, iron, and vitamin B6. It helps relieve menstrual symptoms, stress, and urinary retention.
  • Flax oil: Very beneficial for blood vessels, nerves, and prostate.
  • Thyme: Thyme works as a good antibiotic to protect against many viruses, so it is drunk a lot in the winter season when the influenza virus spreads widely. It also treats sore throats and coughs and gets rid of the effects of wounds. 
  • dandelion: It is an herbal plant known since ancient times, and it has been used in the past as part of alternative medicine treatments. This herbal plant works to cleanse the liver and maintain the digestive system, in addition to enhancing the ability of the pancreas to work, and also helps in lower blood sugar levels.

_Herbs have proven their effectiveness in treating many diseases with high efficiency. Still, one of their drawbacks is that they sometimes interfere with each other and interfere with modern medical drugs. Herbal medicine has become part of the treatment of incurable diseases, and herbal formulations have also entered the formulations of chemical drugs used in modern medicine.

  1. Treatment with mental and physical practices: This method of treatment is considered one of the methods of alternative medicine, which depends on some physical and mental practices, with the aim of revitalizing the body and getting rid of various health problems. Among these practices are the following:
  • Chinese needles: Chinese acupuncture is considered one of the oldest methods of alternative treatment, dating back to the ancient Chinese civilization. These acupunctures are used to treat many medical conditions, such as drug addiction and asthma, in addition to their ability to get rid of dehydration and enhance the secretion of the hormone cortisone, which works on  Getting rid of nervous and physical infections. The mechanism of action of these needles is based on injecting the human body with sterile, thin needles to stimulate specific areas of the body to activate the healing process, which has been proven by several studies on the effectiveness of these needles in treating some diseases, such as depression, insomnia, neck pain, and fertility problems.
  • Sound therapy and massage: This is what is meant by treatment with calm music, especially with psychological conditions, such as nervous tension and sleep disorders, but there is what is called the physiological musical chair, which was manufactured to treat some musculoskeletal diseases, in addition to psychological and nervous conditions, by emitting sounds such as Vibrations begin the massage process, which aims to stimulate blood circulation.
  • Spiritual treatment: This type of treatment is also called healing touch, and it is one of the treatments rarely used in alternative medicine. The treatment method depends on the therapist broadcasting positive energy into the sick person’s body.
  • Yoga:
  •  Yoga is originally one of the types of non-strenuous exercise, considered one of the most prominent alternative medicine treatments, mainly because it depends on relaxing the body, strengthening the muscles, and meditation. Therefore, this sport is used in the treatment of many medical conditions, such as depression, especially after childbirth for women, in addition to…  The ability of this game to stimulate the brain to build new cells in the body, in addition to stimulating the secretion of the opioid hormone, which works to relieve pain.
  • Chiropractic treatment: This type of treatment depends on the specialist affecting the spine in a specific way with the aim of improving body functions and reducing pain, such as lower back pain and neck pain, as well as getting rid of headaches.
  • Energy healing medicine: There are many methods used in energy therapy, and here we mention some of these main areas:  

_Magnetic field therapy: A magnetic field or electricity is used to treat several bone and muscle problems. This type of treatment may help treat fractures faster and may be helpful in treating bone problems and arthritis, but it should be noted that magnetic field therapy may not be appropriate.  In cases of pregnancy, or if the patient has an implanted heart device or an insulin pump.

_Reiki: It is believed that this type of treatment works to exploit the body’s natural energy to speed up healing, as the therapist raises his hand over the patient’s body in a specific way to direct the energy through his hand to the patient’s body to promote recovery.

  • Cupping therapy: Its use has become widespread among athletes these days, as it works to reduce pain and inflammation and increase blood flow and relaxation by using cups for suction, either through heat or automatic pumps on the surface of the skin. It is worth noting that cupping may have some side effects, such as bruising, burns, and skin infections.

_Advantages of alternative medicine : 

  • It relies on natural substances available directly in nature and does not include any complex chemical formulations.
  • There are few adverse side effects of its treatments compared to the side effects of chemical treatments used in modern medicine.
  • Focuses on spiritual and psychological aspects.  For the body in addition to the physical, in contrast to modern medicine, which is concerned with the body as a physical thing that primarily suffers from pain.
  • It is considered less materially expensive compared to modern medicine.

_Benefits of alternative medicine:

 There are many benefits that push patients towards folk medicine instead of using prescription medications. Healthcare doctors have become more open and accepting of folk medicine and the benefits it can provide to the body. Below, we mention some of the benefits of alternative medicine that its advocates embrace: 

  • Improves the patient’s quality of life by relieving pain.
  • It treats the actual cause of the disease and reduces the resulting symptoms.
  • It is safer due to the use of natural materials.
  • The cost of alternative medicine is low compared to modern medicine.
  • The therapist is easily accessible, with their abundance.

_Harms and risks of alternative medicine: Alternative therapy is based on experiences and has developed based on specific beliefs and cultures, unlike drugs tested and developed through scientific research. Although some of these practices may be safe and effective, there are also some potential risks associated with them. Risks include the following:

  • Ineffectiveness of treatment: Alternative treatment may not be as effective as traditional medical treatment in treating some health conditions.
  • Drug interactions: Some alternative treatments may interact with prescribed medications, which may lead to serious side effects.
  • Side effects: Some alternative treatments may cause side effects, such as nausea, headache, or allergic reactions.
  • Misdiagnosis: The use of alternative treatments may delay or prevent accurate diagnosis of a health condition, which may worsen the condition.

_Some people resort to folk therapy, or what is called alternative medicine, which is a group of therapeutic methods that are used in conjunction with modern medicine. These methods have had an essential role in the development of medicine in general. This type of treatment has existed since the existence of humans and has been developed.  Over time to suit life circumstances.

 But some types of treatments that are used in folk medicine are not compatible with modern treatment methods because there is a difference between it and modern medicine, where folk treatment lives with people as part of their customs and culture, and the reason for the spread of this type of medicine until now can be explained by the fact that some of these  Treatments are linked to religious beliefs.

 Sometimes, alternative treatment can help heal many cases and have a positive effect on the patient, and sometimes, it does not give the desired results. In most cases, it depends on animal products, herbs, and minerals. Treatment with alternative medicine does not at all negate treatment with drugs, medications, and modern medicine. It is an effective treatment for diseases, making it the basis of treatment.


Latest Issue

April 2024

Most Popular