The History of Alternative Medicine

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A New Fad or Steeped in Ancient History?

You may be new to using alternative medicine or perhaps you have already seen the astonishing benefits alternative medicine and alternative therapies may bring to your life. But did you know how long its been practiced where it originated? Well i want to take you on a journey to the fascinating history of alternative healthcare.

The history of Alternative Prescription medication is an interesting one and contains links with many different cultures. Yet it is difficult to say exactly when Complementary medicine began, in part because until recently the practices that come under this term were the traditional medical practices of their time. But if we go back in history and trace a lot of the forms of healing that are now labelled as alternative look for that their origins return as much as 5000 years.

From Eastern Philosophy to Popular Western Alternatives

One of several oldest forms of complementary medicine can be traced back through Chinese history. The ancient Chinese, in like as alternative medicine is employed today, based their healing for the importance of the body and spirit being in balance. Much of the philosophy of Traditional chinese medicine is based on Taoist and Buddhist principals and the belief that a person and their environment are closely interlinked. The well regarded principles of Yin and Yang come from Chinese Medicine and are integral towards the practice. Yin and Yang explains how opposing forces are integral to one another and how for harmony in the human body to take place, these has to be in balance. When they're out of balance, disease occurs.

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Homeopathy works at restoring balance in several ways including herbal medicine, acupuncture, breathing and movement (Tai-chi and Qigong) and also through diet. The practitioner viewed the patient's health and life at length to ascertain where their life force or Qi (pronounced Chi) was uneven. Various methods would then be employed to restore the patient back to health. Such was the strength of Chinese Traditional Medicine it still forms the spine of modern health care from the East. It's not unusual because of these "alternative" practices to be used in hospitals alongside western medicine.

One other Eastern Culture which has a long history of alternative healthcare is India. Ayurvedic medicine extends back as far as 6000 in years past and like Traditional chinese medicine also has links with Buddhism. Ayurveda emanates from 2 Sanskrit words - Ayu meaning life and veda meaning expertise in. It is a system of medication that keeps a persons body, spirit and mind in tune with nature to be able to maintain good health.

When in Rome .....

Under western culture, the History of Alternative Medicine extends back around 3000 years. Treatments including hydrotherapy were popular with the Romans and Greeks. The Ancient Greeks who were greatly affected by the Babylonians and to an inferior extent by China and india brought herbalism into the West. Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC), a Greek physician known as the Father of Medicine, practiced herbal medicine.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Monks in Europe studied and grew medicinal plants and translated many works on the subject from Arabic. Folk Healers also transferred their knowledge of healing through recommendations, from Master to Apprentice. The knowledge of the power different plants have is ingrained in several native civilisations and has allowed man to know and thrive in often challenging environments. When the Europeans settled in America they found out that the Native Americans had a substantial knowledge of the healing power of their indigenous herbs. Likewise the Aborigines australia wide understood the power of plants found in their environment.

Continue in time towards the 1800s, before the rise of Western Medicine, once we now know it, medical practitioners were more like today's naturopaths. They'd take a detailed medical history paying particular care about the patient's lifestyle. They will then suggest solutions to improve this by modifications in diet, environment and would also prescribe herbal products.

How a Bit of Mould Turned the Tables on Complementary medicine

The widespread usage of alternative medicine in its great shape decreased during the Last century. Treatment of patients became more focused on the use of hospitals, and developments in modern medicine lead to the widespread usage of Pharmaceutical Drugs to treat disease. The discovery of Penicillin and its development right into a drug that could treat microbe infections in the 1940's revolutionised healthcare and alternative medicine lost favour with a lot of medical practitioners.

Although many Doctors let go of what they considered to be outdated treatments including homeopathy, herbalism and traditional Chinese Medicine many patients still sort them out, particularly when conventional medicine didn't seem working for them.

No Longer An Alternative, Now Another Choice for Achieving Better Health

The result now is that Alternative Medicine is on the increase. Practices including acupuncture, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and healing are kept alive by practitioners who specialise in one of more alternative type of treatment. Frequently alternatives are utilized alongside modern medical treatments, which have led to alternatives being given the term complimentary medicine.

This brief history of alternative medicine shows that a lot of the practices used today happen to be with us for thousands of years. In the rising popularity of using alternative healthcare to deal with health issues today, the chances are these practices is going to be around for many more.

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