The History of Alternative Medicine

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A fresh Fad or Steeped in Ancient History?

You may well be new to using alternative treatment or perhaps you have already seen the astounding benefits alternative medicine and alternative therapies will 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 into the fascinating history of alternative healthcare.

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

From Eastern Philosophy to Popular Western Alternatives

One of the oldest forms of complementary medicine can be traced back through Chinese history. The standard Chinese, in much the same way as alternative medicine is utilized today, based their healing around the importance of the body and spirit in balance. Much of the philosophy of Traditional chinese medicine is based on Taoist and Buddhist principals and also the belief that a person and their environment are closely interlinked. The widely known principles of Yin and Yang come from Chinese Medicine and are integral to its practice. Yin and Yang explains how opposing forces are integral together and how for harmony within your body to take place, these should be in balance. When these are out of balance, disease occurs.

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Kinesiology works at restoring balance in a variety of 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 in greater detail to ascertain where their life force or Qi (pronounced Chi) was uneven. Various methods would then be used to restore the patient to health. Such was the effectiveness of Chinese Traditional Medicine who's still forms a big part of modern health care within the East. It's not unusual of these "alternative" practices to be used in hospitals alongside western medicine.

One other Eastern Culture that has a long history of alternative medicine is India. Ayurvedic medicine goes as far as 6000 in years past and like Chinese Medicine also has links with Buddhism. Ayurveda comes from 2 Sanskrit words - Ayu meaning life and veda meaning understanding of. It is a system of medication that keeps a persons body, spirit and mind in tune with nature as a way to maintain good health.

When in Rome .....

Under western culture, the History of Alternative Medicine starts back around 3000 years. Treatments such as hydrotherapy were popular with the Romans and Greeks. The original Greeks who were greatly relying on the Babylonians and to a smaller extent by India and China brought herbalism into the West. Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC), a Greek physician commonly referred to as the Father of Medicine, practiced herbal medicine.

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

Moving forward in time towards the Nineteenth century, before the rise of Western Medicine, once we now know it, medical practitioners were more like today's naturopaths. They would take a detailed health background paying particular attention to the patient's lifestyle. They might then suggest methods to improve this by modifications in diet, environment and would also prescribe herbal remedies.

How a Bit of Mould Turned the Tables on Alternative healthcare

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

Although many Doctors forget about what they considered to be outdated treatments such as homeopathy, herbalism and traditional Chinese Medicine many patients still sort them out, particularly if conventional medicine didn't appear to be working for them.

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

The result now is that Alternative healthcare is on the increase. Practices such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and healing are kept alive by practitioners who specialise in one of more alternative form of treatment. Frequently alternatives are widely-used alongside modern medical treatments, which have led to alternatives receiving the term complimentary medicine.

This brief reputation alternative medicine shows that lots of the practices used today are already with us for thousands of years. Given the rising popularity of using alternative healthcare to deal with health issues today, it's likely that these practices is going to be around for many more.