Health care has always been a big concern for many people, as it concerns how their health and well being is taken care of, since a person’s productivity can greatly be affected by serious diseases such as diabetes and other health problems needing something less serious such as a hemorrhoid treatment. When people get sick, they are provided with tablets, pills, and syrups of medicines, as well as professional care from medical practitioners. But there are times when none of these seemed effective, so it is important if there are other options that could provide hope and relief for these people. Alternative health care provides people with additional options for their health and well being. This involves methods handed down from one generation to another, aimed at providing relief to various bodily ailments and concerns.One of the most common alternative health care methods is the use of herbal medicines. These medicines are from certain plants found in the environment, and have been used even for hundreds of years already. Plant parts like leaves and stalks are used as medicine, usually in the form of plant extracts. They’re either used topically, such as a hemorrhoid treatment or ingested just like regular ordinary medicine in syrup form. Herbal medicines are usually used for common problems like migraines, arthritis, menstrual problems, asthma, high blood pressure, depression, and a lot more. These herbal medicines are really effective, and most of the time, they’re turned into tablets and sold to stores just like regular medicines.Another alternative health care method is reflexology. Reflexology involves the pressure points found on the feet, as these points correspond to various organs of the body. This method is known as acupressure, and the aim of performing this is to send signals to the nervous system to soothe the ailing body. Acupressure also restores the balance of the body through the signals being sent. For starters, acupressure may somehow be discomforting, but as the practice continues, the discomfort subsides and is replaced by relaxation.Alternative health care may be effective to some, and be totally useless to others. However, it is quite reassuring to know that aside from the medicine sold at drugstores, the doctors and the hospitals, there are other options to explore when it comes to caring for your health. Most of these alternative health care methods rely on naturally occurring things, so it offers a very natural approach to a person’s health and wellness. Some of this can also be administered independently, as it aims to provide immediate relief to common health concerns.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (also called TCM) is the term given to a wide variety of treatments from various locations across Asia. While considered an alternative therapy in Western countries, it’s a long-standing and widely accepted medical practice in many Asian countries. But what exactly is TCM?The Simplest DefinitionTraditional Chinese Medicine is all about balance. It’s also a holistic approach, treating the mind, body and spirit as intertwined. Any one part of a complete organism that gets out of balance – in both the physical and meta-physical sense – and illness will occur.It gets it’s roots in the yinyang theory (which has been absorbed by Taoism). Yinyang theory is again all about balance. It states that all phenomena in the universe can be divided into two opposite yet complementary parts. Some familiar examples might be female/male, cold/hot, moon/sun, light/dark and so forth. In the strictest sense, neither is good or bad, but instead both are parts of the whole. Traditional Chinese Medicine is meant to maintain balance and maintain health in the process.Qi and MeridiansQi (pronounced and often written as chi) refers to the vital force of the body. It’s often mis-understood to mean “spirit” or “soul” when it fact, it’s more like an energetic blood that flows through the body. It flows through the body along the meridian lines, as well as through other channels.The details of qi alone can be a lifetime study, and it’s far beyond the scope of this article. All you really need to know is this: qii s an energy that flows through the body and it’s very important to Chinese medicine.So What Kinds of Treatments Can I Expect from Chinese Medicine?As a holistic therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine includes a surprising array of treatments. Here are just a few:Herbal medicine- This includes the use of herbs, roots, mushrooms and other natural products for their medicinal value. Some exotic animal parts and minerals may also be used, some of which are very controversial. There are herbal medicines to treat virtually illness and condition known to medical science, and even some that aren’t.Acupuncture- This is the practice of inserting needles – very thin ones – into certain points along the body. Traditional acupuncture follows the meridian lines mentioned earlier, but modern practitioners are adding their own spin to their methods. Acupuncture is commonly used for chronic pain, psychological disorders, or other nervous-system disorders. It’s more devout supporters will recommend it for just about anything else, too.Cupping- Cupping is an unusual form of massage/detoxification. This requires special glass cups which have the air inside heated by a flame or smoke. While still warm inside, they are placed on the back where they then suck up the skin into the cup. Some of the more modern clinic also use cups with pumps installed. Meant to cleanse the body of toxins, it’s not recommended if you plan to go to the beach: it leaves great big red circles all down your back!Gua sha- Another unusual treatment, gua sha is the process of rubbing the skin with smooth bits of jade, stone, bone or tusk. It’s not a gentle treatment, often resulting in painful bruising or red marks on the skin. It’s believed therapeutic use is quite broad, however, as it is be used for everything from hot weather to cholera. Not a treatment for those with a low pain threshold!Physical and Breathing exercises – Traditional Chinese Medicine also encourages its practitioners/patients to engage in healthy exercise. For the flow and balance of qi, however, only the right exercises will do. Taichi, qigong, yoga, meditation and martial arts are all considered excellent exercises within Traditional Chinese Medicine, as is meditation and various breathing exercises.Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Safe?Traditional Chinese Medicine is… medicine. That means that if used correctly, it can have great therapeutic value. But like any medicine used incorrectly, it can be dangerous. Always consult health care professionals before starting any new treatment.Traditional Chinese Medicine has the additional hazard of being less regulated. Scams and con artists abound, so it’s as important to check credentials as carefully as any other healthcare professional you see. Also, this lack of regulation means that many Chinese medical practices are largely untested by the scientific community. This means that the therapies can range from beneficial, to useless, or even to harmful. Again, care and common sense should be your guide.Is Traditional Chinese Medicine for Me?Put simply: maybe. Between drug recalls, doctor errors, and skyrocketing medical costs, many people are turning to alternative therapies. They can benefit a patient in many ways. For some people, however, it may not be the best choice. For those with serious conditions such as cancer or acute conditions like appendicitis, Western medicine still has a better track record. However, it doesn’t mean these treatments can’t be supplemented with Traditional Chinese Medicine for even greater effect. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your healthcare plan.
The majority of developing countries are going through a phase of development and are also facing numerous challenges at the moment. As far as the health sector is concerned, the top most problem is related to the poor functioning of the health systems and its solution lies in public health. Public health, is based on the health of populations rather than individuals. This is the main reason why it has got much more importance than the clinical medicine which deals with the health of individuals.In most of the developing countries, there is a lack of public health specialists. There are numerous factors behind this shortage, a few of which are of utmost importance. To start off, lack of awareness about preventive medicine and public health is one of the primary reasons. Even all those professionals which are involved in the healthcare sector in one way or the other are not aware of the preventive model, its significance and its implications. Secondly, the primary focus in developing countries has always been on the treatment of diseases and yield of clinicians rather than prevention of diseases. The third and one of the most important factors is that there are much less institutes offering degrees in preventive medicine as compared to those which offer degrees in clinical medicine.All these factors serve as the basis for shortage of public health specialists in developing countries. These countries need preventive medicine specialists in abundance and there is no better time than this to step into the world of preventive medicine. Promoting preventive medicine is the sole solution by which the health systems can be improved. In addition to this, preventive medicine offers flourishing career pathways to all the healthcare professionals. There is an enormous range of sub specialties within preventive medicine and you may choose the one, depending on your interest and background academic education. These sub specialties range from public health nurse to community nutritionist, epidemiologist, bio statistician, health economist, disaster management expert, environmental health practitioner, policy advisor and many others. By and large, if you choose public health as a career, you are not only able to serve your nation and improve the health status of your own people but you are also rewarded with a thriving career having high salary packages. It is therefore high time to come and join the world of preventive medicine, serve your country and get a rewarding career.