Natural Health And Alternative Medicine, The Best Choice For Wellness?

Natural health and alternative medicine are becoming very popular methods of both preventing and treating disease. As the population, in particular the baby boomers, continue to age, many are looking at alternative health solutions.

It’s become obvious to many that the status quo methods of health care are no longer effective. In this model, health needs are addressed only after a person becomes ill. By this time, there are often many problems that could have been prevented had a natural health method been used.

Once a problem has surfaced, prescription drugs are usually used to treat the symptoms that appear. Unfortunately, most of these are in some way or another toxic to the body. In essence, most prescription drugs are poisons that produce desirable side effects. For example, a traditional medication may help to ease pain but at the same time be damaging to the liver, which can lead to more serious problems.

As awareness of the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs is raised, more and more people are turning to natural health solutions.

Sometimes called holistic healing, the alternative health methods that are being widely used today treat the body as a whole, hence the term holistic healing. The health of both body and mind are considered before there is illness, and often times alternative medicine or natural health products are used to ward off disease before it has a chance to surface. The focus turns from fighting disease to promoting wellness.

Holistic healing products are produced with non toxic, natural ingredients that work together to help the body remain healthy or reach a better level of health. Often times, these products are formulated in such a way to promote better health on a cellular level, to help the immune system function properly, and to prevent or decrease inflammation in the body.

This movement away from treating illness towards creating health will be a determining factor in helping people of all ages to live happier, more satisfying lives.

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Alternative Health and Fitness

The cost of healthcare in the United States has skyrocketed for the last several decades. The high cost of health insurance alone exceeds what most of the population can even afford. When combined with the cost of matters not covered by the insurance, the result is often bankruptcy. Furthermore, many of the people who are most in need of healthcare are often deemed uninsurable. Therefore, they rarely get the care that they require.

The current economic state of healthcare in America has proven to be a catalyst for the booming alternative health and fitness industry. The growth of this industry over the last decade or two has been staggering. Recent studies have suggested that by 2010, nearly 65% of the American population will be using some form of alternative approach to wellness.

Alternative health and fitness regimens are often designed to use the body’s natural chemistry and defenses as a means of achieving good health. Acupuncture for instance, has many physical benefits which have been understood by the Chinese for centuries. In Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used to adjust the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”) which when blocked is the cause of bad health.

Over the past few decades Western medicine has become much more accepting of acupuncture as a legitimate medical technique, although for more “scientific” reasons. Medical studies have shown that the procedure uses the body’s nervous system to alter brain chemistry by releasing neurotransmitters and other biochemicals; often leading to improved immune function, blood circulation, and a multitude of other benefits as well.

Acupuncture, as with many other alternative health and wellness programs, can have very real, positive effects on the human body. However, care must be taken before beginning any alternative health regimen. Many of these wellness systems are scientifically unproven and can often do more harm than good.

Unfortunately, many (definitely not all) proponents of alternative medicine are the quintessential snake-oil salesmen. While there are a considerable amount of unconventional healing methods which have legitimate scientifically proven benefits, there are also numerous frauds on the market. Before beginning a new health regimen, make sure you do your research.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for Web sites on yoga, recreation, and home decor. H

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