As humans adapt to modern medicine, we’re beginning to see a rise in CAM across the world. These are therapies, nutrients and other methods which complement and help other medicines to fight disease and disorders.
Echinacea, Fish Oil and glucosamine are just some of the most popular used natural products in America today. Their popularity is seeing a gradual increase as more and more humans develop natural resistance to medicines such as anti biotics. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Echinacea (a herb also known as the American coneflower) is used to treat the common cold & flu. Tests have revealed that it, “enhances the activity of the immune system, relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and has hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects.” Another popular CAM is Fish Oil, a rich source of Omega-3 and DHA, which is especially good for expecting mothers and is known to be vital in developing fetal and infant brain development. Finally, the usage of Glucosamine is extremely popular with the treatment of osteoarthritis. Being a natural ingredient it helps to reduce the usage of anti-inflammatory agents.
Also known as Diaphragmatic breathing, Deep Breathing helps cope with stress and stress disorders such as PTSD. It also helps patients with asthma to deal with attacks and strengthen their lungs. Yoga practitioners have been using deep breathing techniques for thousands of years to help calm anxiety and stress. The technique is quite easy and breathing exercises take as little as 10 minutes!
Much like deep breathing and yoga, Meditation is an exercise to relax the deep consciousness of the human mind. Much like the Deep Breathing method, Meditation requires little time and can tackle numerous ailments, such as stress, hypertension, sleep deprivation, depression, etc. What differentiates it from Deep Breathing is that it is drastically more focused than deep breathing and reaches deep into the human subconscious. Some people use chants, others use relaxation music both however have been known to help meditation techniques for ages.
Chiropractic & Osteopathic Manipulation:
Chiropractic and osteopathic medicine represents another nonsurgical treatment option for patients with back pain. The primary treatment objective of both osteopathy and chiropracy is to remove bodily aches and pain. Chiropractors employ a wider range of techniques for manipulating the spine, whereas osteopaths employ a wider range of techniques overall.
One of the oldest forms of therapy, massage is known to exist in many cultures for centuries if not more. Massage helps reduce physical pain and also alleviates symptoms of stress and anxiety. Joint pain, muscle pain and other injuries can be treated by professional physiotherapists and licensed practitioners. There is very limited research on the benefits of massage and care must be taken when practicing it without any training as it may lead to worsening of symptoms.
One of the oldest known forms of mental and physical therapy, Yoga has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy. Besides reducing stress Yoga is known to have benefits for lower back pain.
Diet Based Therapies:
It is necessary for the human body to get a balanced diet and to obtain the necessary nutrients otherwise not consumed. These can be vitamins, fish oils, proteins and other natural found ingredients that are necessary for our bodies. However care must be taken before starting a regimen that involves a special diet. Too much of a particular ingredient may result in adverse effects.
A popular therapy amongst physical therapists Progressive Relaxation is relatively new compared to the others mentioned in this list. It is commonly used to treat ulcers, hypertension and insomnia.
Similar to meditation, guided imagery is a mind and body exercise that relieves pains such as lowering blood pressure to achieving personal goals such as quitting smoking or weight loss. Although this form of CAM isn’t suited for everybody it has shown results in a certain amount of people and is growing in popularity.
One of the oldest forms of CAM, homeopathy is facing a resurgence in recent times. Homeopathy is used to treat as diverse symptoms as allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and dermatitis. Homeopathy should not however be used to treat serious ailments such as cancer, infection or serious wounds.