6 Key Reasons Millions Of People Use Alternative Medicine
Maybe you’re curious about alternative medicine and want to know why so many people use it. Maybe you’re skeptical about alternative medicine and are curious about why so many people put their faith in it.
According to The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), “In the United States, approximately 38 percent of adults (about 4 in 10) and approximately 12 percent of children (about 1 in 9) are using some form of CAM.”
“Among adults aged 18 and over, increases were seen from 2012 to 2017 in the use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors during the past year.” (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db325-h.pdf).
According to Grandview Research, 70% of adults surveyed in 2017 in the United States believe complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) provides positive results. 78% of those responders were women, and 62% were men.
Grandview Research reports that “the global complementary and alternative medicine market size was valued at USD 52.00 billion in 2017.”
There are actually a number of reasons that millions of people use alternative medicine and the reasons can be different for everyone. Here we will discuss only a few reasons.
One reason that many people use alternative medicine is that it is widely available. For example, the use of herbs to maintain optimal health or to make home remedies, making it more accessible and affordable for a wide range of people. Mind-body practices such as yoga and meditation can be easily practiced at home without the high costs often seen with traditional medicine practices.
A related reason is that alternative medicine is usually more affordable than conventional medicine. People who may have trouble paying for medical bills may be drawn to the comparatively low cost of alternative medicine.
The cost of going to alternative medicine practitioners for services like acupuncture may be high but the cost of obtaining herbal supplements, essential oils, and other accouterments of alternative medicine can be far more affordable than a trip to the hospital.
Natural Strategies In Healing
Prescription drug use is at an all-time high in the United States, and often patients complain that the first go-to of their doctor is to write a script.
Most all of the therapies used in CAM are natural, this is far from the often chemically based interventions seen in conventional medicine. This includes but is not limited to, herbs, essential oils, diet, supplements, chiropractic treatment, mind-body practices, and naturopathy.
This does not mean that CAM is a cure for any and all conditions, but it can offer a natural alternative and sometimes be a replacement for conventional medicine tools.
Improved Life Quality and Side Effects Of Treatment
Another important reason people use alternative medicine is that it can improve life quality and lessen the side effects of treatment. When people endure serious illnesses or chronic conditions, inevitably their life quality suffers, and the side effects of conventional medical treatments bring undue hardship. CAM can help.
For example, Music Therapy is often used in pain management, which can be helpful for conditions such as arthritis and other chronic pain syndromes. Cancer.gov reports that acupuncture is helpful in reducing the side effects of treatment.
Millions of people all around the world genuinely trust alternative medicine as they have for the whole history of humanity. Some of the therapies used in CAM, including acupuncture, Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Herbalism have been in use for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations. Eastern culture strongly believes in its effectiveness in the modern world.
A more accurate term for “alternative medicine” might be “folk medicine.” “Folk” is usually used colloquially but it comes from the German word for “people,” so “folk medicine” means something like “the people’s medicine” or even “popular medicine.”
Another reason that might shock skeptics of alternative medicine is that some proponents of alternative medicine are skeptical of institutionalized medicine. What this really comes down to is whether we should trust man-made and manufactured solutions more than we should trust natural solutions.
A final reason that an increasing number of people trust alternative medicine is that the reasons not to trust it are dissolving. A recent increase of scientific curiosity in alternative medicine has led to a number of legitimate scientific studies on its effects.
While several alternative medicinal cures and practices have been “debunked,” many, including essential oils, therapeutic touch, meditation, and yoga are becoming more popular because scientific studies are adding validity to the trust that many people already placed in them.
If this article inspired you to look deeper into alternative medicine, that’s great. If it convinced you to have a little more understanding and respect for people who do use alternative medicine, that’s even better.
You don’t need to use alternative medicine yourself to understand that there are reasons that other people believe in it, that it often helps, and that it seldom hurts.
If you are interested in exploring alternative medicine, you can ease into it by talking to your primary care provider. Many conventional doctors recommend alternative therapies to their patients and can provide more information on how to get started.
You should also talk to your healthcare provider before exploring alternative medicine if you are on any medications. While very few alternative medicine practices are harmful to healthy people, some can interact with prescription medications.
A holistic medical doctor is trained in the use of both conventional and alternative medical care and is something of a one-stop-shop.
Alternative Medicine for Insomnia
For many people today suffering from sleep disturbances or the occasional bout of insomnia, finding a safe, effective treatment can be a real life-saver. Besides nutrition and physical activity, nothing else influences your health more than the quality of your sleep.
Getting enough rest is vital to your physical, emotional, and mental well-being and alternative medicine has many options that can help you sleep more soundly.
What you eat, drink, and do throughout your day can significantly affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. If you are having trouble sleeping consistently, you should examine your diet and activity habits to determine if any of those are playing a role in your sleep disorder.
Limiting your intake of stimulants, such as caffeine or nicotine, or other substances that affect your sleep, like alcohol, is important for helping your overall sleep quality. Cutting back on your intake of sugar can also ensure lower blood glucose levels, which will allow you to sleep more soundly, as well.
Some foods can actually induce relaxation and help you sleep better. Tryptophan is a natural compound that becomes converted to melatonin in your body, helping you to sleep. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 and magnesium are also beneficial to improving your sleep. Magnesium can help with conditions such as leg cramps, anxiety, and pain, which all affect your sleep, as well.
In addition to changing what you eat, you should also consider your activity. Regular exercise can enhance your ability to fall asleep and remain in deep sleep longer. Even low-impact exercises like tai chi and yoga can produce a significant improvement in sleep in many people.
Your mind is just as responsible for your ability to sleep as your body. At least two hours before bedtime, start relaxing your mind and letting go of the day’s worries. Engage in some mindfulness meditation exercises to help you focus on sleep just before bed.
Relaxation techniques can also prepare you for bed each night. Other mental activities, such as visualization, can also help relax you and get you in the right frame of mind for a good night’s sleep. Going to bed with the right mindset about sleep is vital for achieving the proper rest.
Herbal and Natural Remedies
Many herbs contain natural compounds that relax and sedate the body, allowing you to fall asleep easily without the adverse effects of many over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids. Along with the most popular herbal sleep aids are Valerian root and chamomile.
Valerian root is not only helpful for getting you to sleep at night but also can reduce nighttime wakefulness, which is one of the more difficult sleep problems to remedy. Valerian root works by increasing your production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which naturally calms nerve cells in the brain and blocks those signals that cause anxiety. Chamomile is also an effective and time-honored natural sleep aid. It works by relaxing your body and inducing sleep.
Another popular natural sleep aid is melatonin. Your brain naturally produces this hormone when it’s time for sleep, but if you are not producing enough on your own, you can take melatonin supplements. Melatonin regulates your sleep-wake cycle, so it is essential that you have enough for consistent, quality sleep.
In addition to changing your lifestyle and using herbal remedies to improve your sleep, you can also use some other alternative medicine techniques to help you sleep better. For example, if you are not getting enough sunlight exposure, which helps with melatonin production, you can use light therapy. This technique can also help to reset your circadian rhythm that may be altered due to changes in location or because you work at night.
Acupuncture can also help with some of the causes of insomnia. Hypnosis is useful for teaching you how to relax your body, which allows you to get better sleep. Even aromatherapy can aid in your quality and quantity of rest each night.
There is no shortage of natural remedies and therapies that can help you get a better night’s sleep. Alternative medicine has many solutions to help with your insomnia, so try one today for a more rested tomorrow.
How to treat insomnia naturally without medication.