Friday, September 11, 2009

Alternative health – the way it works and doesn’t

By: Robb Stark

Means of alternative health have been discussed millions of times over on the internet as well as in real life. A search for alternative health on Google today generates over two hundred and nineteen million results. Not a surprise, however, as there are probably just as many ways to choose from for getting a better level of fitness, weight loss, better eye sight, curing cancer and so on. I cannot even begin to try and cover them all in one article, but I will try and go through a few of them to start with, some of the more talked about ones. Alternative health consists of all the ways of treating ailments with remedies that do not need a subscription from a doctor and are more natural oriented.

One often discussed and rather controversial form of alternative health treatment is called homeopathy. The word stems from the Greek and literally means similar suffering. The idea is to give the patient, who has symptoms of some kind of illness, a small dose of the substance which in larger quantities will make a normal person sick. Sort of like getting an influenza shot, with the big difference that the homeopathic substance is diluted so many times and in such unscientific ways that very little if nothing of the substance is left, thus rendering it useless. The remedy is supposed to remember or have learnt what the diluted substance was like and through shaking increasing the potency. The controversy comes from the scientific and medical fields, as this form of alternative health can in some cases prove to be fatal with illnesses such as malaria. The psychological effects are still being debated though; psychology is not an exact science in itself either.

Another more widely common form of alternative health is by including diet and nutrition as a remedy. Who, by now, hasn’t heard of the famous Atkins diet created by Dr Robert Atkin? Millions of people have bought his books and lived on his low-carbohydrate diets. Atkins has become kind of iconic and is believed to be the fuel for the whole general “low-carb” trend. Another fashion within nutrition is phytochemicals. They are the non-nutritive chemicals in certain plants which contain the means of preventing many diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. More that nine hundred different phytochemicals have been found in food so far, and many more are being found still. The most basic nutrition tip will stand though; eat more vegetables and fruit. When in pill form, the chemicals included will never be as many as in a single serving of vegetables.

It may surprise some that massage therapy is a form of alternative health just because it is so widely used. Other forms of manual healing include chiropractic, osteopathy, aromatherapy and Chinese qigong, Qigong has been used for thousands of years in China and is now used by hospitals and is included in China’s national health plan. Currently there are over three thousand different styles of qigong being practised. The central part of all styles is learning to control your breathing while making various physical moves and stretches.

Means of alternative health have been discussed millions of times over on the internet as well as in real life. A search for alternative health on Google today generates over two hundred and nineteen million results. Not a surprise, however, as there are probably just as many ways to choose from for getting a better level of fitness, weight loss, better eye sight, curing cancer and so on.

Robb is writing about alternative remedies and some hocus pocus. Read more www.bra-hudvard.se/

No comments: