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The History of Alternative Medicine

The History of Alternative Medicine

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A New Fad or Steeped in Ancient History?
You could be new to using alternative medicine or perhaps you have already seen the amazing benefits alternative medicine and alternative therapies can bring to your life. But do you know how long its been practiced where it originated? Well let me take you on a journey in the fascinating history of alternative healthcare.
The history of Alternative Drugs are an interesting one and possesses links with many different cultures. Nevertheless it's difficult to say exactly when Alternative healthcare began, in part because up until recently the practices that come under this term were the traditional medical practices of the time. But if we return in history and trace a lot of the forms of healing which might be now labelled as alternative look for that their origins return back as much as 5000 years.
From Eastern Philosophy to Trusted Western Alternatives
Among the oldest forms of alternative treatment can be traced back through Chinese history. The original Chinese, in exactly the same as alternative medicine is utilized today, based their healing for the importance of the body and spirit being in balance. Much of the philosophy of Homeopathy is based on Taoist and Buddhist principals and also the belief that a person and their environment are closely interlinked. The reputed principles of Yin and Yang result from Chinese Medicine and are integral to its practice. Yin and Yang explains how opposing forces are integral to each other and how for harmony within the body to take place, these should be in balance. When these are out of balance, disease occurs.
Chinese Medicine works at restoring balance in several ways including herbal medicine, acupuncture, breathing and movement (Tai Chi and Qigong) and also through diet. The practitioner checked out the patient's health and life in detail to ascertain where their life force or Qi (pronounced Chi) was out of whack. Various methods would then be familiar with restore the patient back to health. Such was the strength of Chinese Traditional Medicine who's still forms a large part of modern health care in the East. It's not unusual for these "alternative" practices to be used in hospitals alongside western medicine.

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The other Eastern Culture which has a long history of complementary medicine is India. Ayurvedic medicine dates back as far as 6000 in the past and like Homeopathy also has links with Buddhism. Ayurveda originates from 2 Sanskrit words - Ayu meaning life and veda meaning understanding of. It is a system of drugs that keeps a persons body, spirit and mind in tune with nature to be able to maintain good health.
When in Rome .....
In the West, the History of Alternative Medicine dates back around 3000 years. Treatments such as hydrotherapy were popular with the Romans and Greeks. The standard Greeks who were greatly relying on the Babylonians and to a lesser extent by India and China brought herbalism into the West. Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC), a Greek physician typically called the Father of Medicine, practiced herbal medicine.
In the Middle Ages, Monks in Europe studied and grew medicinal plants and translated many works on the subject from Arabic. Folk Healers also offered their knowledge of healing through word of mouth, from Master to Apprentice. The comprehension of the power different plants have is ingrained in several native civilisations and has allowed man to know and thrive in often challenging environments. When the Europeans settled in America they found that the Native Americans had an extensive knowledge of the healing power of their indigenous herbs. Likewise the Aborigines in Australia understood the power of plants found in their environment.
Continuing to move forward in time towards the 19th Century, before the rise of Western Medicine, as we now know it, doctors were more like today's naturopaths. They might take a detailed track record paying particular focus on the patient's lifestyle. They'd then suggest solutions to improve this by adjustments to diet, environment and would also prescribe herbal solutions.
How a Bit of Mould Turned the Tables on Complementary medicine
The widespread usage of alternative medicine in its various forms decreased during the Last century. Treatment of patients became more focused on the use of hospitals, and developments in slimming pills lead to the widespread utilization of Pharmaceutical Drugs to treat disease. The invention of Penicillin and its development in a drug that could treat microbe infections in the 1940's revolutionised health care and alternative medicine lost favour generally medical practitioners.
Although many Doctors let go of what they considered to be outdated treatments for example homeopathy, herbalism and traditional Chinese Medicine many patients still sort them out, particularly when conventional medicine didn't look like working for them.
Will no longer An Alternative, Now Another option for Achieving Better Health
The end result now is that Alternative Medicine is on the increase. Practices for example acupuncture, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and healing are kept alive by practitioners who specialize in one of more alternative type of treatment. Frequently alternatives are employed alongside modern medical treatments, which have led to alternatives being given the term complimentary medicine.
This brief good reputation for alternative medicine shows that many of the practices used today have been with us for thousands of years. Due to the rising popularity of using alternative healthcare to deal with health issues today, the chances are these practices will probably be around for many more.

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