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February 19 2016

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The History of Alternative Medicine

Earth Science Tech
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A fresh Fad or Steeped in Ancient History?

You could be new to using alternative medicine or perhaps you have already seen the astounding benefits alternative medicine and alternative therapies will bring to your life. But did you know how long its been practiced and where it originated? Well permit me to take you on a journey to the fascinating history of alternative treatment.

The history of Alternative Medicine is an interesting one and it has links with many different cultures. Yet it is difficult to say exactly when Complementary medicine began, in part because up until recently the practices that belong to this term were the conventional medical practices time. But if we go back in history and trace a portion of the forms of healing which can be now labelled as alternative we find that their origins go back as much as 5000 years.

From Eastern Philosophy to Traditionally used Western Alternatives

Among the oldest forms of alternative healthcare can be traced back through Chinese history. The ancient Chinese, in like as alternative medicine is employed today, based their healing for the importance of the body and spirit finding yourself in balance. Much of the philosophy of Kinesiology is based on Taoist and Buddhist principals and also the belief that a person along with their environment are closely interlinked. The reputed principles of Yin and Yang result from Chinese Medicine and are integral for the practice. Yin and Yang explains how opposing forces are integral to one another and how for harmony in the human body to take place, these must be in balance. When these are out of balance, disease occurs.

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Chinese Medicine works at restoring balance in various ways including herbal medicine, acupuncture, breathing and movement (Tai Chi and Qigong) and also through diet. The practitioner viewed the patient's health and life at length to ascertain where their life force or Qi (pronounced Chi) was out of balance. Various methods would then be employed to restore the patient back to health. Such was the potency of Chinese Traditional Medicine it still forms most of modern health care in the East. It's not unusual because of these "alternative" practices to be used in hospitals alongside western medicine.

The other Eastern Culture that features a long history of alternative treatment is India. Ayurvedic medicine extends back as far as 6000 years back and like Chinese Medicine also has links with Buddhism. Ayurveda arises from 2 Sanskrit words - Ayu meaning life and veda meaning familiarity with. It is a system of medicine that keeps a persons body, spirit and mind in tune with nature in order to maintain good health.

When in Rome .....

In the West, the History of Alternative Medicine goes back around 3000 years. Treatments like hydrotherapy were popular with the Romans and Greeks. The Ancient Greeks who were greatly affected by the Babylonians and to a reduced extent by India and China brought herbalism into the West. Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC), a Greek physician commonly referred to as the Father of Medicine, practiced herbal medicine.

In the Middle Ages, Monks in Europe studied and grew medicinal plants and translated many utilizes a subject from Arabic. Folk Healers also handed down their knowledge of healing through word of mouth, from Master to Apprentice. The understanding of the power different plants have is ingrained in several native civilisations and has allowed man to be aware of and thrive in often challenging environments. If the Europeans settled in America they learned that the Native Americans had a thorough knowledge of the healing power their indigenous herbs. Likewise the Aborigines around australia understood the power of plants within their environment.

Continue in time towards the Nineteenth century, before the rise of Western Medicine, even as we now know it, doctors were more like today's naturopaths. They'd take a detailed track record paying particular focus on the patient's lifestyle. They'd then suggest methods to improve this by alterations in diet, environment and would also prescribe herbal remedies.

How a Bit of Mould Turned the Tables on Alternative Medicine

The widespread use of alternative medicine in its many forms decreased during the Twentieth century. Treatment of patients became focused on the use of hospitals, and developments in medicine lead to the widespread using 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 release what they considered to be outdated treatments including homeopathy, herbalism and traditional Chinese Medicine many patients still sort them out, particularly when conventional medicine didn't seem working for them.

No more An Alternative, Now Another option for Achieving Better Health

The actual result now is that Alternative Medicine is on the increase. Practices like acupuncture, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and healing are kept alive by practitioners who concentrate on one of more alternative form of treatment. Frequently alternatives are employed alongside modern treatments, which have led to alternatives being given the term complimentary medicine.

This brief reputation alternative medicine shows that many of the practices used today are already with us for thousands of years. Given the rising popularity of using complementary medicine to deal with health issues today, it's likely that these practices is going to be around for many more.

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