Alternative therapies: Yes. But you still have to see the doctor – Laura Posada

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Alternative therapies: Yes. But you still have to see the doctor

BY LAURA POSADA

When we have a health problem, especially a chronic one, it is natural to look for natural and different remedies and solutions. We do this particularly if we are not getting good results with the current treatment. We want to feel good and to have a good quality of life again! Despite all the progress achieved in western or conventional medicine, many times we find that the palliative offered for chronic diseases deals more with the symptoms than with the cause of the disease itself. These treatments undoubtedly improve our life, but it lets us know that the cure may still be far away.

Here’s where natural medicine or alternative therapies come to play. As the name implies, it is an alternative series of treatment focused on helping the patient to have a normal health state back. Among these treatments, there is naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurveda, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. I am glad to know there are different options to improve our health and that is the objective of this article. Let’s see some advantages and disadvantages of natural or alternative therapies.

Advantages:

  • Alternative therapies look for a balance in your body and your general wellbeing, including mental, spiritual, emotional and social aspects, instead of just dealing with a disease or symptom alone.
  • Although they also have side effects, these are generally softer than the ones experienced with chemical medicines.
  • They are, most of the times, an excellent complement to traditional medical treatment, they can boost healing and they are also preventive.
  • They can be more affordable and available than conventional medicine or therapy.

Disadvantages:

  • There are no scientific tests that support their use or results.
  • They are not controlled by regulatory authorities; therefore there is no guarantee in terms of hygiene and safety.
  • They usually take longer to act in your body and they aren’t, therefore, appropriate for emergencies.
  • Most medical insurance companies do not cover this treatment so they have to be paid separately

In my opinion, both types of medicine, conventional and alternative, are important and can be used to complement each other so as to have better results.

Important final advice: alternative therapy can be very beneficial, but they are not harmless. Before using any of them, or taking any supplement, it is obligatory to go to your family doctor that is a specialist and knows what might interfere with your current treatment.

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