Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Complementary and alternative medicine is a form of the traditional and folk healing systems, which have been originated and developed with experiences and practices since ancient times. However, the development process was very slow, but now it is gaining fame for its efficacy in chronic diseases.
- It consists of various healing modalities and can vary according to the origin and country.
- Now, CAM (Complementary and alternative medicine) is recognized by the World Health Organizations (WHO).
- CAM practitioners do not practice modern medicine.
- Now various universities offer courses in CAM worldwide.
- Many countries have established councils or boards for CAM practitioner’s registration and regulating the practice.
- Several research studies have suggested the efficacy of various complementary therapies in several diseases.
It consists of various health practices such as Reiki, Laughter therapy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Gem Therapy, Aromatherapy, Massage therapy, pyramid healing, Yoga, Feng sui. Most of the alternative techniques are based on balancing energy through the body to increase the immunity. Let us see some of the therapies in detail:
Table of Contents
- 1 Acupressure
- 2 Acupuncture
- 3 Aromatherapy
- 4 Ayurveda
- 5 Color or Chromo therapy
- 6 Dowsing
- 7 Feng Shui
- 8 Gem therapy
- 9 Herbalism
- 10 Iridology
- 11 Javanese traditional medicine system
- 12 Laughter therapy
- 13 Magneto therapy
- 14 Massage therapy
- 15 Pregnancy Message
- 16 Thai Massage
- 17 Aromatherapy Massage
- 18 Hot stone massage
- 19 Deep Tissue Massage
- 20 Sport Massage
- 21 Swedish massage
- 22 Naturopathy
- 23 Pyramid healing
- 24 Reflexology
- 25 Reiki
- 26 Shiastu
- 27 Tele therapy
- 28 Traditional Chinese medicine
- 29 Unani
- 30 Vitamin Therapy
- 31 Yoga therapy
In this technique, pressure is applied with the help of hand, elbow different mechanical devices to the trigger point. The figure below shows different acupressure points in hand. Similar points are present on the feet too. As seen, the points pressed may not be on the actual part of the body, which needs healing. It is an easy self-help technique. Regular practice of acupressure increases immunity power. In India, women were wearing ornaments in different part of the body, such as ears, nose, hand, leg etc. this is also a kind of acupressure. There is little precaution, which needs to be taken. The pregnant women are advised not to practice it. One should not do it immediately after bathing and eating and after taking medicine.
Acupuncture involves balancing of energy flow in the body. It involves inserting needles in the parts of the body in order to manipulate the flow of energy in the body.
Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine practice that makes use of essential oils. Essential oil benefits to both mental and physical states of body. Essential oils are also used for pain relief.
Aroma oil massage relaxes and calms mind, nourishes skin and provides refreshment to mind.
Ayurveda is an ancient science of healing dates back 5000 years. In Veda, various techniques and herbs are explained that have a great relation to ayurveda. Ayurveda means the science of living and applying the art of healthy living.
Color or Chromo therapy
Chromo therapy, also known as color therapy uses colors to balance the energy in the human body. Color has a distinct effect on human’s mood and feelings. All colors have different wavelength and unique healing ability. The seven rainbow colors Red, Yellow, Blue, violet, green, indigo and orange resonates with the seven chakras of human body.
Color therapist applies light in form seven rainbow colors to balance the energy in the body. In order to have good health, Chakras need to perform continuously and need balanced energy. Color therapy helps to balance energy in the chakras, which in turn helps to heal any imbalances in the human body. Sometimes human being strongly prefers some colors to others, these can help to find problems.
Dowsing is practically used to find things that cannot be sensed by our normal senses. In the ancient time, dowsing techniques were used to find hidden treasure and to find water. Dowsing tools like the pendulum or rods are used in dowsing therapy.
Dowsing is basically used to find and heal faulty organs in the human body. Long distance dowsing is also practiced. Long distance dowsing is performed using pictures or parts of hairs of the individual.
Feng Shui is 3,000 years old Chinese practice. Feng means wind and Shui means water. Its basic principle is to balance energy in the environment for the betterment of health and fortune. It uses Bagua and compass as tools for analysis. Bagua is an octagonal grid, which is an energy chart. Five basic elements of Feng Shui are Earth, Fire, Metal, water and wood. Each of the elements is represented by a color:
Water: Blue, Black
Earth: Light yellow, light brown
Wood: Brown, Green
Fire: Orange, Strong Yellow, Red
Metal: White, Gray
Feng Shui also makes use of different product such as Money Plant, Jade Buddha, Dragon Statue, and Bagua mirror.
In order to have good health and wealth, Feng Shui consultant would study your home structure using compass and Bagua and may suggest changing placement of furniture. The consultant may also suggest placing different Fang Shui products in a particular area.
Healing power of different gems is mentioned in Vedic texts. Each stone relates with planets. Let see some of the stones to which planet they are related and in what kind of body problems they can help.
Ruby is related to the Sun, which helps in healing hot temper, poor blood circulation, eyesight, brain and bones. Yellow gems are related to planet Jupiter that helps to improve immune system, tumor and liver. Diamond related to the planet Venus. o It helps in diseases of the urinary system, kidney and infertility. Blue sapphire is related to planet Saturn that helps fight paralysis, constipation and cancer.
It uses natural resources in different forms to heal the body. Ayurveda suggests use of different herb in order to overcome the illness. Simple herb treatment can help with skin disease, cold, weight loss, blood pressure control, digestion system. Few simple treatments are:
- In case of tooth Aches, chew clove. Clove contains eugenol that soothes nerves and those helps reducing pain in the teeth.
- In case of muscle pain, heat the mustard oil, turmeric powder and little salt. Apply this mixer to the painful area.
- In case you got a cut on hand, apply turmeric powder that helps in stopping the blood and it also acts as an antibiotic.
- To reduce weight, in the morning (empty stomach), take honey with warm water and lemon juice.
It is based on the concept that characteristics of the iris reflect human health. So studying the iris structure, color can help to diagnose the fault in an organ.
Javanese traditional medicine system
Javanese traditional medicine system has cosmological view of the disease. Not just on what are causing the pain, but also how and why a person becomes ill.
It is said, “Laughter is the best medicine”. Emotions, which we feel, directly influence our immunity system. Laughing creates positive energy and thus helps as a big stress buster. Laughter therapy is becoming more and more popular due to its positive effect on mind and body. There are sessions taken wherein people are made to fake laugh. It is seen that fake laughter has the same impact on body as real laughter.
It makes use of only magnet to heal the human body. It makes use of mutually opposite properties of the North and south poles. Pregnant women should not undergo this therapy as a magnet absorbs magnetic waves, which are harmful to a fetus.
In French, massage means “friction of kneading”, in Arabic Massa means “to touch, feel or handle” and in Greek “to handle, to work with the hands“.
Massage involves giving manually pressure or applying pressure with the help of mechanical tool on the body. It relaxes the body muscles and helps in the healing process. There are different kinds of massage techniques popular around the world. Health benefit of massage therapy includes reducing pain, tension and treating muscular problems. It helps to improve blood circulation, increase in immune system power and joint mobility. Let us see few massage techniques.
There are certified pregnancy massage therapist who knows the proper method of doing it. It is becoming very popular among the expected mothers. It helps in reducing some common symptoms observed during pregnancy like swelling, muscle pain, anxiety and depression.
It includes stretches, compression and gentle pressure. In Thai massage, the client is given manual massage, but he/she also has to stand in different of Thai postures.
Oils used in the aromatherapy massage are oils extracted from rose, tea tree, geranium, clay sage, pine, rosemary, etc. One of the most common oil used in these massage techniques is lavender oil. During massage, essential oils are observed in the skin, which helps in improving immunity system.
Hot stone massage
It’s one of the most sedating types of massage techniques. Warm basalt stones or other stones are used in it. The heat of the stones helps in releasing tension in back and shoulder muscles.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep is key work here. In this technique, deep pressure is applied to the trouble parts. It affects deeper layers of skin tissue and fascia. It is many times used to help overcome problems arrived due to injuries.
As the name suggests this technique is used by sports people. Before the sport event, during and after a sport event, athletes use it for relaxing and reducing tension in the body muscles. It improves performance by providing flexibility to muscles.
It uses five basic strokes for doing massage. The five strokes are kneading, gliding, rhythmic taping and friction. It helps in reducing joint stiffness.
Naturopathy is the oldest technique we can find its root in Vedas. It believes that the human body has self-healing power, if the right environment is given, the body can recover from illness quickly. It makes use of natural resources to treat disease. This treatment process avoids the use of any drugs or surgery.
Naturopathy is based on belief that the root causes of all the diseases are the toxin accumulation in the body.
It makes use of five elements to overcome the illness. The treatment techniques involve:
Vacuum (space) element: Fasting therapy
Air element: Breathing exercise
Fire element: Color charged water, Sun bath
Water element: Water is used externally and internally in all 3 forms liquid, ice and steam. Water helps in detoxification, maintains hydration in the body and prevents constipation. Steam bath, Hydro bath gives relief in pain, helps in regulating mood.
Earth element: Muds are high in salt and mineral content. Mud bath is recommended for all kinds of skin disease.
Pyramid is a geometrical shape formed by using four equilateral size triangle placed on rectangle surface. In Greek, “Pyra” means Fire and “mid” means Center core. Hence, it implies an object, which has Fire in its center. Preprogrammed pyramid placed at appropriate location helps to achieve good health and prosperity. Pyramid water regulates process in all the organs of the body. The benefits of pyramid water can be availed externally and internally, they include rejuvenating skin, strengthening immunity system. It helps in removing toxin from the organism. Pyramid helps in amplifying one’s energy. Pyramid comes in metallic and non-metallic forms.
It is based on the concept that there are reflex areas around hand, foot ears that relate to other parts of the human body. It is practiced by applying pressure on these reflex points. The ball of the foot reflects the heart and chest. Tip of the toes relates to the head. Pressure sends signals to the nervous system, and helps in reducing pain.
Reiki is an old Japanese method of stress relief and healing of the body. It is based on the fact of vital energy flow in the body, which influences bad and good things in the mind and body. There is a source of energy flows through the human body, which is unseen. It is performed using hand.
If the flow of energy is less through the body, then it is more likely to be sick. If there is a good amount of energy, then it allows being happier and stress free. While performing Reiki, practitioner puts his or her hand on the client. The client can be in any position standing, sitting or lying. Lying is more preferable. Reiki is performed on different parts of the body including head, hand, feet, legs and stomach as per the need of the client. Reiki has a positive effect on the body and helps fight illness. It is used for smaller illness like cold and flu and for major illness like cancer. Using Reiki, a person can also treat himself as well as treat others.
It is the most popular form of acupressure practiced in Japan for around 1000 years. It is practiced by applying a series of rhythmic pressure on the body, which helps to stimulate the energy.
In Tele Therapy, healing energy is transmitted to a person away from the healing instrument or the healer. Balanced energy in the body must for good health. The healer needs a photo of the patient to perform Tele therapy. Person’s physical body and his photograph have the same wavelength. Therefore, any healing done on the photo directly affects the human body, which is located at a distance.
Einstein had performed an experiment where two electrons of an atom were placed on a distant one at the moon and other on earth. Using the electromagnetic force frequency of electron on earth was altered. The electron on the moon also had the same changes simultaneously.
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is being practiced in China for thousands of years. It uses balancing Yin Yang. Yin yang means fire and water.
It involves the use of natural herb and plant for healing. Its many medicines are related to ayurveda.
The lack of energy to fight disease is because of deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals. By having healthy food habits or vitamin supplement, we can overcome these deficiencies. It is known as vitamin therapy or supplementation.
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”. It means to us, join and concentrate. Yoga has numerous health benefits. It involves practicing different body postures, breathing exercises and simple meditation. It has benefits like reducing stress, weight, blood pressure control, acts as anti-aging, and increases muscles strength & flexibility and brainpower.