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Alternative Therapies: Accupuncture Essay

1888 words - 8 pages

Alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. The basic premise behind alternative healthcare is that our bodies use pain as a way to tell us that something is wrong. To dull the pain with medication, as is typically the course in the practice of conventional medicine does not cure the pain. The goal of physicians who practice alternative medicine is to find a cure by looking at the whole person when making a diagnosis, rather than just the symptom. Alternative medicine is based on the idea that the body is healthy and capable of healing itself. Acupuncture is an example of a therapy used in alternative medicine and is discussed in detail below.Major Areas of Alternative TherapyBiologically Based PracticesBiologically based alternative therapies involve the use of dietary supplements. In the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, Congress defined a dietary supplement as a product taken by mouth that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to supplement the diet (NCCAM, 2005). Some ingredients in dietary supplement products include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs or other botanicals, enzymes, organ tissues, and metabolites. Supplements can come in many different forms including liquid, tablet, capsule, and powder. Typical use of supplements is for the improvement of overall health and well-being, and to support and enhance natural systems in the body such as the immune system, to improve performance, and to treat illness.Manipulative and Body-Based PracticesManipulative and body-based practices focus primarily on the structures and systems of the body, including the bones and joints, the soft tissues, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems (NCCAM, 2005). Included in this category of alternative therapy include chiropractic medicine, osteopathic manipulation, massage therapy, reflexology, rolfing, the Alexander technique, the Feldenkrais method, and others. These practices are based on the principal that all parts of the body are interdependent, and that the body as a whole can heal itself and involve the specific manipulation of the indicated bones, joints, muscles, etc. with the purpose of realigning them to their intended position of harmony within the body.Mind-Body MedicineUsing healthcare providers as guides and catalysts, mind-body medicine encourages patients to act in their own behalf in coping with and alleviating emotional and/or physical pain. The approach of mind-body medicine is that of viewing the person as whole, a cooperative system including the mind, body and behavior, and considering the ways in which mental, emotional, behavioral, social and spiritual factors in a person's life affect their health. The mind-body medicine approach includes education and support for increasing each person's capacity for self-knowledge and self-care. "Mind-body medicine typically focuses on intervention strategies that...promote health, such as relaxation, hypnosis, visual imagery, meditation,...

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