Why it's never too late to explore alternative and holistic medicine

Why it's never too late to explore alternative and holistic medicine

With the growing popularity of alternative and holistic medicine, you may be wondering if it’s something you should try. Science is showing that alternative medicine is a great way to maintain your health and relieve chronic pain. Many types of alternative treatments can also help to keep relieve certain medical conditions and they can often be used in conjunction with your current treatment plan. Here’s why it’s never too late to explore alternative and holistic medicine, no matter what stage of life you’re in.

Reasons to consider alternative and holistic medicine

There are many reasons to consider making the switch to alternative and holistic medicine. First, it may help you manage your medical expenses by reducing your need for expensive prescription medications. With alternative therapies, you may even be able to reduce the frequency of your visits to your conventional doctor.

Generally, alternative care focuses on one-on-one appointments that are much more personal than seeing a conventional doctor. Alternative practitioners usually treat the patient holistically, which means they work to improve physical symptoms, their underlying causes, and your mental health.

Types of alternative medicine to try

There are several forms of alternative and holistic medicine that can be very helpful at any stage of life. Here are some you may want to consider:

  • Herbal and Nutritional Supplements

Many people are familiar with herbal and nutritional supplements and they can be very helpful for a variety of conditions. Herbs can often be used in conjunction with or in place of certain prescription medications. Nutritional supplements may also help to prevent diseases that become more prevalent as you get older, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. In fact, experts at the Mayo Clinic report that dietary supplements can even be used to lower your cholesterol levels.

  • Chiropractic Care

Chronic back and neck pain are a major issue for people of all ages. Conventional treatments often involve medications that have harmful side effects or even invasive surgery. As you age, the risk of surgery and anesthesia increases, especially if you have kidney or liver problems, so trying alternative treatments first only makes sense. 

Chiropractic care is a hands-on therapy that involves manipulating the spine and joints to realign the body. It can be a safe and non-invasive way to get relief for neck and back pain, headaches and chronic pain issues.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used to treat maintain health, treat a variety of diseases, and treat chronic pain for centuries. The Yinova Center acupuncture in New York City recommends acupuncture treatments for people of all ages who want to relieve pain or treat medical conditions without pharmaceuticals or invasive treatment. 

The treatment works by encouraging the release of certain chemicals into the bloodstream by inserting ultra-fine needles into the skin. Acupuncture is also great for relieving stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Massage Therapy

Massage therapy, much like acupuncture and chiropractic care, is a type of hands-on, safe, and non-invasive alternative medicine. Massage is great for improving circulation and relieving pain. It’s especially beneficial for people who can’t be active due to certain medical conditions. 

Massage can also be extremely beneficial for reducing stress. It’s a very relaxing experience and the health benefits can be boosted by the addition of certain essential oils. For example, peppermint and lavender essential oils are extremely helpful for relieving headaches, relaxing muscles, and reducing stress.

  • Naturopathy

Naturopathy is a form of lifestyle medicine that focuses on restoring the physical, psychological, and structural balance of the patient. They focus on using the healing powers of nature, such as sunshine and fresh air, to improve the health of the patient. 

Naturopathic physicians utilize a variety of therapies depending on the patient’s needs, which may include nutrition, herbs, acupuncture, massage and much more. Although naturopathy isn’t as mainstream as some other forms of alternative medicine, it has been successfully used to reduce the symptoms of fatigue, stress, headaches, chronic back pain and more.

  • Yoga

While it’s true that yoga isn’t technically a form of medicine, it is an alternative therapy that has significant benefits as you age. If you struggle with joint pain, arthritis, balance issues, or stress, yoga can be especially beneficial. Practicing yoga regularly will improve your balance and stability by strengthening your muscles and improving your flexibility. It can also lower your blood pressure and improve your heart healthy by reducing oxidative stress, which is one of the leading risk factors of heart attacks.

Choosing an alternative healthcare provider

If you decide to give alternative medicine a try, be sure to talk with your doctor first. Certain nutritional or herbal supplements can interfere with prescription medications and there may be other things to consider as well. Your doctor will know what’s safe and what isn’t, depending on your current health condition.

When choosing an alternative healthcare provider, be sure they are properly licensed to work in your state. Ask for recommendations from friends and family to see if they have any recommendations. It’s very important that you’re comfortable talking to the practitioner that you choose because alternative medicine is very personalized.

Final thoughts

Alternative and holistic medicine can be a safe and effective way to complement your current healthcare regimen at any age. As acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care all become more mainstream, they are more likely to be covered by your health insurance as well. If you want to improve your health without pharmaceuticals or invasive treatments, these therapies are certainly worth trying.

Donna Maurer is a content creator and a former writer for an alternative medicine clinic.

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