Or a case of Eastern Medicine Practices Meet Western Culture.
So my son is down with the ‘flu along with lots of other people, thanks to our fickle weather. Can’t complain, because it has turned a hot summer into a really pleasant time with plenty of unexpected showers. Unfortunately, it also brings sickness. And freaky insects. The queue at the doctor’s? Long.
When our turn came, the doc examined him and wrote him a prescription for antibiotics, rather reluctantly. Since he’s also coughing a lot, I asked if he could take something for it. The doc vehemently insisted that we stick with home remedies and gave us a few suggestions – herbs, green teas and our secret concoctions. And that lead to a long discussion about traditional medicine and “CAM” or Complementary and Alternative Therapies.
I grew up with traditional medicine most of the time, thanks to a very wise Grandma who had a remedy for everything – remedies that were pleasant, tasty.
Did you know that Eastern medicine got its start in Traditional Chinese Medicine, also referred to as TCM? In fact, the idea of TCM was to get rid of evil and bring in good. For the most part, these alternative therapies, and others like them, are used to not just heal the body but work towards preventing sickness and illness in the first place.
TCM traditionally uses herbs, acupuncture, and Tai chi, among other things, to bring the body into balance. If one part of your system is off balance it can throw your whole body off. This is how illness happens. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
A New Breed Of Medicine
My aunt was a staunch believer in acupuncture. While not a lot of people might be willing to try something like acupuncture, there are other alternative medicines and therapies that can be used that have been around for a long time, and some of them were derived from TCM. Personally, I find the idea of acupuncture a little scary and would rather try acupressure which uses the same principles. From acupressure, there is also reflexology, which focuses on certain points on your feet to help heal adjoining areas of the body.
I have tried aromatherapy, which possibly has its origins from herbal therapy. I used to think it is about smelling things, but it isn’t. There are oils that can be ingested and taken internally to heal ailments. Of course, you must make sure to use food grade oils.
Switching Between Old Medicine and New Medicine
These days I find that most doctors are happy to recommend alternative therapy to patients – I know mine does. These alternative therapies used alongside modern medicine are called Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) and you can continue taking your vitamins, herbal supplements, and even use aromatherapy, along with your regular doctor visits and prescribed medications.
Another popular CAM therapy is massage therapy, which is quite effective. Many chiropractors are employing massage therapists to help patients get even better treatment. Massage therapists use body massage oil to provide a gliding surface as they apply pressure to affected areas of your body to increase circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.
The biggest benefit of combining TCM, modern medicine and CAM is, rather than just treat people when they are ill, they work together to promote health and develop the immunity to fight off sickness faster.
Most of them help relieve stress, which we know is the root cause of many other illnesses. It is a good thing that more people are looking at alternative medicine, which has the added advantage of being a cheaper alternative to a doctor’s visit.
It is important to remember that alternative medicine should only be used under professional guidance – someone who is trained in the particular line of treatment you plan to take. Especially with herbs, as some of them can have harmful side effects.
The good news is, it is possible to find a way to balance our own medical care, and ultimately find the way to keep our own mind, body, and soul in balance.
Yes, my Grandmother would approve!
Do you use traditional medicine?