Pros And Cons of Alternative Medicine and Treatment Modalities
Over the years, alternative medicine has gained more popularity, and with it the number of believers in its unique and natural method.
Yoga, massage therapy, hypnosis, herbal medicine and acupuncture, among others are just a few of the most well-known techniques that people use along with or instead of conventional modern medicine methods.
If you’re considering incorporating alternative therapies into your health and wellness regimen, it is important to know not just the benefits, but also their disadvantages, before giving in to all the bells and whistles.
Treatment of the person as a whole. One of the major differences between conventional and alternative medicine is the latter’s emphasis on whole-person treatments. It is one of the basic views of alternative medicine that disease is a separate entity from the patient.
Rather than treating just the disease or its physical symptoms, alternative medicine practitioners also address the individual’s emotional, mental, and spiritual health, promoting a more holistic approach to healing.
The belief that prevention of illness is always better than treatment. Very often, traditional medicine intervenes when the patient is already sick, whereas alternative medicine focuses on prevention of illness on top of treatments. Doctors of alternative medicine encourages well visits to prevent development of diseases before they even occur.
Increased personal attention. Patients receiving alternative treatments also receive a great deal of attention due to two major reasons:
First, conventional doctors have to deal with increased pressure from long waiting queues and insurance procedures that sometimes force them to rush treatments.
Second, alternative medicine revolves on different principles and beliefs that are often focused on one-on-one patient interaction, allowing them to structure individual plan of treatments.
Fewer scientific evidence. There’s still very limited evidence that backs up positive claims about alternative medicine as compared to traditional medicine. Fortunately, with the increasing demand for this healing approach, more studies are being conducted to prove any existing theories and claims.
May not be the best course of treatment in all situations. While alternative medicine may have been effective in treating a huge number of ailments, it is not wise to depend entirely on alternative medicine as your primary treatment of choice. There are serious diseases, infections, or injuries that require prompt conventional intervention. Any delay in seeking traditional treatment, whether it be for a few days or a few months may lead to further disease progression and even death. It is important to know that there is no “one size fits all” form of alternative medicine, as every person’s needs are different.
Marketing hypes. Because of some marketers’ attempt to sell, some of the products may have confusing labels such as “safe” and “natural”, which actually differ in their meanings. Many people may also have unrealistically high expectations of alternative therapies and confuse them with “instant healing” or “miracle cures” that are nothing but empty promises.
Results are sometimes questionable. While complementary medicine may have worked very well for others, it is not for everyone. Just as it is with conventional medicine, sometimes the belief of the person receiving the treatment is stronger than the intervention itself, and so the person is more likely to report positive results, which can be questionable.
May interact dangerously with conventional medicine. While best results may often be observed when both conventional and alternative doctors collaborate to achieve health goals, there are cases when alternative therapies are contraindicated with the patient’s condition. Even natural and herbal remedies that are supposedly “safe” may interact with one’s prescription or over-the-counter drugs, potentially producing adverse effects.
Commitment is a Challenge
Alternative medicine often focuses on teaching the person regarding healthy attitude, nutrition, and lifestyle. It requires a great deal of energy, time, and commitment in order to fully partake of the benefits that complementary medicine has to offer.