Alternative healing practices are gradually becoming popular. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you choose one.
An alternative healing practice is one, which does not conform to what is perceived to be traditional medicine. These practices are grouped together under a separate branch, termed as holistic medicine. Many people swear by the relief they have received from these treatments. However, most medical professionals do not consider these therapies to be of any use. The biggest cause of their reluctance is because there is not enough scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness.
Where does that leave alternative healing medicine then? Should you discard practices like yoga, which have a history of thousands of years? There is no reason why you cannot use holistic medicine, especially if it gives you relief from pain. However, you should ask a few questions before you decide on a suitable therapy.
What is this treatment promising?
This is a question that might seem foolish but is actually very important. In an effort to popularise alternative healing practices, it is not uncommon for practitioners to exaggerate their effectiveness. Moreover, there are plenty of unscrupulous elements out there who seek to dupe you. They will sell you a panacea that promises to cure all your ailments even though this therapy may not have been traditionally prescribed for certain ailments. Consequently, they will only take away a large chunk of money with no results.
If you are considering a particular practice, take some time to do a little research first. There are plenty of books available which will help you make an informed decision. Also, talk to other people who have undergone the same treatment previously. Most practitioners keep a list of reference people whom you can get in touch with.
Before you begin treatment, talk to your practitioner. If you have any doubts, he should be able to clear them for you. Also, ask if this treatment has some kind of guarantee. Many alternative therapies are placed in the category of 'may or may not work'. So be aware that you might spend money on treatments but still not get any relief from your ailment.
What is the right dosage?
Many alternative healing practices involve the use of herbs or other substances. Most of these are extremely potent and should not be used unsupervised. Never consume more than the prescribed dose of medicines. Your practitioner knows your needs best and can prescribe a suitable dose of medicines for you.
This question also applies to herbal supplements. Most of these are available over the counter. Always read the directions on the bottle thoroughly and do not consume more than the recommended dosage. There are many common herbs which can be harmful when consumed in excess.
Will it react with any medicine I am currently taking?
Like with allopathic medicines, herbs also have the potential to react with each other unfavourably. They can also interact with allopathic medicines. You should always let your practitioner know exactly what medicines you have already been prescribed. This will allow him to make an informed decision in case he has to prescribe something as well. Before you ingest or inhale any form of medication, you must always know what can and cannot be taken with it. This is true for any medication, not just alternative ones.
In the case of yoga, certain asanas (exercises) are not meant to be performed if you are suffering from a pre-existing condition like chronic back pain for example. If your yoga guide knows about it, he can give you alternative asanas, which will not put extra strain on your body.
Does this treatment have any side effects?
Alternative therapy practices or medications can sometimes have side effects. These may range from mild pain, nausea, dizziness, etc. to severe discomfort. If you know about the potential side effects of a particular treatment, you will need to decide for yourself if the benefits offered by this treatment are worth the discomfort caused by the side effects.
Alternative healing therapies can be a wonderful way to enhance your health. This is because these practices focus on healing both the body and the soul. All you need to do is make a well informed decision about choosing which therapy is right for your needs.