Understanding alternative medicine is the key to assessing how safe and effective it can be for you. Unlike traditional medicine, the idea behind alternative medicine is to maintain the balance of the whole body. For example, if you are visiting an acupuncture clinic for the first time, an examination will be performed to determine your energy and blood flow throughout your body. The first starting point is to look at your tongue as an indicator of your general health. You look for any imbalance in your system. It is like having a diagnostic device connected to your car to find out why the orange “check engine light” is on.
Alternative medicine is considered “whole-body medicine”, and not just having the general practitioner listen to your heart to determine your health status. With this in mind, if you are considering trying out alternative health methods for the ailments you suffer from, a visit to a naturopathic clinic might be just what you need. Remember that naturopathic clinics, chiropractors and acupuncture clinics are despised by many, but not all traditional doctors. It is essential that you find out where they studied and what exactly they studied before visiting such a clinic. After your research, consider asking your questions or concerns to your family doctor.
In most cases, the alternative medicine solution will be regarded as safe. But depending on how open-minded the family doctor is, he or she will decide how effective he or she thinks it is. You may wish to consult another family doctor or specialist who is open to discussion and fully understands the role of alternative medicine.
In a naturopathic clinic, the person you see there will have a much more philosophical attitude towards patients. This type of alternative clinic will look at the whole body. You are interested in how your physical, emotional and general mental health plays a role in what you experience. Once they have identified the problem, they will be able to recommend a new, wholesome diet. This should include a recommendation for certain herbs or supplements that you can add to your diet.
This is where your research comes in because a really good naturopathic clinic will tell you in advance if something they prescribe will have side effects or not because of potential interactions with any prescription drugs you are taking.
As far as nutrition is concerned, it is probably safe and involves making sure that necessary amounts of minerals and natural vitamins are included in your diet. Often naturopaths will find that there is a deficiency of zinc, potassium or magnesium in the body and will recommend some natural foods to correct this deficiency. The same applies to problems such as low testosterone levels in men. Many health or dietary supplement stores have stock capsules to increase testosterone, which the naturopath may find unnecessary or not useful for the problem at hand.
If you are considering acupuncture as an alternative method for health, you will again need to check with the clinic and staff. In an acupuncture clinic, you may be prescribed Chinese herbs that you must take over a period of time while receiving needle or cupping treatments. For example, if you live outside of China, the staff may be doctors trained in China who worked in acupuncture clinics in China before settling in your area.
The use of fine needles to insert into different points of the body is safe (provided it is done by a suitably trained person. The acupuncture clinic will conduct an examination before deciding on a course of action. The areas they usually focus on are the tongue and the heart. Most problems can be solved in a relatively short time and can be considered a safe method of alternative medicine.