Traditional Medicine deals with the knowledge of ancient medicine. The skills and practices of this primitive medicine are based on theories, beliefs and the experiences related to different cultures, are used in maintenance of health and in prevention, treatment, improvement, diagnosis of physical and mental illness. It is also termed as alternative or complementary medicine. Herbal treatments are more popular usage method of traditional medicine.
Acupuncture is the practice of needles insertion in subcutaneous skin, superficial skin and muscles at particular points. It is the form of alternative medicinal treatment with the usage of needles inserted into the body at specific points to relieve pain and stress management. This treatment is generally done by acupuncturist specialist and practitioners well trained on the particular subject using clean needles techniques, properly delivered, so that it has less adverse effects. This method is used to promote and restore the energy balance of the body. The benefits of acupuncture are extended to variety of conditions. It is beneficial for pain syndromes caused by an injury or chronic degenerative associated diseases as rheumatoid arthritis.
Unani also was known as Yunani medicine, Unani Tibb, Arabian medicinal drug, or Islamic Remedy, is actually a Greek medicine which was considered to be traditional medicine by Persians and Arabians. It is practiced mostly in South Asia and modern central Asia. According to Unani, the management of any disease depends upon the diagnosis of the disease. Though Unani medicine was practiced by Muslim medicine men commonly known as Hakims, it is mostly based on herbal medicine, different minerals and metals like gold, silver iron, copper etc. Also depends upon indigenous mineral abstracts like snake venom, juice extracted from liverand kidneys of monkeys, goats and other cattle and birds. Plants extracts like honey, herbs, and fruits as well as flowers and seeds of medicinal plants are also used in the Unani system of medicine.
Aromatherapyuses essential oils (concentrated extracts from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants) to promote healing. The oils can be inhaled, massaged into the skin or (in rare cases) taken by mouth, and each has a specific purpose: Some are used to treat inflammation or infections; others are used to promote relaxation. Studies suggest aromatherapy might reduce pain, depression, and anxiety, but more research is needed to fully determine its uses and benefits.
Ayurvedic medicine originated in India and has been around for thousands of years. Practitioners use a variety of techniques, including herbs, massage, and specialized diets, with the intent of balancing the body, mind, and spirit to promote overall wellness. Studies of Ayurveda are few and far between (perhaps because the practice includes such a wide variety of treatments), so it’s difficult to determine how effective it is as a treatment system (But the fact that the treatment system has persisted for so many years suggests it’s got something going for it.).
Chiropractic is a complementary medical practice that treats problems with the musculoskeletal system. Its main focus is spine care. The musculoskeletal system is made up of a person's muscles, bones, joints, cartilage, and tendons. It supports a person's body, allows them to move, and protects their organs. Traditionally, chiropractic was based on the belief that problems with the musculoskeletal system caused disease through the central nervous system. This belief is no longer officially part of the practice. Historically, chiropractors believed that a misaligned spinal column could cause disease. This was thought to happen via the central nervous system and something called "innate knowledge". The theory was called "vertebral subluxation complex".Chiropractic manipulation may be an effective treatment for:
Traditional Herbal Medicines are naturally occurring, plant-derived substances with minimal or no industrial processing that have been used to treat illness within local or regional healing practices. Traditional herbal medicines are getting significant attention in global health debates. In China, traditional herbal medicine played a prominent role in the strategy to contain and treat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Eighty per cent of African populations use some form of traditional herbal medicine, and the worldwide annual market for these products approaches US$ 60 billion. Many hope traditional herbal medicine research will play a critical role in global health. China, India, Nigeria, the United States of America (USA) and WHO have all made substantial research investments in traditional herbal medicines. Industry has also invested millions of US dollars looking for promising medicinal herbs and novel chemical compounds. This is still a relatively modest investment compared to the overall pharmaceutical industry; however, it raises interesting ethical questions, some of which are not faced in more conventional drug development.
Holistic or "wholistic" healing addresses all parts of the individual, not just the physical aspect of a person where manifested illnesses are most apparent. Holistic healing is not intended to serve as a band-aid or a one time fix. It is an ongoing journey of discovery in search of more answers and ultimately; living better, being healthier, and striving for wholeness. Holistic practices use more natural treatments that rely on self-accountability. A holistic approach allows for patients to feel comfortable and more aware of what to expect. Holistic medicine is an approach to health and healing that takes the whole person into consideration. A person's mind and spirit are treated as important to health as the body. Giving mind, body and spirit equal attention helps to stimulate the body's natural ability to heal itself and ultimately improves one's overall health. Holistic medicine has been around for over 4,000 years--much longer than traditional Western medicine. Just like traditional medicine, holistic medicine tries to prevent and treat diseases and ailments and improve a patient's general health and well-being. The treatments and techniques used, help to boost the body's natural healing abilities. Encouraging and empowering the patient to take responsibility of their own health is another important factor of holistic medicine.The types of holistic therapies available are extensive and diverse:
Homeopathy functions in much the same way as a vaccine: It’s based on the principle of treating “like with like,” meaning a substance that causes adverse reactions when taken in large doses can be used—in small amounts—to treat those same symptoms. (This concept is sometimes used in conventional medicine, as well; for example, Ritalin is a stimulant used to treat patients with ADHD) Homeopaths gather extensive background information on patients before prescribing a highly diluted substance, usually in liquid or tablet form, to jump start the body’s natural systems of healing. There’s some clinical evidence that homeopathy is more effective than placebos, though more research is needed to determine its efficacy.
Integrative Medicine (IM) is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies. Integrative Medicine is not the same as alternative medicine, which refers to an approach to healing that is utilized in place of conventional therapies, or complementary medicine, which refers to healing modalities that are used to complement allopathic approaches. If the defining principles are applied, care can be integrative regardless of which modalities are utilized. Integrative Medicine can help people with cancer, persistent pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many other conditions better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life by reducing fatigue, pain and anxiety.Examples of common practices include:
Naturopathic medicine is premised on the healing power of nature. Naturopathic doctors are trained in both conventional and alternative medicines, and seek to understand the cause of a condition by exploring its mental, physical, and spiritual manifestations in a given patient. Naturopathy typically involves a variety of treatment techniques including nutrition, behavioral changes, herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture. Because it involves so many different therapies, it’s difficult to design studies that specifically target naturopathy’s effectiveness. That said, one study that evaluated the practice for low back pain found positive results.
Osteopathy is a drug-free, non-invasive manual therapy that aims to improve health across all body systems by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. It uses manual 'hands-on' techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics, without the use of drugs. An osteopathic physician does not concentrate only on the problem area, but uses manual techniques to balance all the body systems, and to provide overall good health and well being. Diagnosing and treating conditions include stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance using these techniques is called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM).Osteopathy can provide relief and treatment for a wide range of conditions.
• Foot, Ankle, Hip, and Knee pain
• Back pain, Neck pain, and Sciatica
• Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow pain
• Tennis and Golfer's elbow
• Postural Problems due to pregnancy, Sports injury, Driving or Work strain, or Digestive issues
Ethnomedicine is a study or comparison of the traditional medicine based on bio-active compounds in plants and animals and practiced by various ethnic groups, especially those with little access to western medicines, e.g., indigenous peoples. Often these traditions constitute significant interactions with insects as well, in Africa or around the globe. The word ethnomedicine is sometimes used as a synonym for traditional medicine. Ethnomedical research is interdisciplinary; in its study of traditional medicines, it applies the methods of ethnobotany and medical anthropology. Often, the medicine traditions it studies are preserved only by oral tradition. Often these traditions constitute significant interactions with insects as well Scientific ethnomedical studies constitute either anthropological research or drug discovery research. Anthropological studies examine the cultural perception and context of a traditional medicine. The purpose of drug discovery research is to identify and develop a marketable pharmaceutical product.
Acupressure is similar in practice to acupuncture (see below), only no needles are involved. Practitioners use their hands, elbows, or feet to apply pressure to specific points along the body’s “meridians.” According to the theory behind acupressure, meridians are channels that carry life energy qi or ch’ithroughout the body. The reasoning holds that illness can occur when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance; acupressure is thought to relieve blockages so energy can flow freely again, restoring wellness. More research is needed, but pilot studies have found positive results: Acupressure might decrease nausea for chemotherapy patients and reduce anxiety in people scheduled to have surgery.
Also known as Hydrotherapy. Balneotherapy involves the use of water for therapeutic purposes, and it dates as far back as 1700 B.C.E. It’s based on the idea that water benefits the skin and might treat a range of conditions from acne to pain, swelling, and anxiety; practitioners use mudpacks, douches, and wraps in attempts to reap agua’s rewards. Proponents of the therapy cite findings that water might boost people’s immune systems, though research on balneotherapy’s effectiveness remains inconclusive.
Biofeedback techniques allow people to control bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily—such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature—in order to improve conditions including high blood pressure, headaches, and chronic pain. Patients work with a biofeedback therapist to learn these relaxation techniques and mental exercises. In initial sessions, electrodes are attached to the skin to measure bodily states, but eventually the techniques can be practiced without a therapist or equipment. Researchers still aren’t sure how or why biofeedback works—but a lot of research suggests it does work. Relaxation seems to be a key component, as most people who benefit from the practice have conditions that are caused or exacerbated by stress.
Reflexologyinvolves applying pressure to specific areas on the feet, hands, or ears. The theory is that these points correspond to different body organs and systems; pressing them is believed to positively affect these organs and a person’s overall health. (For example, applying pressure to a spot on the arch of the foot is believed to benefit bladder function.) A person can either use reflexology on her or his self, or enlist the help of a reflexologist. Millions of people around the world use the therapy to complement conventional treatments for conditions including anxiety, cancer, diabetes, kidney function, and asthma. Some studies have found that reflexology can improve respiratory function in breast cancer patients, reduce fatigue, and improve sleep—but other studies have reached less definitive conclusions.
Reikiis a form of energy healing based on the idea that a “life force energy” flows through everyone’s body. According to this philosophy, sickness and stress are indications that life force energy is low, while energy, health, and happiness signify a strong life force. In a Reiki session, a practitioner seeks to “transfer” life energy to the client by placing their hands lightly on the client’s body or a slight distance away from the body (Reiki can also be performed long-distance). The purpose is to promote relaxation, speed healing, reduce pain, and generally improve the client’s wellbeing. For the most part, there’s no regulation for Reiki practitioners. Studies of the practice’s efficacy are varied: Some find therapeutic touch to be an effective form of treatment; some don’t
Hypnotherapy is a type of complementary and alternative medicine in which the mind is used to help with a variety of problems, such as breaking bad habits or coping with stress. Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis, or a trance-like state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist. This trance-like state is similar to being completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one's own thoughts or meditations. In this state, clients can turn their attention completely inward to find and utilize the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain control in certain areas of their life.
Complementary Medicines can be defined as a group of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques or methods that are used together with conventional medicine. However, it is different from alternative medicine. The difference between complementary and alternative medicine is that Complementary Medicine is used together with conventional medicine whereas alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. A subcommittee of the P&T committee of IMCO has developed a CAM guide which is widely accepted by pharmacists and physicians. A CAM guide is made available online to download and to the handheld device.
Sports Medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Although most sports teams have employed team physicians for many years, it is only since the late 20th century that sports medicine has emerged as a distinct field of health care. Sports chiropractic is a specialty of chiropractic. It generally requires post-graduate coursework and a certification or diplomate status granted by a credentialing agency recognized in a practitioner's region. Assessment and diagnosis of sports-related injuries by a sports chiropractor involves a physical exam and sometimes imaging studies. Treatment is described as noninvasive and can include joint manipulations as well as recommendations for exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
Neutraceuticals are any food or food supplements that offer a medical or health benefit beyond the purpose of nutrition and also help to avoid the recurring disease and for the process of cure. The products range from proteins, vitamins, minerals, pure compounds and capsules which are naturally based, tablets, and foods that contain fortified bioactive ingredients. The preparations containing phytochemical from a variety of botanical sources that influence the function of the skin and also provide nutrients for healthy skin and hair is called herbal cosmetics.
Yoga practiceis a way of life that aims to remove obstacles and suffering from life to attain the highest spiritual goal ‘Samadhi’ or self-realization or union with higher consciousness. Yoga is not only about stretching and physical exercise. Yoga is practiced for everyday living in spiritual harmony. It is a holistic approach to healthy living. It helps to connect the mind, body, and spirit. It also improves daily living habits, helps to build better relations and in circulatory, respiratory, hormonal, digestive, excretory etc. It helps to achieve peace of mind, emotional and mental stability. Meditation doesn’t include any exercise or bodily movements. A person sits in a particular posture and concentrates on the significant object, sound, breathe to focus the energy within the body. It helps you gain your inner peace, and improves your stability, thought process and relieves stress.
Siddha Medicine is an ancient form of traditional medicine originated in South India and Sri Lanka. The practiser of Siddha medicine is called Siddhar who laid the foundation for the system. Siddhar is considered to possess astha siddhis or the eight supernatural powers. In the Siddha medicine system, diet and lifestyle play a major role in health and curing diseases. This is termed as pathiyam and apathiyam, which is essentially a list of do's and don'ts.
Tribal Medicine is a part of the Indigenous Medicine and is used by tribal in the forest. It is the little traditional medicine or folk streams. The tribal medicine is also known as the ethnomedicine. From the ancient era the people especially the tribal have known the use of the herbs and roots for the healing purpose. There is an estimation of 25,000 plants used as the tribal medicinal plants. This empirical knowledge of tribal medicine is shared by word by mouth. Out of the 2000 drug items recorded in the Indian Materia Medica, 1800 are of plant origin. Therefore 80% of the raw materials required in the manufacture of drugs are forest-based. Therefore it can be a foundation for the development of the innovation of therapeutic drugs.