Perhaps you’ve had little success with conventional treatments for your current health problem, or you’re disenchanted with the options. Maybe you’ve reached a point where you’re willing to try almost anything to get some relief! Perhaps, one friend suggested a chiropractor. Another suggested a Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal practitioner. You’ve also heard that your condition may be helped with herbs, diet, and something called ayurvedic medicine. What you really need is some guidance, but with so many “alternative” therapies to choose from, how do you know what’s what and where to begin?
There are a lot of terms for “Alternative” medicine, and it is a flaming mess compounded by politics and emotional arguments. Richard Dawkins has stated that “there is no alternative medicine. There is only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t work”. It is unfortunate, but these are all semantic arguments. While it is true that some remedies have been proven and others disproven, there is a lot in between. Even in modern mainstream medicine only about 25% of what is used for treatment has been “proven” in the strictest sense by high quality clinical trials.
Integrative Medicine is a relatively new term which has added some credibility to an entire approach to healing that includes the best of mainstream and adds healing approaches that are outside mainstream. The intent is to document the research evidence behind Eastern, natural and ancient approaches to healing and integrate them into patient care to achieve optimal health and healing. Some evidence is far better than other evidence in terms of the level of science behind it and you can read about that HERE. But overall, given that everyone is different and not everything has been studied properly, the field of Integrative Medicine is slowly gathering support from grassroots to University departments.
In some cases you need mainstream therapy which may help alleviate suffering from symptoms while attacking the root cause of disease. In other cases, mainstream therapy can only help symptoms while you heal in other ways, including fundamental natural therapies. Integrative medicine offers the best of both worlds when used properly.
Here is a short list of some healing sciences and arts that are part of the field of Integrative Medicine:
- Traditional Chinese Medicine which is largely herbal in nature but includes acupressure, acupuncture and Qi gong
- Naturopathy which studies natural remedies and focuses on nutrition
- Ayurveda which is Indian and includes mind-body healing, spiritual healing and herbs/nutrition
- Biotherapies based on supplements, diet and macro/micro nutrition
- Manipulative therapies such as chiropractic and osteopathy
- Yoga and TaiChi
- Energy medicine
The list is far greater than these examples, and some therapies have a much better scientific plausibility than others. The mission of Cureology is to uncover and report what is available from a base of science and a voice of reason.