By Ken Snow
The origins of alternative medicine, also known as holistic medicine, can be traced back thousands of years to the very roots of medicine. Many millennia ago, physicians or healers would assess the sick person’s emotional condition in addition to their physical symptoms before beginning treatment. The roots of alternative medicine deal with the symptoms of the “whole” person, not merely the physical signs of illness. This is radically different from traditional medicine today.
In medicine today, people demand to be cured immediately, and the demand for medicines and treatments that do so is very high. Most physicians today are trained to assess physical symptoms and base treatments on that, without much consideration of the person’s emotional or intellectual state.
Since its inception, alternative medicine has survived the ages and stages of the field of medicine. Despite the prevalence of modern medical practices, there are still millions of people worldwide that take advantage of alternative treatments for ailments or well-being. Some of these alternative treatments include massage therapy, herbal remedies, and meditation. Massage is one of the most long-standing forms of alternative treatment, and it is highly popular today as a treatment for aches and pains, and as a means of stress release and relaxation. Most people probably don’t even think about massage as a type of alternative medicine.
Through the ages, every society has used their own forms of alternative medicines and treatments. There is over 5000 years of history and many types of treatments that were used far and wide, and many traditional medical treatments can even find their roots in alternative medicine from long ago.
Long ago in Europe, medical issues were treated by one of two types of healers, the physicians or the folk healers. The folk healers appealed to the poorer factions of society, in that they used natural treatments that were more affordable and easier to come by. Folk healers were often highly respected in these underprivileged sections of society. Folk healers often incorporated philosophy and religious faith into their healing practices, which helped to strengthen a sick person’s mind and spirit, as well as his body.
Eventually, folk medicine evolved into the traditional medicine we are familiar with in today’s world. With each passing century, many great advances have been made in treatments and cures for various diseases and conditions.
Despite the dominance of traditional medicine in the world today, there is still a place for alternative medicine. It is alive and well, and used by many people around the world through massage therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, meditation, and many other forms of alternative treatments. Many physicians now support many of these treatments, making them less alternative.
The origins of alternative medicine were very forward thinking. Alternative medicine has survived through the millennia because it has real validity, despite a great deal of ridicule through the ages. Though they do not have the immediate effect that many drugs and treatments of traditional medicine, they are a feasible option for a person to consider.
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