Alternative Health Care Options

Ever rising health insurance costs are on everyone’s mind. Exorbitant monthly premiums and steadily increasing co-payments have become overwhelming. Personal costs have become so steep that we’re no longer certain that health insurance saves us any money in the long run.

Everyone is feeling the economic strain. Self-employed individuals are expected to pay nearly $1,000 per month for decent health care coverage. This cost is often too high for such small organizations, resulting in purchase of catastrophic coverage. Even then, annual payments can be $4,000 to $5,000. In circumstances where medical help is needed, you could be expected to pay as much as $5,000 before your coverage takes effect.

So, what alternatives do U.S. citizens have? Our concerns might be addressed by the Federal government under the new White House administration, but we can’t be certain that the necessary steps will be taken. On behalf of ourselves and our families, we need to find solutions for increased and continuing health. Healthy people with a sense of well-being are much less likely to need health care, effectively reducing overall medical costs.

A healthy way of life will have small immediate and greater enduring effects on both health and happiness. In order to gain this new sense of personal well-being, current lifestyle choices will need to be changed into fresh, new routines. As your vitality increases, your health care costs will decrease.

The first areas to address are nutrition and physical fitness. Today’s biggest health concerns include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, all of which contribute greatly to health insurance costs across the nation. Better eating habits and an increase in regular exercise can have a positive influence on these many other illnesses.

The most crucial changes are, of course, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. Other fundamental changes are replacing carbonated drinks with pure water, reducing consumption of sugary or salty snacks, decreasing intake of white rice, white bread and other processed carbohydrates, and eating smaller portions overall. Initiating these changes in your life will have a long-lasting change for the better in your health.

Don’t expect instant results. The positive effects of your new lifestyle will take time but, with consistent application, your energy, health and happiness will increase immeasurably.

One crucial part of rebuilding your health and lowering medical costs is chiropractic care. Visiting your chiropractor on a regular basis will assist you in rebuilding and maintaining an active lifestyle. Your muscles will become more flexible, your sense of strength and balance will improve and your overall skill and capacity for exercise will increase, all providing you with a boost in your enjoyment of life.

Alternative Health For You

There are people who simply refuse to use any type of medication other than what they consider to be pure alternative health care. This means they want to use natural remedies as opposed to what is known otherwise as western medicine. Alternative is a tough word for some, because such practices are things/practise that were used long before any type of western medicine was practiced. However, natural remedies are still considered alternative in United States because it is not mainstream.

A popular form of alternative health is acupuncture. This form of treatment has been used for centuries as a way to cure just about anything you can think of. Small needles are pierce into the body near pressure points and are meant to open and facilitate the flow of energy through the body. It is believed that the smooth flow of these energies are tightly couple with illness. Those that use such alternative health swear by it, and think it can do just about anything for them. Some even use the treatment for things like quitting smoking and drinking, and of course, lose weight.

Alternative health may also imply using natural herb to cure. But you do have to be careful. Natural does not necessary always mean safe. If you are taking any existing medications, you may want to talk with your doctor before you try any type of herb or plant. This is because natural herbs can react with your medications. You do not want to take anything that could further harm you rather than helping you. Your doctor may not like the idea that you want to try other things, especially natural herbs. Well, if they won’t help you, go find another one that will. Never stop taking medications without instruction from your doctor.

You can certainly on your own, learn about and practice natural health remedies. But you do have to know what you are doing exactly. That means you have to find someone who is qualified in this field to guide you. If you are treating your children or your family, you really want to be absolutely sure you know what you are doing. Alternative health practices can be very effective, but just as with other medical procedures, you have to be careful.

What Is Alternative Health Care?

Alternative Health Care is not a modern creation; it has, in reality, been in existence for centuries, in fact many people believe it predates written human history. So what is Alternative Health Care? In Western Culture it is frequently defined as “a healing method that does not fall within the field of conventional medicine”, e.g. medicine as practiced by M.Ds. and by allied health professionals.

Alternative Health Care includes major therapies such as:

Acupuncture – an ancient Chinese procedure involving the insertion and manipulation of needles in the body. It is used to relieve pain, such as in rheumatic conditions and to treat many other illnesses.

Alexander Technique – used to teach people how to use their bodies efficiently and effortlessly in everyday life; to use muscles in a relaxed way with a minimum of effort.

Aromatherapy and aromatherapy oils – this is suitable for all age groups and is the art of applying essential oils, usually by massage. It can be used to treat many conditions, especially depression, anger, stress and linked conditions such as headaches.

Homeopathy – This is a method of prescribing, using minerals, plants and sometimes animal remedies. It stimulates the natural healing process and as homeopathic remedies do not have side effects they can be used safely in pregnancy, young children and also elderly patients.

Osteopathy – osteopathic doctrine believes that good health involves physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the non-existence of disease, thus the whole patient must be treated taking into account not just physical symptoms but such factors as nutrition and mental habits also. Osteopathic therapy corrects muscular-skeletal abnormalities by treatment with the hands – massage, stretching, manipulation etc.

Reflexology – this involves massage of the feet and sometimes the hands. The feet contain reflex areas matching all parts of the body thus enabling the whole body to be treated as well as the body as a whole. An important factor in any natural therapy is that it allows not only the symptoms, but also the causes, to be treated.

These are just a few of the treatments that are included in Alternative Health Care. It is a very broad field and the methods are diverse in their methodologies which can incorporate or base themselves on traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs or newly formulated approaches to healing.

An important difference between conventional and alternative medicine is that whilst conventional medicine targets specific symptoms and their causes, Alternative Health Care has a holistic approach;that is to say it treats the whole person, promoting self-care and self-healing and acknowledging the spiritual nature of each person. The idea that the mind is important in the treatment of illness dates back more than 2000 years. Similarly, spinal manipulation dates back to ancient Greece, and was incorporated into chiropractic and osteopathic medicine in the late 19th century.

Alternative Health Care treatments are effective in treating a wide range of minor and major medical conditions. Interest in, and the use of, Alternative Health Care has grown considerably over the past few decades, both for adults and children. In a short article it is impossible to cover the countless forms of Alternative Health Care methods, their benefits and advantages.

Simple and Inexpensive Alternative Health Care For the Whole Family

Here is a story to illustrate how modern medicine often works. A man had some weeds in his lawn. A gardener was called to remove them. He came with a bazooka, some grenades and a machine gun and proceeded to annihilate the lawn. After the job was done, the owner was all upset. “What have you done with my lawn. All I wanted was a few weeds removed.” The reply was, “Well, I got rid of them didn’t I?” Our health care systems often do something like this – costly and difficult fixes instead of relatively non-intrusive, simple and inexpensive body aids.

Until “modern” medicine came about less than 150 years ago, people mostly looked after themselves from a health care point of view. They trusted natural products and approaches for ills and ailments. The idea was to help the body help itself instead of introducing chemicals and products that are highly invasive and in many cases weaken the body further. Ancient wisdom and remedies were passed on to next generations. We have lost much of that ancient wisdom and it is under constant attack by the “modern” medical world. We are told we need to use the gardener’s “kill at any cost” approach instead of something gentle, simpler and less expensive.

Our family members go to a modern-medicine doctor only if absolutely necessary and as a last resort. We learn about our problems and try to fix them ourselves first. This knowledge about how our bodies work can then be used in future situations. I think I know my body pretty well by now and I’m pretty sure I will keep fairly healthy in future years. To be honest, I wonder if modern medicine often causes greater harm than what it should and nobody says or does anything about it.

Our family relies on only a few simple things to maintain control of our health. I want to pass on what we have used for years. We have also saved much money and lost very little “down” time because of them.

I offer no medical claims or scientific proof for these easy and inexpensive self-care methods that work for us personally:

Colds
Instead of buying medicines and syrups containing questionable chemicals, we use a strong salt water or diluted food-grade hydrogen peroxide gargle to kill cold germs in the throat and it seems to prevent them from spreading. At the first signs of a cold, we also use a hot water bottle on the chest and throat while sleeping. Germs are killed easily in the body by the heat and you use less energy producing the fever because of the external heat source. Simple, natural and inexpensive.

Body Toxins
A white coating on the tongue can be a good indicator of toxins. Scraping and mouthwashes to cover the smell are not the solution! Tongues should be pink and uncoated. Check your diet. The color of urine also indicates the level of toxins-the lighter the better. Drink more water to dilute and flush toxins. As you detoxify, two things will be evidence of successful detoxification: clearer urine and a fresh, pink tongue.

Dehydration
Many people are dehydrated and don’t even know it. Headaches can often be warning signs of not enough water in the system. Frizzy skin below cuticles, dry and lifeless hair, and dry flaky body skin are also indicators. Don’t just drink a whole glass of water all at once several times a day, sip continuously throughout the day.

Iron Deficiency
I didn’t believe this one until I saw it with my own eyes when we tried it on our daughter. Rub a gold ring on a cheek. An obvious black streak indicates there is an iron deficiency. We tried the same thing on others in the family. It showed only on her.

Lack of Energy
Low energy is very often caused by poor diet. Many people think they need more sleep because they are always tired. Sleep is not the solution because it is repair time, not re-energize time. If the body doesn’t have the tools and raw materials to repair, it will still be tired when you wake up. Energy comes from nutritious food. Check your diet if you have low energy. Unprocessed foods are best. Cook at low heat to keep needed vitamins and minerals. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables. Learn relaxation techniques to improve depth of sleep.

Pro-active Disease Prevention
Dentists will tell you that many physical ailments start with germs and bacteria entering at the gum lines. Brush and floss your teeth regularly. Many diseases develop as a result of stress which compromises the immune system. Learn formal relaxation techniques. Also exercise regularly to aerate your body and keep the pipes clear of “sludge.”

Miscellaneous Inexpensive and Safe Self-Care
a) exercise, flex and tense face muscles each day to reduce sagging skin. Save money spent on facial creams.
b) eye exercises help keep stronger glasses away and eyes strong. Look them up on the internet
c) get rid of warts by rubbing crushed garlic juice on them
d) rub your hands on any stainless steel to get rid of garlic odor
e) for athletes’ foot, soak your feet in a hot, strong ordinary salt and water solution each day until eliminated

Looking after your own health care is not easy. It takes time, observation, analysis and talking with people that know. Over the long term, you will get to know yourself far better, appreciate yourself more and feel more in control of your life. As well, your body will be healthier and thank you by working properly because you have helped it help itself.

Holistic and Effective Alternative Health Care

Alternative health care is a holistic way of caring for our body, mind and spirit. It is called alternative because it offers a way of caring for our health that is not conventional or what we are used to in the Western world. In the Western world caring for our health is done mostly by the administration of medicines, many of which are synthetic, produced from sources which are derivatives of nature, not natural in the direct sense. A simple example will make this clear.

Most of us in the older bracket of age are familiar with aspirin. I remember when I was a child, if I had a headache my father gave me aspirin to drink. When I had a fever, he would give me also aspirin. Aspirin is a drug in conventional medicine. Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid. It is a synthetic drug, meaning, it is a drug synthesized from certain acids, principally salicylic acid. The natural source for this is the willow bark. But the willow bark itself is not used, only a derivative from this, the salicylic acid.

In alternative health care we do not administer aspirin. The person who has a headache may just need rest. So, we tell him to rest. If he has fever, this may be a result of something that he has eaten. So we tell him to drink plenty of water to clean out what he has eaten.

Secondly this alternative health care is holistic. It does not deal with the body only, but also with the mind or soul, and the spirit. In conventional health care people think that sickness is a physical condition. So the sick person needs a material medicine to cure his physical condition. He feels pain in his joints, so he is diagnosed to have flu. And he is given a medicine to counteract this flu, usually an analgesic, any synthetic drug which relieves pain.

In alternative health care we do not just look at the body, but we also inquire into the mind of the patient and consider his or her level of spirituality. We do not just take care of the sickness when it strikes already but we also take precaution that it does not strike at all. When a person experiences headache we ask that person whether he has current anxieties and worries, whether his or her religious belief is strong enough in a God who cares and who can be depended upon at all times.

Actually we had alternative health care from the beginning of our race, since there were no synthetic drugs then. But with the advent of these drugs we gradually forgot alternative health care in favor of conventional medicine. One reason was that conventional medicine was fast and predictable. You do not have to search for the herb and boil it and make a concoction out of it. You just go to the drugstore, present the prescription your doctor gave you, receive the medicine from the pharmacist or his/her aide and pay for it. Upon reaching home, you just take the medicine. It is so convenient.

But the recent experience of people taking conventional drugs is that they may lead to dependence on these drugs and larger doses may be required upon subsequent intakes. Furthermore there are bad effects in taking these drugs. These happen especially with antibiotic drugs. So people began to look for alternative ways of healing, one that is not heavily dependent on synthetic drugs and one that heals body, soul and spirit so that the person really become whole.

Some of the methods of alternative health care may be enumerated thus:

1. Rest

2. Water Therapy

3. Pranic Healing

4. Hypnosis

5. Acupuncture and acupressure

6. Herbs

7. Magnetic Therapy

8. Chiropractic medicine

9. Reflexology

10. Biofeedback

11. Dieting

12. Massage therapy

13. Aromatherapy

14. Carmenbees Synchrotheraphy

15. Mind healing

16. Spiritual healing