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The Benefits Of Complementary Medicine For Personal Development

By Rachel Nall
Updated January 23, 2015

Health and wellness is one of the most important aspects of our lives, and many people are constantly on the search for personal growth and self improvement. When your doctor’s prescription alone isn’t enough to treat your current condition, it may be time to consider other options, such as complementary medicine.

What Is Complementary Medicine?

Complementary medicine is an effective way to provide long-term healthcare in addition to your doctor’s standard procedures. No matter your condition, there is likely a form of complementary medicine that will work side-by-side with your medical treatment to ease your “dis-ease,” and according to the renowned Mayo Clinic, many doctors are embracing complementary medicine as part of their healthcare practice.

One of the benefits of complementary medicine is that it is not only comprised of tried-and-true methods that date back centuries, it is also a practice that treats the entirety of the human mind and body, not just one part of it. For example, in complementary medicine, you will embrace numerous practices designed to greater enhance the wellness of your body, mind and spirit. These ancient philosophies have stood the test of time, and the Mayo Clinic also reports that nearly 40 percent of American adults have embraced complementary medicine today. So, what is it? Keep reading!

Different Types Of Complementary Medicine

Because complementary medicine comes through different practices throughout the world, there are tons of methodologies available to those looking to complement their current healthcare regime. In general, complementary medicine will oftentimes include alternative medicine to create what is considered a “whole” medicinal practice. These “whole” medicinal practices are:

Ancient Medicine
India’s Ayurveda and Chinese medicine are examples of medical practices that not only include entire body, mind and spirit healing and wellness, but have also been in existence for centuries.

The purpose of homeopathy is to find natural ways to stimulate your body’s healing. Self-healing is the center of this practice, and the body and mind are encouraged to heal themselves through natural medicine and therapies.

Acupuncture and massage, herbal medicine, proper diet and exercise, even life counseling – all of these are part of naturopathy’s approach to complementary medicine. Simply put, if you take care of yourself, your body will take care of you!

Breaking Down The Practices Further

Since complementary medicine is designed to address the wellness of your body, mind and spirit, let’s break down these practices even further.

Mind/Body Medicine
The concept of mind/body medicine is based on the premise that your mind is stronger than your body and it has a healing power unto itself through self-awareness. Examples of mind/body medicine include hypnotherapy, meditation and yoga.

Biological-based Therapy
As this therapy is biological, it engages in the complement of natural substances, such as herbal remedies and vitamins, and their benefit to your overall health. Food is also considered a part of a biological-based therapy, as we really are what we eat!

Manipulating the Body
This one might sound a little frightening, but don’t panic, it is actually a very helpful form of complementary medicine for those experiencing chronic pain or recovering from injury. Physical therapy is form of manipulating the body with which you are likely most familiar. Another popular form is reflexology.

Pin It Energy
We all have energy; we all exude energy. Sometimes, when ill, our natural energy can become depleted or misguided. Energy healing focuses on returning your natural energy – or life force if you will – to its natural balance and involves the hands-on placement of a qualified practitioner to restore your energy force.

With so many options available to complement your current health and wellness program, it is no wonder so many people and their physicians are turning to complementary medicine. Many of these practices have been around for literally thousands of years, and while western medicine may be a little slow on catching up, many throughout the world have been living healthy and balanced lives using complementary medicinal techniques dating back to their ancestors.

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Katherine Hurst
By Rachel Nall
She is a 2005 honors program graduate from the University of Tennessee in Journalism and Political Science. Selected as a "Torchbearer" at the University of Tennessee, the highest honor given to a university student. She began her writing career with the Associated Press in Brussels, Belgium. She enjoys writing about health care, her practice and passion. Rachel is a full-time nurse at a 20-bed intensive care unit focusing primarily on cardiac care. She enjoys educating her patients and readers on how to live healthier and happier lives.

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