Alternative Health

What is alternative health or medicine?

Alternative Health or alternative medicine is any practice which has healing effects of medicine but not based on the evidences gathered using scientific methods. It might consist of wide range of medical practices, products and therapies. Examples of alternative medicine include homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture etc.

Alternative medicines and alternative therapies are therapeutic methods, which are currently not considered as a fundamental element of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is the current popular medical system of analysis and treatment of disease. However, an increasing desire for health and fitness, in reaction to today’s traumatic lifestyle and increasing situations of cancer, diseases and illness, has led to the improving demand for services for alternative health and treatments. It is true that many people are getting disappointed with conventional medicine’s drugs and the approach to treatment.

Alternative health VS Conventional Health

Alternative medicine tends to be ‘holistic’, where a person’s health is regarded as a whole and therapy not just targeted on the symptoms. Alternative medicine implements “natural” techniques to aid the treatment abilities of the body to come back to a healthy body. Treatment techniques are holistic; i.e. It takes into account every aspect of a patient and not just on the health symptoms that he or she is experiencing.

Conventional medicine tends to focus on the disease and utilizes methods to treat it. It views the whole body as a war zone where fights against infiltrating organisms are fought, and won or lost. It focuses more on methods, technology, chemical reactions that can be calculated, mathematically proven and documented. Treatment is on the part of the whole body that is displaying the symptoms of the illness or disease.

Alternative medicine has a history longer than conventional medicine. Many of alternative medicines are derived from ancient treatment techniques. For example, the use herbal treatment practiced all over the world long time ago. It is popular as Ayurvedic medicine in India.

Considering the above points, alternative medicine may seem superior to conventional medicines. The general perception is somewhat different, however. Sometimes, conventional medicine should not be the first choice of treatment, as it often is. The point is that most usually search for organic or alternative medical care as the last resort. Looking for organic treatment as a last dispose of for health is not a very good idea as alternative medical care requires some time to show positive healing effects.

Luckily, with the introduction of the natural health and fitness activity over the last two decades, a lot more conventional physicians are now recognizing that health is more than the absence of disease. Many more physicians practice integrative medication, where they merge research-backed alternative medicine with the best of conventional allopathic medication. This may just be the best way to go.

www.skillcountry.com is the right place to find the best alternative health practitioner in your city or town. You can even come across others with unique skills, talents and services. And if you are an alternative health practitioner you can post your profile for free.

Utah vet uses acupuncture to help pets heal

Posted on: 12:04 am, November 6, 2013, by , updated on: 12:01pm, November 6, 2013

Thousands of Utah pet owners are now seeking alternative medicine treatments for their pets.

Zin, a 6-year-old greyhound, used to be a racer. Although Zin’s racing career is over, the dog still loves to run like a champion, which can lead to injuries.

Zin’s owner Kathy takes the dog to Dr. Kim Henneman at Animal Health Options in Park City.

Although traditional surgeries are needed to treat injuries like fractures, Henneman says alternative therapies can be used to assist in and often speed up the recovery.

Because she found a problem with Zin’s flexor muscles, Zin will get laser and ice, plus a brace to help heal the tendon. The laser is used to stimulate the healing function of the cells and reduce inflammation.

Henneman built Animal Health Options to be a place where western and eastern medicine could be practiced. Many holistic therapies are integrated with traditional medical care at the facility.

Dr. Henneman is one of 15 people in the nation with advanced training in acupuncture, and she’s one of the first veterinarians certified in chiropractic medicine for animals. Henneman is the only specialist in Utah in sports and medicine and rehabilitation for animals.

Henneman said holistic medicine on animals has been used in the United States for the past 50 years, but, for many, it’s a new discovery.

Earlier this year, the American Veterinarian Medical Association voted to allow the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture to be a member of its policy delegation.

“Any treatments should be performed by a licensed veterinarian with additional training and certification in acupuncture,” a statement from the AVMA said.

Now, a whole generation of vets are going to school specifically because they want to perform integrative therapies on animals.

Those vets are learning acupuncture for animals at schools like Tufts, U.C. Davis, Colorado State, University of Florida and Auburn University.

In Utah, the state’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing licenses veterinarians and acupuncturists under separate categories. Caregivers’ credentials can be looked up on DOPL’s website.

AIDS drug supplier Ronald Woodroof dies; Dallas native sought out …

Editor’s note: This story was originally published Aug. 18, 1992, in The Dallas Morning News.

Graveside services for Ronald Woodroof, founder of the Dallas Buyer’s Club, an underground supplier of experimental AIDS medications, were held Monday at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas. Memorial services will be announced later.

Mr. Woodroof died of AIDS Saturday at his Dallas home. He was 42.

The Dallas native attended South Garland High School, then studied photography for a few years and later electronics at various Dallas-area schools.

He was a licensed electrical contractor until 1986, when he doctors told him that he had been infected with the AIDS virus and had six weeks to live, said his girlfriend, Deb McGregor of Fort Worth. She said he then decided against mainstream medicine and began searching for alternative therapies.

Mr. Woodroof began trying medications that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because he had heard they were helping others live longer, said his mother, Billie Hughes Woodroof.

The FDA considers many of the experimental drugs unproven and even dangerous, although many people who use them feel they have little to lose and believe the drugs can extend their lives.

“When he set a goal, he met it,’ said Mrs. Woodroof. “When he first told me (that he had AIDS), I asked him, “What are you going to do about this?’ and he told me, “I’m not going to just sit down and die.’ “

A few months later, Mrs. Woodroof said, she lent her son a thousand dollars to go to Mexico to buy drugs.

She said he thought the drugs helped him, and he wanted to help others.

Mr. Woodroof made more trips, gathering more medications, and started the Dallas Buyer’s Club. It smuggles experimental AIDS medications that have not been approved by the FDA and sells them to about 4,000 people across the country.

Mr. Woodroof was responsible for finding medication sources, smuggling the drugs and finding laboratories to test them for purity. His search for medication often took him to Mexico, Japan and Denmark.

“He was a maverick, an inspiration and offered hope to thousands of people and worked hard for what he believed in,’ said Miss McGregor. “With his belief and self-will, he was able to live as long as he did.’

Other survivors include his daughter, Yvette Sweden of Odessa; a sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Eugene Braden of Red Oak; and an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schulz of Richardson.

Mr. Woodroof’s father, Garland Woodroof, died in 1983.

Memorials may be made to the AIDS Resource Center, the AIDS Foundation or V.N.A. Hospice.

Saying it saved her, Abate brings holistic healthcare to LES

Catherine Abate and her son, Kyle Kliegerman, onboard the Oct. 22 fundraising cruise for the holistic healthcare clinic at 150 Essex St. Photo by Bob Buchanan

Catherine Abate and her son, Kyle Kliegerman, onboard the Oct. 22 fundraising cruise for the holistic healthcare clinic at 150 Essex St.
Photo by Bob Buchanan

BY HEATHER DUBIN  |  Alternative medicine is gaining increasing acceptance in the Western world. In the case of Catherine Abate, president and C.E.O. of Community Healthcare Network, she not only accepts alternative medicine — she firmly believes it helped save her life.

Diagnosed with stage-four uterine cancer in May 2012, Abate’s positive experience with holistic medical practices prompted her to bring these same modalities to Community Healthcare Network’s Downtown Health Center, at 150 Essex St. on the Lower East Side. The nonprofit C.H.N. provides medical care to underserved New Yorkers at 11 federally qualified healthcare centers.

In an interview last week, Abate spoke about the new Essex St. integrative health center — which will incorporate alternative therapies with traditional medicine — as well as about her own personal journey regarding her condition.

Abate has always worked in public service, striving to help others. An attorney, she is a former New York state senator, and before that was the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Corrections.

C.H.N.’s Essex St. center caters to 6,000 patients a year. According to Abate, this population has “a tremendous interest” in acupuncture, herbal supplements and medication, but lacks access to them.

“Medicaid and private insurance doesn’t cover it, and there’s a great need,” she said.

State, city and federal grants help cover the cost of medical services currently offered at the center. While there is a sliding-fee scale based on income, patients are never turned away.

Abate noted that C.H.N. centers are sited in the poorest and most underserved areas of the city. They have sites in every borough except for Staten Island.

The Essex St. center offers complete primary care, pediatrics, nutrition, social services and other basic medical care. While these services will continue, Abate wants to add holistic medicine as an integral component to improve patient health. The program is in the planning process, and Abate anticipates the revamped facility’s opening next February.

“It’s the perfect site to do this,” she said.

The demographic the center serves is mixed ages with the majority of patients under age 50, while the ethnic breakdown is mostly Latino and Asian. Abate also noted that many patients suffer from chronic diseases, such as asthma, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. These patients are familiar with and eager to try alternative therapies that could potentially benefit them.

Thanks to federal money, additional exam rooms have already been constructed to accommodate the expanding center. As part of the holistic approach, there will be more time focused on personal nutrition. Yoga, acupuncture, energy healing, reflexology and meditation will also be part of the new program. Abate wants patients to take ownership of their care, and she thinks these modalities will help them do this.

“We want the patients to feel better about their care, and improve communication between them and their provider,” Abate said. Three years ago, she started a health literacy program. Results show patients, during an office visit, do not receive useful information that encourages them to go home and change their lifestyle, which is often essential for dealing with their health problem.

“Whether it’s positive thinking about their healing, stopping smoking or eating healthy, or cleaning up their home environment from mold, or whatever,” she said, “there has to be better communication to really make them a partner in their healthcare.”

Abate feels this improved informational dialogue empowers patients, providing them with more balance and control, which will improve their overall health and well-being.

She understands this firsthand.

“I don’t think I’d be in the shape I am in today if I didn’t use the complementary and alternative-use therapies,” Abate said.

Her initial diagnosis, following her first operation in June 2012, gave her 12 months to live. Abate, who is in her mid-60s, turned to Western medicine for surgeries and chemotherapy, and saw an immunologist, which is a field she wants to implement at the center. But she also went to a life coach and energy healer, who taught her the power of the mind.

“Mind, body and spirit come together,” Abate said. “Everyone has the power to heal themselves. I had a lot of healing, and I’m not saying chemo didn’t have something to do with it. But even my oncologists would say, ‘It wasn’t just the chemo.’ ”

One doctor told Abate that he thought her mind was one of her most powerful weapons in her recovery.

The healthcare C.E.O. believes visualization, diet and acupuncture all help effect a change of attitude toward life.

“It adds up, I’m feeling strong,” she said. “I’m not totally cured yet, but I’m on the right path.”

Abate still receives some low-dose chemo treatment, but she has spent many months playing tennis, and, as she put it, is doing “quite well.”

She partially attributes her health status to alternative therapies.

“I’m not suggesting people turn away from Western medicine,” she said. “I’m suggesting Western medicine becomes that more effective when you also utilize holistic and integrative approaches.”

She used to receive holistic treatments weekly when she was sick, but now only goes every couple of weeks. Abate does practice daily visualization and takes herbal supplements.

“I wake up with gratitude every day,” she said. “I see the beauty in things and in people, and the promise of the world.”

To help foster this same hopefulness for others, Abate has submitted grants for the holistic program. She wants the therapies to be free or low-cost for patients.

With that goal in mind, a boat cruise fundraiser around Manhattan was held on the evening of Tues., Oct. 22, with 240 people paying $250 per ticket. Demonstrations of alternative therapies were conducted onboard the boat.

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How to find a complementary medical provider

When the time comes to find a traditional doctor, many people find the process to be relatively easy. Some doctors may be recommended by a friend, while others opt for a physician that has been treating their families for years. Certain health management and insurance plans may dictate certain “in-plan” providers, searchable by a particular location and practice. Finding an alternative medical provider, or one who specializes in complementary medicine, may not be as simple.

Practitioners who provide complementary and alternative medicine, known as CAM, are those who specialize in chiropractics, naturopathy, acupuncture and herbal remedies. Millions of people now see CAM providers in addition to their standard physicians. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that at least 40 percent of adults and 12 percent of children have used a CAM provider.

Complementary and alternative medicine is made up of a diverse set of therapies and healing philosophies. While traditional doctors may treat illnesses, many CAM providers are employing techniques to prevent illnesses in the first place. Dissatisfaction with traditional medicine has led many people to seek the help of CAM providers. In fact, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the majority of alternative medicine users appear to be doing so largely because “they find these healthcare alternatives to be more congruent with their own values, beliefs and philosophical orientations toward health and life.”

Men and women can find a CAM provider is several ways.

• Start with your doctor or another health care provider, who may offer a referral, particularly if this doctor is in favor of traditional medicine working in conjunction with alternative therapies.

• Some regional medical centers and hospitals may have CAM practitioners on staff. You can seek information from such organizations by calling them directly or going online to see a listing of staff.

• There are a number of professional organizations for CAM providers. An online search may yield various organizations that offer regional referrals.

• Contact state, provincial or municipal regulatory licensing boards for health care professionals. Health departments and boards may have information on nearby practitioners.

• To meet the rising demand for complementary and alternative care services, many health insurance plans have options for you to access these services. However, many plans provide only limited coverage for many CAM services.

• Referrals from friends and family members may yield the name of an effective local CAM practitioner.

Individuals should keep in mind that unless CAM services are covered by insurance, it is very likely that all expenses will be out-of-pocket. When searching for a specialist, be sure to find one who is qualified and verify his or her training, certifications and licensing before beginning any treatment.

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