Alternative healing methods: an overview

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Alternative healing methods - an insight into natural healing methods

The term “alternative healing methods” (or also: alternative medicine, naturopathy, naturopathy, complementary medicine, gentle medicine, holistic medicine) generally describes treatment methods that represent different treatment and diagnostic concepts than conventional medicine.

Characteristic of these healing methods is the individual treatment and care of patients, side effects and interactions that do not occur or only to a minor extent, and the use of manual techniques as well as medicinal products and medicinal plants. In contrast to conventional medical treatments, the use of naturopathic treatments does not necessarily have to be done by a doctor, but is very often also carried out by naturopaths. In current practice, there are a large number of alternative healing methods, whereby acupuncture, homeopathy and osteopathy are probably the best known in Europe due to their widespread use and are presented in more detail below:

Acupuncture (from the Latin acus = needle and punctio = pricking) is a treatment concept of traditional Chinese medicine. During use, sterile needles are used to penetrate the so-called “acupuncture points” down to the millimeter, thereby curing illnesses, alleviating pain or increasing general well-being. Spread over the entire body there are about 700 possible puncture points on so-called meridians or “energy channels”, in which, according to traditional Chinese medicine, the body's own energy - the “Qi” - flows, which is influenced by the insertion of the needles. Acupuncture is used for almost all diseases, especially rheumatism, nerve pain, headache, toothache, back pain, fatigue, stress, addiction and digestive disorders and also promotes relaxation and concentration in general. A treatment usually lasts 30 minutes, in which between one and ten needles are pricked, and is administered by either a doctor or an alternative practitioner.

Osteopathy is an alternative method of diagnosis and treatment that was developed in the mid-19th century by the American doctor Dr. AT. Still was justified and works with manual techniques. The aim of this method is to restore physical complaint-free functioning through treatment using special manual techniques.

In doing so, osteopathy includes functional and anatomical relationships in the human body. I.e. It is assumed that body structures (e.g. bones, muscles, nerves) and body functions (e.g. blood circulation, digestion) influence each other and should therefore always be considered together during treatment. In addition, emotional influences are also taken into account within osteopathy, which results from the assumption that the origins of an acute illness may be to be found or found in a completely different part of the body (e.g. shoulder pain caused by stress). In line with this understanding of “people as a whole”, treatment always begins with an intensive patient consultation. The osteopath then feels the tissue and tests movements and tries to find out how to correct the malfunction and to activate self-healing powers. In Germany, the term "osteopathy" is not legally protected and training is not regulated by law. Only doctors and naturopaths are allowed to work independently. Physiotherapists and massage therapists are allowed to work in the delegation process. (sb, Feb 3, 2010)

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