Lesser known pain relief methodsDr. Mahima Handa
Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to achieve healing effects but is not considered as a part of day-to-day medical treatment procedures, advice or references. It is also known as complementary or integrative medicine. It may be clinically untested or not evidently effective. Such therapies are very prevalent in society. People may get attracted to them in the hope of relieving their pain. The practitioners claim to relieve their pain very fast.
It is not necessary that these therapies will work. It is very important to know and understand them carefully before investing and putting your trust in them. Avoid falling prey to fake practitioners. Some may definitely be good in their field, but not all. Due to the unavailability of any proper regulation and rules, many fake people may pose themselves to be specialists.
Many kinds of therapies are available. They all have their own principles and working techniques. They may also relate to different kinds of pain or conditions. Each may have its own effects and side effects. These may be temporary or permanent. These may have some scientific theories or may be related to superstitious theories. They may also be related to the placebo effect. The placebo effect is a psychological effect in which the symptoms of a person lessen or their conditions improve even if their treatment is in reality inactive.
You can take these treatments if you are rightly informed all about them and are fine for your situation or condition. Still, do not leave the major clinical treatments. Continue taking the medical advice. You can take the alternative therapies as an adjunct with your treatment after proper consultation with your doctor or a specialist of your condition.
Most people taking such therapies say that these therapies help them to feel better. If their condition is incurable, these therapies may ease them to live their life better. They may help to improve the quality of life. Many such therapies are available. I am going to tell you about some more commonly heard and used therapies.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique of healing that uses needles to stimulate certain points in the body to improve specific conditions.
Once upon a time, a Chinese soldier’s leg was wounded by an arrow. On removal of the arrow, suddenly he got relieved from shoulder pain which he had for a long time. This led the Chinese to believe that there a relationship between the arrow wound and pain relief. Therefore, they researched and found out that there are many points located near the nerve endings, which when stimulated, gives therapeutic effects.
According to the Chinese, everything in the universe consists of energy and they call it ‘Chi’ or ‘Qi’. In Indian philosophy, it is called ‘Prana’. They say that this energy flows in our body in different channels and when these energy points are stimulated, they may help to treat many conditions.
They use many methods like using needles, heat, cupping, hand techniques, etc. By a variety of techniques, they will try to stimulate certain points to provide the required effects. This is a very common alternative therapy. It has become a little popular with more awareness and with people claiming it to work for them.
Naturopathy is a system of medicine that uses natural elements to help treat people. It follows the principles of a sound mind and a sound body. Its practitioners believe that disease is caused by the violation of nature’s law and the power to cure it lies within the body itself. They say that it is important that we all follow a proper diet, exercise, sleep adequately, pray, meditate, get fresh air and sunshine. The principle of treatment is to use different natural methods to remove the accumulated waste particles and incorporate nature’s important elements.
They recommend therapies like therapeutic baths, mud baths, therapeutic massage, colour therapies, yoga, sleep, rest, diets, etc. Therapeutic baths may include hot or cold water or even both. Mud which is clean and therapeutic is used to immerse the body or body parts followed by a therapeutic bath. Massage is a common technique used not just in naturopathy, but also in clinical practice. It has shown to be effective when performed correctly. It is also used in many households as a home remedy for relief and relaxation. Colour therapies or chromotherapy is a method in which the practitioners believe to cure problems using coloured light or liquids on the body. Yoga is good science that has been proven to be effective in keeping our body fit. Proper sleep, rest, diet, fresh air, etc are essential elements in our life and must be followed irrespective of therapies.
Magnetotherapy is a technique that uses magnets and their poles- north and south poles, for providing therapeutic effects. Its principle is that every disease is an imbalance or in-coordination between various electromagnetic forces. It is based on the belief that the Earth is a huge magnet which possesses its own electromagnetic field and also each body in the universe also have their own electromagnetic fields.
They use different kinds and shapes of magnets in their techniques. They also make magnetised water and magnetised oils using certain methods. These are used in various ways for therapies. Different effects are said to be provided by the two different poles and also when used together. It is also said to have very few side effects.
Reiki healing is a Japanese technique that aims to target energy streams around the body. The practitioners place their hands on the patient’s body or from a distance, claim to provide energy healing. They say that there occur certain energy blocks which cause difficulties in the body and try to ensure the correct energy flow.
Tai chi is a Chinese martial arts technique that uses slow gentle movement techniques to ensure proper health. It is also known as shadowboxing. It follows the principle of the flow of energy in the body. It also follows the principle of yin and yang. Yin is believed to be a female component and yang as male. Energy is believed to flow in these components in a proper flux.
You may make use of any alternative therapy if it suits your condition. But make sure to take the advice of your doctor first who is the specialist of your condition. Do not leave your main treatment and take alternative therapies as complementary therapy. Be aware of quackery! Don’t believe in anyone who claims to magically cure you suddenly! Make sure you take your treatment from a proper practitioner who actually knows about the therapy you wish to take. Happy healing!