Rejuvenation, healing focuses on curing our minds and not just our brain and body. To achieve these age old methods which were first attempts to understand and cure an illness through a natural procedure, are employed. These are traditional, unique and true to their region healing methods without chemicals and non-scientific forming complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM involves any diagnosis, treatment or prevention that complements mainstream medicine by contributing to a common whole, by satisfying a demand without any orthodox methods. Uses of CAM has increased over 15 years and gained social, economic, therapeutic importance. The therapies used around the world are-

  • Acupuncture

  • Homeopathy

  • Ayurveda

  • Chinese or Oriental medicine

Touch, used in medicine since early days were based on the fact that illness or injury in one area can affect the whole body and that by manual manipulation, the body can be brought back to its optimum health. Therapies including the healing power of touch –

  • Chiropractic

  • Massage

  • Yoga

  • Tai chi

What we put in our body i.e. our diet is an important concern and aspect. Before we started taking food rich in Trans fats and carbohydrates, a diet of fruits, vegetables, meats and grains were heartily consumed. This created a nutritional imbalance which can be managed with herbal and dietary approaches including

  • Supplements

  • Herbal medicine

  • Nutritious diet

Yoga combined with meditation can bring balance and sense of healing along with improved emotional and mental health. Many people have started seeking cures outside the ‘chemical box’. With time, these therapies started gaining popularities showing multiple healing effects.

Conventional medicine has its profound uses with its multiple side effects affecting multiple organs. These side effects have driven people to seek to heal with alternative methods and traditional cures involving natural procedures. At present medical tourists relying on these alternative and traditional methods like acupuncture and massage to strengthen the body parts as well as alleviating the immune system. Licensed alternative medicine practitioners do not prescribe any harmful or chemical preparations contradicting the current physician’s ongoing treatment provided a complete history is given. Alternative medicine may explore treatment with biologically active forms which can be dangerous when used with conventional methods e.g. immune augmentation, oxygen and ozone therapy, which can have harmful complications. Physicians and therapists can suggest alternative therapies keeping in mind the complete well-being of the patient and strengthening their minds.

Medical tourists have started demanding and seeking alternative medicine from their personal health care assistants, pre and post medical procedures. Asian countries e.g. India for its Yoga, Ayurveda, China for acupuncture and Chinese medicine has become a hub for medical tourists seeking conventional as well as alternative medicine therapies. Alternative medicine has become the booming industry by providing natural procedures effective over a period of time if followed regularly at a reasonable budget.

Patients get apprehensive before visiting a doctor or any medical procedure affecting their mental health and vitals like blood pressure, pulse rate, prolonging or delaying the effects of treatment. With meditation, massages show better and faster post-op recoveries. Following the phrase ‘Prevention is better than Cure’, alternative medicine focuses on preventive methods. CAM is popular among cancer patients with 35.9% using some form of therapy. Herbal medicine/Ayurveda medicine users have tripled as the majority believe it improves the physical and emotional well-being with transient side effects. Physicians attempting to manage chronic pain provide palliative care in form of alternative medicine.

Principles of healing in CAM 

  • Emphasizes on the self-healing ability of the body strengthening the immune system.

  • Emphasizing on harnessing the strength of mind

  • Adopting preventive measures by improving Diet plans, Yoga, meditation.

  • Usage of non-pharmaceutical intervention.

  • Emphasize on the well-being of the entire body and mind as a whole.

  • Being patient with the healing process and appreciate intuitive awareness.

  • Engaging the patient as well in the treatment process to shorten the period of recovery and correcting any harmful habits.

We do have questions as to how alternative medicine works! Unlike conventional medicine which targets diseases after viewing the symptoms and reaching the diagnosis aided by blood tests and scans, Holistic treatment focuses on supporting the body as a whole and rebalancing it rather than correcting specific symptoms and confirming diagnosis believing that these symptoms are some form of emotional dysfunction. The power of belief in the effectiveness or placebo effect strives to the goal of therapy to engage even the patient in the healing process. Hence not many studies have found a particular standard to measure the effectiveness of CAM. Some e.g. of treatment effect in known diseases are Gingko in Alzheimer’s disease, Homeopathy for asthma and homeopathy, exercise for Fibromyalgia.

This has increased the challenge of practitioners to broaden their clinical decision-making process by gaining and accessing for information about CAM. To avoid health fraud and quackery which causes illusions about healing with religion, superstition, supernatural energies, medical tourists must gain adequate knowledge, proper advice from a physician and contacting the medical service provider for treatment abroad assisted by personal health care assistants. These non-pharmacological interventions designed to reduce pain and concomitant mood disturbances by strengthening mind and body intervention and healing our body and soul.

Hence, to summarize alternative therapies or CAMbelieves in self-healing and balance has started gaining vast popularity is said to be the next success story after IT industry. Experimental therapies, superstitions, unlicensed hoaxes should be avoided with proper knowledge and help from medical service providers. Some people often believe that alternative therapy alone can cure a chronic disease if taken over a long period of time when taking treatment from licensed Ayurvedic or homeopathic practitioner. Since the transient side effects are very less, people have started opting for it.

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