Monday, 1 July 2013

Can Alternative Medicines Help Neuropathy?

Today's post from (see link below) puts alternative medicines in context for neuropathy sufferers. It's particularly applicable to neuropathy patients as they often find that conventional treatments just don't work, or don't work well enough. The temptation then is to look for alternatives but it is always wise to be wary of claims for this that and the other. Discuss it with a doctor first and then go online to do some research for that particular supplement in relation to neuropathy and in relation to any other drugs you may be taking. Many people find that the alternative medicines don't work either but equally, many people do find something that does help. Careful research and not spending too much of your hard-earned money will guide your way through the minefield. The ones mentioned below are by no means all the options available and both acupuncture and biofeedback are alternative therapies, not medicines. That said, the information about the history of alternative treatments is interesting.

Alternative Medicines to Help Neuropathy Treatment

Vitamins and herbal supplements as alternative medicines are generally classified as nutritional supplements only. Because they are not categorized as medicines, they do not undergo a strict investigation. Although people may provide testimonies in the effectiveness of these supplements but clinically it does not have proven trials yet. However, many physicians today divert to alternative medicine due to available options in treating a disorder.

People will certainly deviate to alternative medications if the medical community provides no more cures to the illness. Nevertheless, evidences show that some therapies help in augmenting the daily activities of many patients. Western physicians recognize and refer alternative therapies as the last resort when they find that cure from traditional medicine is next to impossible. Be that as it may, some physicians still remain doubtful about it.

A Brief History of Alternative Medicines
In the olden days people rely on herbs that are planted in their backyards to treat illnesses. Nature has it. Various plants have diverse healing properties that can help relieve disorders. The experimentations done by herbalist benefited many people of different generations in helping to cure diseases. The herbal formulation years back have been enhanced in today’s modern medicine with the arrival of synthetic drugs.

The known medicines in the past are chemical compositions of botanicals. Aspirin was taken from the willow tree leaves and its bark. Codeine originates from poppy flower. Quinine is derived from cinchona tree and barbaloin comes from the aloe plant. Garlic is good for high blood pressure. Echinacea is awesome in treating respiratory problems and other infections.

Plants were not the only source of medicines in the early days. Even fruits have their own contributions to help people improve their lives. Guava for one has many medicinal uses the same with coconut. Flowers likewise possess healing properties like these fruits have. Some say that the colour of the plant leaves give a hint to the disorder it cures like the yellow dandelion which is known to treat jaundice.

What is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine is any of the diverse types of health care practices, therapies or products which are not recognized by conventional medicine. It is a treatment that has not been proven clinically yet. However, there is a difference between alternative medicine and complementary medicine.

Complementary medicine is a technique of health care that mixes conventional medicine and therapies under alternative medicines like acupuncture, biofeedback or herbal medicine. It may include non-traditional medical practices but deals with approaches on traditional healing. Alternative medicine indicates the use of non-traditional methods only.

Integrative medicine denotes that conventional medicine is combined with complementary medicine and alternative therapies. These are drug-free treatments which back up the concept that the body has the ability to heal itself.

Alternative medicine has wide range of practices based on Chinese beliefs like acupuncture and usage of some herbal compositions. Some prefer Ayurvedic, a Hindu art of healing like yoga and changes in diet focusing in the link between the spirit, body and mind.

Other alternative medicines involve meditation, massage, chiropractic techniques and practice, also exercises like Tai Chi, aromatherapy and spiritual healing among others. Some patients would opt to other forms of alternative medicines like herbal supplements and vitamins without the guidance of a doctor.

Alternative Medicine for Peripheral Neuropathy
One of the most promising alternative medicines to ease the pain of peripheral neuropathy is acupuncture. It is found to be effective in managing peripheral neuropathy. Acupuncture use sterile needles that are inserted in the pressure points of the body and decrease the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Several sessions may be required to notice the results of acupuncture. It realigns the energy of the body known as qi in Chinese. Yoga and Tai chi support this idea and promote relaxation. Although temporary it may divert the feeling of pain.

Herbal supplements are among the alternatives in treating the causes of peripheral neuropathy. When taken orally there is a big chance of diminishing the causes of neuropathic pain although topical creams with capsaicin, a component in chilli peppers helps in reducing the burning neuropathic pain attacks.

Biofeedback is a method which can be used in controlling the functions of the body like the heart rate. Biofeedback has electrical sensors which help in receiving information or feedback concerning the body. It monitors the physiological responses of the body to the symptoms of neuropathic pain. The device directs how the body must respond through beeping cues or flashing lights. The feedback associates the responses of the body with some physical functions. This helps in decreasing the responses using techniques like relaxation. Biofeedback can enhance the performance of the body when patterns of emotions, thoughts and behaviour change. Biofeedback is an effective way of treating not only the cause of neuropathic pain but also migraines or headaches.

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