Alternative health treatments have become increasingly popular, and you will find them suitable for a whole range of conditions. Treating any condition or ailment can be expensive, but the good news is that many alternative solutions are affordable and widely available.

Some of the most popular and beneficial alternative health treatments include the following:

Massage therapy

Massage dates back to ancient times as a therapy and has been found to have proven physical and well as mental benefits. A massage can help reduce chronic pain as well as headaches and hormonal imbalances. A massage can also have the effect of reducing blood pressure. From a mental health perspective, a massage has been shown to help those with depression and/or anxiety.

The practice of massage dates back more than 3,000 years and is said to have originated in China. Different traditions have evolved across the world, and there are a variety of forms, ranging from Swedish and Shiatsu massages to deep tissues and reflexology massages. Broadly defined, massage involves the use of soft-tissue manipulation on the body. This can mean stroking, kneading, compression, and the use of oils and lotions, though the range of techniques is by no means limited to these.

Massage is a widely accepted practice across the field of medicine and physical therapy, but if you are concerned about its effects on an existing health condition or you are pregnant, for example, discuss with your physician before you undertake massage therapy. Use a therapist who is licensed and regulated, and ask plenty of questions so that you feel comfortable before any therapy takes place. Some health insurance policies will meet the cost of massages, especially if a chiropractor or osteopath has recommended them. Visits to a registered therapist is much more likely to be covered by insurance than trips to a spa. Also, check out the best chiropractor Sydney if you are living in Australia.


An important part of traditional Chinese medicine, this is a technique whereby the practitioner inserts needles into particular points on the body. If you are unfamiliar with acupuncture, then the thought of needles being inserted into you can seem very off-putting, but there is no need for concern because the needles are sterilized and they are thin. The objective is to facilitate the natural healing ability of the human body. Research has found that acupuncture can help with a number of conditions, ranging from back and neck pain and anxiety to nausea and infertility.

Integrative medicine

This form of healing, which is also known as holistic medicine, takes into account the body, mind, and spirit. Hence, the use of the term holistic. The objective is to seek and obtain an optimal level of health and wellness, and this is done by obtaining a proper balance in life. The underlying belief among holistic medicine practitioners is that our bodies are made up of a whole series of interdependent parts. If one part is not working properly, the entire body is affected.

If you do visit a holistic physician, they may use a variety of health therapies, including conventional medicine and alternative treatments. They may very well focus on lifestyle factors that may or may not be contributory factors, such as diet and sleep patterns and stress and personal problems.  Alternative treatments prescribed may include massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic techniques.  Equally important is the notion of patient education and a focus on self-care so that you can make the positive changes needed to achieve better health.

If you have never visited an integrative doctor, ask for a recommendation. The American Holistic Medical Association website has a list of practitioners by area. Choose a practitioner whose approach to care ties in with your own beliefs and philosophy. Be ready to answer a lot of questions about your lifestyle and medical history, and be honest in your answers.

To get an idea on how individual integrative practitioners go about their work, take a look at Dr. Richard Firshein on Facebook, where you will find details on the background and experience of Dr. Richard Firshein. Drawing on Western medicine and Eastern practices, he has developed The Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine in New York City.

There is something to be said for an integrative approach in general and/or traditional medicine. Patients do tend to feel more content if their physician takes an approach that takes into account not only the particular ailment that they are suffering from but also lifestyle factors that may be contributing to or are adversely affected by the condition or disease.

Alternative treatments are best thought of as a complement to more conventional forms of medical treatment. Their increasing acceptance within the medical community is testimony to the impact that they have on patient well-being.


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