Alternative medicine refers to any procedure that is not from western medicine. It has always been a doubtful affair and people used to be hesitant, considering it a waste of time. The same goes in the local perspective too. Alternative medicine in Pakistan has barely got any attraction, but the view is changing lately.
With studies showing numerous advantages of alternative medicine, people are more likely to consider it as a treatment in 2019, than ever before.
According to a report, the alternative medicine industry was worth USD 52 billion in the year 2017. The report also suggests an increasing trend all the way up to 2025. Even doctors themselves, recommend these therapies complementary to their prescription.
In the following, we are discussing some of the best alternative medicine therapies that have gained attraction lately. Above all, all of these therapies are now available in Pakistan.
Acupressure, as the name implies, is a therapy involving the application of pressure. The therapists use their fingers, elbows or feet to apply pressure to the patients’ body. The idea behind this therapy is that there are energy carriers in the human body.
These carriers are known as meridians. Sometimes meridians can get blocked. Acupressure is supposed to release this blockage. Once the energy is moving freely again, the patient feels better.
Acupressure has been found beneficial for cancer patients as it reduces nausea after chemotherapy. Pre-op patients also feel less anxious after a session of acupressure.
Yoga is a therapy that focuses on both mind and body. Yoga has been practiced for over 5000 years. It is a set of physical exercises and meditation practices. All these are supposed to heal a person emotionally and physically. Yoga focuses on a person’s life energy.
Dr. Shehzad Anwar, an acupuncturist in Lahore says, “Sometimes, I recommend Yoga or chiropractic therapy to my patients along with prescription medicines. For injuries that cause long term immobility, patients may feel hesitant to move even after healing. Some sort of physical therapy is not only necessary for recovery; it also builds the patient’s confidence to move again.”
Yoga improves muscle coordination and provides better sleep cycles. The deep breathing that is practiced during the practice of postures reduces anxiety and stress. Yoga exercises can also help avoid back pain and stooped posture.
Acupuncture works on almost the same principle as Acupressure. The process is a multiple step affair. All the steps are targeted towards triggering specific points in the body. The most widely known step of acupuncture is the use of needles which perform mostly the same task that hands and feet do in acupressure.
Acupuncture has been found to help with chronic pain in some cases. Depression patients have also reported a positive response to acupuncture therapy.
Balneotherapy is also known as hydrotherapy. The procedure involves bathing in water that has minerals mixed in it. The main philosophy behind this therapy is that water has healing properties. Water can thus help with various skin problems such as acne and swelling. The benefits of this therapy are not limited to the skin.
Balneotherapy improves blood circulation which helps in reducing stress. It also promotes detoxification and enhances immunity. Bathing in hot springs is also beneficial for people dealing with arthritis.
Last but not least, Chiropractic treatment is probably the most commonly used one on this list. It is more of a complementary medicine rather than the alternative. Chiropractic medicine has statistically proved benefits, especially regarding chronic pain.
Chiropractic medicine is aimed at rectifying the health issues by empowering the nerves and muscles. It is known as an effective tool for helping patients with neck, head, spine, and joint pains. Since the procedure involves the application of controlled force at the affected area, it requires highly skilled professional to do the job.
While the concept of alternative medicine in Pakistan is not widely accepted and there are not too many chiropractors/ alternative medicine experts, using online health platforms like oladoc, you can easily find a chiropractor in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, and other major cities of the country.
There are other types of alternative medicines too like we use our home-made treatment methods (desi totke). However, it is strongly recommended that you should take professional advice before taking up any such treatment.