Mental Health and Alternative Medicine
As our understanding of diseases has grown so has the need for finding alternative approaches to treat them. Many treatments address the symptoms and manage the disease. However, physicians and patients are finding that no one treatment or solution fits everyone alike and can be very frustrating for the patient. Alternative integrative approaches allow individuals to incorporate other methods of treatments that may help alleviate symptoms that may not be addressed by medications alone.
As the field of complementary, alternative and integrative medicine is a very new field, patients may not understand what is involved. It is always helpful to refer to your providing physician before incorporating changes to your health regimen. It is important to note that using complementary and alternative medicine or integrating these practices need not exclude current medical practices as it may enhance treatment. However, patients should always consult with their physician regarding the use of supplements and alternative treatments.
In the field of mental health, research indicates that a large proportion of patients' problems can be attributed to psychosomatic issues and that by addressing them, patients may find relief.
More recently, research is pointing towards using “mindfulness” and yoga as alternative forms of treatment in improving the outcomes for chronic conditions or to prevent relapse. Mind body medicine is a field that utilizes mindfulness, mediation and yoga in conjunction with psychotherapy to address health conditions such anxiety, depression, stress, asthma, high blood pressure, chronic low back pain, and insomnia to name a few.
Complementary and alternative medicine can be a good resource for all patients in order to address symptoms in a more holistic approach than conventional treatments. It allows patients and doctors to address a patient's symptoms individually. Collaborating with other clinicians and the patient allows the primary care physician the best possible outcomes for the patients' over all well-being and to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from chronic conditions.
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