Natural healing methods have been used by humans for thousands of years. Different forms of this type of holistic treatment have existed as evidenced by the writings of ancient Greeks, Arabs, and Asians.
Today it is becoming commonplace alongside conventional medical practices. Below are several interesting facts about natural healing.
IT IS MORE WIDESPREAD THAN MOST PEOPLE THINK.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 4 billion people depend on natural healing as their main form of treatment. This figure accounts for between 60 to 80% of the world’s population. The estimates also reveal that about 10 to 30% of people rely on conventional medicine.
In the United States where people predominantly opt for conventional medicine, the use of natural healing methods is relatively common. A 2008 study by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health revealed that about 38% of adults and 12% of children were using some form of natural healing treatments. Currently, these numbers are on the rise meaning natural healing is a widely preferred medical practice.
This trend is likely to continue considering that today more than half of all medical training institutions offer alternative medicine courses. Moreover, over 70% of doctors now consider natural healing as a viable form of treatment when diet, exercise, physiotherapy and mental therapy are incorporated.
IT IS STILL CONTROVERSIAL.
Despite the positive figures regarding natural healing, this form of treatment is still considered controversial in many instances. This status can be attributed to a lack of information based on evidence about the effectiveness and safety of some of the treatment methods.
A significant information gap exists between natural healing methods and conventional medicine. This issue is further compounded by the lack of formal training on drug interactions with natural healing. Currently, the biggest problem facing alternative medicine is contrasting studies.
Although it has the benefit of minimal association with negative side effects, two out of every three users of natural healing do not consult their doctors. This tendency greatly reduces the efficiency of the treatment since successful healing relies on the careful diagnosis of underlying medical conditions. What this means is that most studies are conducted based on minimal information and are therefore inconclusive.
The good news, however, is that governments, education institutions, and the private sector are investing more in the research and development of natural healing methods. It seems likely that the controversy surrounding natural healing methods will wane as they are already being awarded professional standards.
NATURAL HEALING IS A BLANKET TERM.
Natural healing is not a specific definitive form of treatment. It is a collection of different medical and health care practices that are not considered conventional. There are five major forms of treatments that incorporate natural healing.
1. BIOLOGICALLY BASED.
These are treatments that involve herbs, foods, supplements and natural products.
2. ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL SYSTEMS.
This encompasses naturopathic, traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic and homeopathic treatments.
3. MIND AND BODY.
These treatments focus on meditation, mental healing, music therapy and dance therapy.
4. ENERGY THERAPY.
This includes treatments that are based on the body’s flow of energy such as Reiki treatment, therapeutic touches, and electromagnetic therapy.
5. BODY MANIPULATION
Such treatments involve the conditioning of the body to promote healing naturally. They include chiropractic therapy, massages, and osteopathy.
The diversity of natural healing is bitter-sweet because it is most likely the source of the contrasting studies that do not reflect on alternative medicine as a whole.