What Are the Benefits and Risks of Alternative Therapies Alternative Therapies?

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Last updated: June 24, 2019

What are the benefits and risks of alternative therapies alternative therapies? The human life expectancy is longer in twenty-first century, but individuals suffer from greats of stress, which results in physical illness, such as cancer, immune deficiency and a heart disease. During the treatment process, people seek peace and holistic methods (Fontaine, 2005, p9). That is a reason that the alternative therapies have quite grown recently. The W. H.

O (World Health Organization) report, over 70 per cent of people had used alternative therapies in 2000. The cost of alternative therapy is roughly 23 billion in the U.S.

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A. The essay will discuss alternative therapy benefits and risks . Firstly, definition the alternative therapies and types of alternative therapy. Secondly, the benefits of alternative therapy will be illustrated from physical and psychological views of points.

Finally, the risks of alternative therapies will be explored from safety and cost. According to the W. H. O report (2002), alternative therapies are knowledgeable and skillful. Operators are based on the concept of medicine, religion and culture to assist people to keep health, to prevent disease, to be made a diagnosis and to cure illness.There are five types of alternative therapies, including alternative medical system, mind-body intervention, biologically base theory, manipulative and body based method and energy therapies.

Therefore, the concept of alternative therapies is based on whole systems, including physical, mental, social and spiritual. The effects of alternative therapies are alleviating suffering from disease and decreasing the side effects of western medicine. According to Spencer (1999) states, alternative therapies may be maximum treatment effects and minimum side effects. Thus, numerous patients decide to choose alternative therapies.The effects of alternative therapies have been to demonstrate by evidence base search. For example, lavender oil has the effects of anti infection, results in wound healing well and may be applied in patients with immune deficiency (Jones, 2011). Massage and acupuncture therapies also alleviated hand pain when patients with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome. (Field , Diego , Delgado, Garcia, & Funk , 2011) .

It is clear that alternative therapies have great effects on relief disease uncomfortable symptoms. In addition, alternative therapies can relief much serious side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.Cancer is the third reason of person’s death. Although chemotherapy and radiotherapy are able to kill cancer cells, these treatment methods create many serious side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, pain, fatigue and mood disturbance.

As a result, quality of life is getting worse of cancer patients. However, these symptoms could be remission by alternative therapies. For example, massage and healing touch can decrease pain symptoms and improve emotion and feeling. Homeopath is able to manage skin itching . Herbal ointment may advance skin healing after radiotherapy. (Hoffman, 2007) .

Moreover, the effects of alternative therapy not only mitigate uncomfortable symptoms, but also improve spirit. Health is a well- being and a state of body, mind, spirit and society linked together. Conventional medicine treatments focus on curing disease. Alternative therapies, however, put emphases on restoring mind, body, emotion and environment balanced. This concept has been performed to take care of patients. The effect of alternative therapies possibly reduces stress. Consequently, quality of sleeping is improved, anxiety and depression are decreased, as well as alleviated pain.

Field , Diego , Delgado, Garcia, & Funk , 2011; Hoffman,2007; Srivastava ,Talukdar & Lahan,2011) . There is not doubtful that alternative therapies are benefits for health. However, few pharmacological actions of alternative therapies are unknown, which probably cause interactions between alternative therapies and conventional medicine and lead to harm for patients. Although herbal medicines, such as garlic and ginkgo, have efficient effects on cancer treatment, antioxidants, examples of vitamins C and E, are unclear impacts on the cancer treatment.

Hoffman,2007). Therefore, patients should be advice to limit large amount vitamins C and E intake. In fact, there are numerous of cancer patients do not discuss with doctors while taking to herbal.

These herbals may direct or indirect effects on patients health (Cuzzolin et al, 2003). In addition, patients give up conventional medicine because people do not gain sufficient knowledge of alternative therapy. However, some alternative therapies are expensive and symptom relief is not immediate.According to Zhang et al (2007) surveyed, the data shown that patients with osteoarthritis received multi-types of alternative therapy and do not improve their quality of life. Moreover, these patients spent much more money than other patients who receive conventional medicine. Although alternative therapy has been to establish their effects, the symptoms palliation is not at once.

For example, asthma and a heart disease are life threatening while attacking. In the situation, people should go to hospital for treatment. Moreover, people seek alternative therapy, such as herbal.The effect will emerge after a long time treatment, which is cost-effectiveness. In conclusion, alternative therapy alternative therapies have been popular for many decades. Alternative therapy has both benefits and disadvantages . Their merits include illness condition reduces, side effects of conventional medicine less, retard the progression of disease and relaxation. On the other hand, if the operator of alternative therapy is unsuitable, it may result in harm and high cost.

Therefore, the government may build the national research central of alternative therapy and encourage evidence based research.In addition, alternative therapy and convention medicine are able to integrate by a government. The patients can gain great benefits from health care system. References Cuzzolin, L. ,Zaffain, S. , Murgia, V. , Gangemi, M.

, Chiamenti, G. ,& Benoni. G. (2003). Patterns and perceptions of complementary/alternative medicine among paediatricians and patients mothers: a review of the literature.

Eur J Pediatr,162, 820–827. DOI 10. 1007/s00431-003-1313-9 Fountains, K. , L.

(2005). Base concepts guiding alternative therapy. In K. L.

Fontaine(Eds. ),Complementary & Alternative Therapies forNursing Practice(p3-24). New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, Pearson Education Inc. Field, T. , Diego, M. , Delgado, J. , Garcia, D.

, Funk, C. C. (2011). Hand pain is reduced by massage therapy. Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice, 17, 26-229. Hoffman, C. (2007).

Benefits of complementary therapies. Breast Cancer Research, 9 (2), 1-3. Doi:10. 1186/bcr1807. Jones, C. (2011). The efficacy of lavender oil on perineal trauma: A review of the evidence. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice ,17, 215-220.

Spencer, J. W . (1999). Essential issues in complementary/alternative medicine .In J. W.

Spencer & J. J. Jacobs.

(Eds. ), Complementary alternative Medicine an evidence-based Approach (pp3-36). Missouri: St, Louis, Mosby Inc. World Health Organization. (2000). General Guidelines for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine.

WHO/EDM/TRM/2000. 1 Distr. : General Original: English. Zhang, J, X. , Woo, J. , lau, W. C. S.

, Lee, P. , Chiu, P. , & Lam, D.

(2007). Effects of Use of Alternative therapies on quality of life and healthcare Spending. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 35(2), 183–193.


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