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Folk and Alternative Medicine

Folk medicine is founded on the traditions and experience passed down through the ages since the antiquity. Folk methods of Oriental medicine in the countries of South East Asia and Oceania are considered especially effective.

Many methods of folk medicine are not recognized in conventional (official) medicine. Even scientific research not always manages to explain phenomenal abilities and efficiency of the therapeutic techniques of medicine men and healers. However, modern medicine does not challenge the existence of the alternative to its own technological and scientifically grounded methods, as long as it brings no harm to patients. Treatment and organism rehabilitation, and recovery programmes based on Oriental folk methods are very much demanded today among medical tourists nowadays. They are also applicable for overall strengthening of human immunity.

Non-conventional treatment methods are tentatively subdivided into complementary and alternative. Alternative therapy implies complete withdrawal from conventional therapy, whereas complementary is applied in combination with conventional treatment methods.

Presently, folk and non-conventional medicine is more and more frequently included even in the programmes of regular medical facilities and centres for recovery and rehabilitation, particularly in the countries of Asia and Latin America. 

In some Asian and African countries up to 80% of people rely on traditional folk medicine when they need to resolve health issues. Looking outside the boundaries of traditional culture, traditional folk medicine is often referred to as complementary and alternative medicine. Remedies prepared by the recipes of folk medicine include only natural ingredients.

The widest application of folk and non-conventional medicine is found in Africa and Asia. These are the areas of the most unusual methods of confronting illnesses, in particular, using incantations, insect poisons, animal blood, energy of precious stones, etc.

Some fields and methods of non-conventional medicine have become an integral part of VIP-class recovery programmes.

The following popular methods of non-conventional medicine may be specified:

  • phytotherapy (treatment applying therapeutic herbs; intake of various herbal and plant extracts favourably effects the functioning of the whole organism, purifies vital organs and blood from toxins, increases protective functions of the organism without side effects on organs as often happens by the intake of chemicals);
  • urine therapy (external or internal use of human or animal urine for therapeutic purposes; modern medicine considers this method to be dangerous due to possible poisonings and contagion);
  • aromatherapy (treatment with scents);
  • homeopathy (treatment system based on applying minimal dosages of the same substances that cause disease symptoms in large doses);
  • mineral treatment;
  • sound treatment;
  • acupuncture (burning, auriculopuncture, needle therapy, acupressure/point massage);
  • naturopathy (treatment applying therapeutic substances of natural — mineral, plant or animal origin);
  • apitherapy (bee therapy);
  • manual therapy (a complex of biomechanical techniques performed by hands, aimed at relieving pains and aches and restoring the mobility of spine and joints);
  • hirudotherapy (leech therapy);
  • bioenergotherapy (treatment using biological energy);
  • water treatment or hydrotherapy (application of water for preventive and treatment purposes in the form of topical and general baths, rubdowns, showers, wraps, applications, affusion);
  • stone therapy (massage technique using various natural stones);
  • starvation treatment;
  • colour therapy;
  • magnet therapy (therapy applying constant and pulsed magnetic fields);
  • dietary treatment (low-carbohydrate or glycoprival diet, separate nutrition, low-protein or protein-free diet, etc.);
  • metal therapy (application of plates from various metals to the body).

However sceptically you may treat conventional medicine, before arranging a trip to a foreign country for treatment applying folk and non-conventional methods, it is strongly recommended to have an obligatory consultation with your doctor. It is for him to judge their safety and effectiveness for your organism.

Tags: folk medicine, alternative medicine

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