Health - Alternative Medicine
By: - at June 19, 2013

15 Unusual Therapies To Treat Diseases

Alternative MedicineIt wasn't that long ago that leeches were used to treat all manner of ailments and wounds. Can't get rid of that pesky cough? Take some heroin. Is the baby crying? Give her some morphine. Scrap your knee? Rub some mercury on it. And the "cure" for "hysterical" women? A doctor-administered vaginal massage, of course. In other words, modern medicine has come a long way.

But despite the effectiveness of modern medicine, people still turn to alternative medicines. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults ages 18 and over used complementary and alternative medicines, according to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 12 percent of children used some form of alternative medicine. Many of the cures of common illnesses can be found in most kitchens.

However, unusual forms of treatment are still used today in the U.S. and across the globe. The unusual cures for diseases can be a more natural, cost effective, and interesting way to solve health problems. Some of them are even used and endorsed by medical professionals instead of, or with, actual medical treatments.


15)  Baking Soda Therapy
Baking SodaHave a urinary tract infection? Go check out your refrigerator. Baking soda is still used by many to treat UTIs. If used when UTI symptoms first appear, it can prevent the ailment from reaching full strength. Mix teaspoon with a cup of warm water, and drink this once a day until the symptoms disappear. This is a good alternative for people who prefer not to use antibiotics.

Baking soda works against UTIs because it makes the body, and bladder, ph levels more alkaline, according to urologist Dr. Larrian Gillespie. It also works in treating other ailments. The same baking soda drink recipe will work for treating ulcers, because it decreases the acidity of the stomach. It can also be used as a teeth whitener. Mix baking soda with toothpaste and brush normally to have brighter teeth. Bathing in water with baking soda will give the body detoxifying benefits, and it's used as a sunburn remedy. You can also make baking soda into a paste to help treat insect bites and to help remove splinters.


14)  Yogurt Therapy
Yogurt and BerriesIncluding yogurt in your diet is a healthy way to get calcium, protein, and other essential active cultures that help the stomach digest. Eating yogurt regularly can help prevent women from developing yeast infections. It can also be used in a more direct way to treat existing yeast infections. The active culture bacteria helps break down the yeast cells. By dipping a tampon in plain, unsweetened, natural yogurt, and inserting it twice a day for a few days, the yeast infection will disappear. Vaginal yeast infections affect up to 75 percent of women at least one time it their lives. Natural yogurt can be a convenient and effective way to treat them without having to use medical creams or pills.

Eating yogurt regularly can also prevent the onset of chronic yeast infections. However, if a you use yogurt to treat a yeast infection directly, be sure to only use the most plain and natural, or organic, yogurt with active cultures as possible. According to Dr. Rosanna Gray-Swan, using chemically processed yogurts can cause future problems and make yeast infections resistant to treatment. In addition to being a treatment for yeast infections, the bacteria in yogurt is also useful against treating bad breath. Active bacteria cultures will regulate the occurrence of bad-breath causing bacteria.


13)  Reiki Therapy
Reiki TherapyReiki is an energy based healing technique that originates from Japan. It is used to relieve stress and anxiety. The technique is based on the principle that by allowing "life force energy" to flow through the body, ailments can be relieved. Reiki is used by people who want an alternative treatment to modern medicine to cure body pains and problems. It is based on the principle that when the body is in pain, it is because the body has low energy flow. When the body feels good, it's because energy flow is high.

Reiki can be used to treat the whole person. The treatment has been used to treat physical, emotional, and psychological problems. It is a spiritual treatment that many people have found to be highly effective in resolving a wide variety of problems. Some health professionals question the effectiveness of Reiki, because it is difficult to gauge how the body's energy changes and how energy can cure ailments. However, according to studies by the National Institute of Health, Reiki has been found to effectively help treat and cure diseases like fibromyalgia, diabetes, and even cancer. More often, Reiki is used to treat problems like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.

Reiki is slowly becoming more popular in the medical community as a tool to be used alongside modern medical techniques. It offers people spiritual relief to their health problems. There are no downsides to trying Reiki as a treatment. Health professionals agree that despite arguments over the effectiveness of its ability to cure diseases, there are no negative side effects to the treatment. Learning Reiki can take awhile, but thanks to eBooks like Usui Reiki, you can generally learn it pretty quickly.


12)  Acupuncture Therapy
Acupuncture in foreheadAcupuncture is one of the oldest treatments and healing practices in the world. It is one of the main components of Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. Much like Reiki, it is based on the principle of breaking blockages in the body's communication channels. However, unlike Reiki, it works on a physiological level. Although most people think acupuncture is either an ineffective treatment, subpar to modern medicine, or just for muscle pain, it has actually been proven to be a viable way to treat almost every kind of disease.

There are about 500 pressure points in the body. Pain can be displaced throughout the body, and by targeting the area to which the pain has been displaced, it can be relieved. Acupuncture can help restore the body's hormonal balance, alleviate muscle and joint pain, and cure other ailments like nausea. The treatment is based on ensuring that the energy in the body is flowing without obstruction. Acupuncture targets these obstructions and treats them to allow the chi in the body to flow freely. In addition to relieving pain, it is also used as an alternative treatment for diseases like infertility, breast cancer, high cholesterol, MS, and dozens of others.

No matter what disease or ailment a person is suffering from, acupuncture can be used as a treatment option for patients. A 2012 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that acupuncture treatment is more effective in relieving pain than a placebo treatment. It is slowly becoming a more mainstream medical practice, as more professions acknowledge its effectiveness in treating a variety of medical problems.


11)  Pencil Therapy
Biting a Pencil for headachesMillions of people rely on pain medications to help them deal with headaches, surgeries, and other ailments. Before the time of painkillers and anesthesia, people would have to redirect their pain elsewhere. A pencil can be a useful tool to relieve tension. According to the National Headache Foundation, 90% of headaches are tension headaches. Tension headaches can be easy and naturally relieved by biting down on a pencil. You don't have to forcefully bite on the pencil for it to be effective. Clenching your teeth too forcefully can cause tooth damage. All you have to do is place a pencil horizontally through your mouth and relax the mouth muscles, according to New England Center for Headaches Director Fred Sheftell. This unusual remedy can also be used to relieve anxiety and stress. Biting is a natural instinct of people to deal with pain. It is a method that has been used throughout history, either by biting on cloth or wood, to help people displace their attention while undergoing painful procedures.





10)  Chiropractic Therapy
SpineJust like acupuncture and other alternative healing methods, not everyone in the medical community is on board with chiropractic treatments. Chiropractic treatments are used mostly as a way to treat back pain, injuries, and other physical ailments. It can also be useful in treating chronic headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, and sleeping problems, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Some lesser known ailments that chiropractic treatments can cure include fertility issues, ear infections, fatigue, and respiratory infections. More than just muscle and joint pain is affected by the state of a person's back and body. By restoring the body into its proper position, many diseases can be cured. It works by putting your body back in its natural position, so that the body can naturally fix problems itself. Chiropractic treatments also target the body's nervous system and helps encourage blood flow to locations of the body from which it has been obstructed.


9)  Vodka Therapy
Vodka ShotWe use rubbing alcohol to treat a lot of things. It disinfects cuts and can kill bacteria that causes sore throats. Vodka can be used the same way. The clear alcohol can be used to cure a variety of other ailments. Ask any Eastern European doctor, and they will tell you that vodka can be used to cure anything from stomach flu to anxiety. Absurd as it may seem, using vodka to treat and cure ailments is backed up by doctors around the world. It can also be used to disinfect cuts, just like any rubbing alcohol. Vodka acts as a drying antiseptic, which can be used to treat foot odor, fungi, and even acne.

Some of the most controversial vodka therapies are not widely endorsed by medical professionals. Drinking a shot of vodka can help disinfect the throat and stomach from bacteria and illness. Just as 40 percent proof alcohol disinfects wounds topically, it also works for digestive problems. Vodka has been used as a versatile medical treatment throughout Northern and Eastern Europe for centuries. It can be problematic because people may misinterpret vodka therapy as a route to alcoholism.


8)  Treatment Using Leeches
LeechesLeech therapy has been used for a long time, and it is growing in popularity around the world as naturopathic medicinal methods become more popular. It is a form of detoxifying the body, according to Dr. Anup Jain, a Panchakarma practitioner. Leech therapy works by placing leeches on the body to purposefully withdraw blood. It is used to treat skin diseases, arthritis, and has also been found to be successful in treating people who suffer from diabetes. The leeches suck out the dirty blood in the body, which improves circulation and oxygen level in the blood. It is widely used in Asian countries, and has even made its way to the United States. The FDA has approved leech therapy as a treatment for some diseases and problems, including skin grafting. The leeches used in this type of therapy are not just any leeches. Pachakarma practitioners use special medicinal leeches.

Leech therapy is a form of bloodletting. Bloodletting is an ancient practice in which small amounts of blood are withdrawn from a patient's body. It helps prevent and cure various illnesses and diseases.


7)  Olive Oil Treatment
Olive Oil for skinAccording to the CDC, approximately 18 percent of people suffer from eczema. It is a skin condition that most people do not develop until they reach adulthood. Although there are different types of topical creams and medications you can use to sooth eczema, one useful cure is probably already in your kitchen. By applying olive oil to irritated areas of the skin, you can relieve flare-ups. The antioxidants in olive oil reduce irritation caused by eczema. It is a natural alternative to creams that are packed with medical and chemical ingredients.

Olive oil is also a powerful moisturizer for the skin. It can be used as a deep-moisturizing skin treatment, as well as for damaged hair. According to Natural News, olive oil can be used as a cure for over 60 diseases. The list includes ulcers, boils, digestive issues, hemorrhoids, and dandruff. The quality of the olive oil helps determine its effectiveness. Ideally, it is best to use a cold pressed olive oil that is a deep green color and stored in a dark bottle.


6)  Cola Treatment
ColaPeople may think twice about drinking cola after finding out that doctors use it as a way to dissolve stomach blockages. It is about 50 percent effective in treating gastric phytobezoar, according to medscape.com. Gastric phytobezoar is an intestinal blockage, which prevents proper digestive function. It is also sometimes used by doctors in treating obstructions in the throat that prevent breathing or water and food from passing through. Gastric phytobezoars are one of the hardest blockages to remove. They often appear solid and hard. Studies have only referred to Coca-Cola as being used. Some of the ingredients in the cola are so powerful that they can dissolve these hard blockages. Usually gastric phytobezoars need to be surgically removed.

Coca-Cola also has many other unexpected uses.


5)  Puppy Therapy
Puppies and dogs have the ability to make any person feel happy. For centuries, humans have been domesticating dogs for this very reason. Dogs have been used for therapy purposes for many years. They are brought to places like hospitals, senior centers, and to people's homes to help alleviate stress and pain. Dogs are also used as therapeutic tools to help people living with disabilities. Playing with dogs has been proven to release the positive hormones of oxytocin, and dopamine while lowering the stress hormone cortisol, according to a study by the American Society of Animal Studies. Oxytocin is related to feelings of bonding, and dopamine is what is released when a person feels happy. These are both powerful factors in a person's wellbeing and health. Because dog therapy treatments have proven relatively effective, dog therapies have been growing in popularity.

Puppy Therapy

Universities around North American have started implementing puppy therapy for their students. Puppies are brought to school campuses during exam and mid-term time so that students can come and play with them. They are useful and safe tools in helping the students de-stress and feel better. This promotes better physical health and mental wellbeing. Yale Law School and the Harvard Medical School have resident therapy dogs available to be rented like library books. With university students dealing with higher levels of stress than ever before, puppies are an incredibly useful tool in helping alleviate stress while making high-pressure situations feel easier to overcome.


4)  Urine Therapy
Man Drinking UrineNever, ever, right? You're probably hard-pressed to come up with a scenario in which you would ever consider drinking urine, even if you're stranded in the desert with nothing to drink. But, studies have shown that urine can be a powerful detoxifier and could in fact be a potentially useful method of treating cancer. Urine is the result of excrement from the kidneys. However, in addition to eliminating the things your body does not need, the kidneys also excrete a lot of minerals that are useful to your health. Urine is a purified and sterile solution that is full of nutrients, according to Nexus Magazine. Drinking your own urine consists of the particular nutrients and elements that are specific to your body's needs.

Although it seems gross, urine can help your body heal itself. It has been used in curing lupus, cancer, eczema, allergies, and many other diseases. Urine is mostly water, with a small percentage of minerals, salt, hormones, and enzymes. Replacing these essential particles back into the body can help restore its natural balance. Although it seems unconventional, urine therapy has been used for thousands of years prior to the onset of modern medicine.


3)  Duct Tape Treatment
Duct Taped MouthDuct tape is a homeowner's best friend. Broken door handle? Get the duct tape. TV stand falling apart? Get the duct tape. It may be mocked as the "redneck's toolbox," but duct tape can used to remove warts. There are no medical secrets behind this treatment. All it does is restrict airflow to the wart, which helps kill the fungus. Duct tape is just as effective as using moleskin, according to a 2002 study in the Archives of Dermatology. However, it is not guaranteed to work. Only 21 percent and 22 percent of subjects using duct tape and moleskin, respectfully, saw their warts disappear after seven days. Most warts take several weeks before they disappear completely. Duct tape is usually also less expensive and more handy than moleskin, because most people have it around the house. The treatment might be more effective on children and young adults, who have stronger immune systems than adults, allowing them to ward of diseases and ailments faster than adults. Using another type of tape will not be as effective as using duct tape. Packaging tape is worse at sticking onto skin in a way that will prevent air from flowing to the wart.


2)  Detox Therapy
Detox DietsTo understand why detox is a cure for almost any type of disease or ailment, we first need to understand how diseases occur. The human body is built to keep itself healthy. However, a lot of people's actions cause their body to function in an undesirable way. You can easily ward off diseases and illnesses when your immune system is in an optimal state. Illness and disease occurs when your immune system is struggling.

However, detoxing your body can eliminate potentially lethal toxins to keep cells healthy, according to Dr. Carrell of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. We pollute our immune systems by eating an unhealthy diet full of chemicals and by being chronically stressed. Environmental factors, such as pollution, doesn't help. Toxic chemicals stay in your body for long stretches, especially if you have unhealthy habits. Your body needs to focus on prioritizing its functions. And your body will not work on detoxing itself if it needs to digest food, keep you warm, or if you are stressed out. Detoxing is important because toxins can be lethal. Toxic chemicals build up in the body's cells, blood, and liver. Undergoing a detox will help the body eliminate the toxic buildup, allowing new and healthy cells to regenerate. With a healthy, toxin-free body, you are less likely to contract a disease or become ill. Detox can even help prevent and treat neurological diseases, according to neurophysiologist and author Dr. Elnora van Winkle. Brain cells degenerate at faster rates when they are inhibited by toxins.

There are many ways a person can detox. Most naturopaths and homeopathic retailers and professionals offer detox in the form of diets, juicing, and natural pills. Eating a regular diet of natural foods like fruits, vegetables, rice, and plant-based proteins is a way of regularly detoxifying the body. Natural unprocessed foods are easier for the body to digest than chemically processed foods, allowing detoxification to occur habitually. Toxins are eliminated several ways from the body. They are excreted in the urine, bowel movements, and in sweat. Encourage the body to detox by using steam rooms or Epsom salt baths. Some diseases are genetic, but taking preventative measures, like detoxing, lowers the risk of those diseases.


1)  Fasting Therapy
FastingFasting is a spiritual ritual practiced by many faiths. It is a form of sacrifice and cleansing that allows a person to feel closer to their higher self. But it's also the most effective way to detoxify your body. When you fast, you live off of very little sustenance. It is usually a liquid fast, when a person lives off of some clean liquids or water, or partial fasting, when a person eats a very limited and restricted diet. Digestion takes up a lot of the body's energy, putting natural detoxify functions on the backburner while focusing on more pressing functions. When we fast, our bodies shift their function to working on cleaning out the blood and organs. This is why when people start a fast, or even a diet, they get headaches in the first couple days. You feel, tired, weak, and agitated because your body is passing the toxins.

One of the most famous fasts is the Master Cleanse, created by dietitian Stanley Burroughs. According to Burroughs, the liquid fast will release the toxins built up in the body, joints, muscles, and all of the body's cells. The amount of time you need to fast depends on how much toxins are in the body. Luckily, the body will tell you when the detoxifying process is over. During a detox, the tongue will be a white color. This shows that the fast is working. You can tell when the fast should end by when your tongue returns to a fleshy red color, according to Dr. Zeines, author of "The Tongue Never Lies."


Better Check With Your Doctor, First
Although using an alternative or weird treatment for an ailment or disease can be worth a try, it is not recommended that anyone with a serious illness rely on them. Alternative treatments are often not endorsed by the medical community because they eliminate the need for physical treatments and modern medicines. Still, we love our alternative treatments especially as insurance premiums continue to rise. According to a 2013 study by the Society of Actuaries, premiums could rise by an average of 32 percent in the years to come. That's one reason so many turn to alternative treatments. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, Americans spent close to $34 billion on alternative treatments, materials, classes and practitioner visits. Most of the unusual treatments for diseases are based on ancient healing techniques. However, if you're considering an unusual treatment, make sure you consult with your doctor first.


 

 

 

 

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