Despite technological advances and breakthroughs in western medicine, holistic healing is fast becoming the preferred means to heal and manage chronic health conditions. In fact, a national study released in 2004 revealed that more than 36% of people use holistic therapies or Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to treat depression, back problems, anxiety, etc. However, despite evidence of efficacy, the medical community is divided in terms of integrating holistic physical therapy to their programs.
Acupuncture, meditation, yoga and massages have been used to treat various illnesses in the East for thousands of years. Today, there is a strong push towards applying holistic therapies for a safer, more natural and less invasive ways to recover from different health issues ranging from infertility to degenerative disc disease.
Physical therapy is a traditional treatment required for people suffering from permanent disabilities, those who have undergone major injuries, those who are recovering from surgery and those who are suffering from crippling diseases like cerebral palsy, chronic lower back pain and arthritis.
Disorders Treated With Holistic Physical Therapy
Orthopedic Disorders: These conditions are caused by traumas inflicted to the bones, like soft tissue damages or bone fractures. People afflicted with orthopedic disorders tend to suffer from pain, weakness and limited range of motion. Holistic physical therapy, including acupuncture or chiropractic exercises helps restore muscle strength, mobility and alleviate pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a painful condition which affects the median nerve in the hand, thumb, and ring finger. This is often caused by repetitive hand work as well as trauma inflicted that caused median nerve irritation. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause pain that radiates into the arms, limited hand mobility and limited flexibility.
Pinched Nerve: This condition occurs when a symptomatic herniated disc pinches a spine nerve. This leads to what is referred to as radicular pain or radiculopathy, causing pain to travel through different parts of the body, including the neck to the arms and down to the legs. Spinal arthritis or spinal stenosis may also cause sharp pain due to pinched nerves.
Sciatica: This is not a medical diagnosis in it itself but rather, an underlying medical condition that causes sharp pain the leg, tingling, weakness and numbness from the lower back down to the buttocks. The pain is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is located in the back of the leg.
Benefits of Holistic Physical Therapy
* Effective pain management treatments
* Strengthens soft tissues, alleviate joint pains and restores mobility
* Restore flexibility
* Increase muscle strength
* Encourage healing of the soft tissue lesions, prevent deformity of limbs
* Decrease muscle spasms and pain
The obvious increase in demand for holistic treatments resulted in the integration of modern medicine with traditional herbal and treatments. Now, western doctors are dedicating both western and eastern medicine to heal people. For example, some health practitioners may suggest patients to take yoga classes to help people afflicted with arthritis to restore mobility, decrease pain and improve their quality of life without using drugs that merely dull the symptoms but never really treat the root cause of pain.
Guest contributor Marc is a Parts and Components Specialist for All Time Medical, a medical equipment vendor based out of NY. He is also a believer in natural remedies, Ayurvedic and Oriental medicine and keeps a garden of herbs and medicinal plants for is physical and mental well-being.