Depending on their condition, seniors might often undergo various therapies to maintain their health. But some of these procedures can sometimes be uncomfortable. Thus, many might want to look into alternative therapies they can opt for. Home health care provider Amavi gives you a rundown of these therapies and a guide on which ones to go for.
Understanding The Place Of Alternative Therapies In Senior Care
Before we dive into these therapies, we need to have a clear idea of their place in the overall care regimen. In its simplest definition, alternative medicine refers to any treatment outside the recognized ones prescribed by mainstream medical practitioners.
Note that the term can be a bit ambiguous. Not all the therapies and medicine prescribed outside the mainstream can be considered “alternative.” Some might not be widespread yet simply because they are still experimental procedures. Others are used under specialized situations.
The distinction of being termed “alternative” often comes from the origin of the therapy. Methods that don’t originate from modern western medicine theory are ones often labeled as such. But some methods that do come from western thought may also be called “alternative” if they don’t match currently accepted theories.
You may also need to recognize the three types of treatment that may fall under the general term of “alternative.”
- Alternative medicines: These are non-mainstream medicines and therapies intended to replace conventional ones.
- Complementary medicine: These treatments are also not yet mainstream, but are already used with conventional treatment.
- Integrative medicine: Here, conventional and complementary are combined in a coordinated manner to improve the effectiveness.
Note that these types are not strict delineations. A new therapy method might start as being considered an alternative. Once experts understand how it works, they can gradually incorporate it into more care regimens. From there, it moves towards the complementary medicine category until eventually accepted at large.
Understanding this development is vital, as it gives you a better idea of why doctors might not permit you to receive a particular alternative therapy. It does not necessarily mean that it doesn’t work. Experts might not yet have enough confidence in its overall effectiveness.
Why People Opt For Alternative Therapies
According to medical statistics, more than half of adults in the United States opt for at least one form of alternative therapy. With the various advancements in modern medicine, you might wonder why many people still opt for these methods. While there are many reasons, here are some of the most common ones you will often encounter.
The cost of medical therapies is arguably the most significant driver for people, especially seniors, to seek alternative options. Even simple procedures can often run patients in the hundreds of dollars per session. For seniors who often have no permanent income, this can strain their finances.
While conventional therapies are effective, they can’t always deal with some symptoms completely. Because of that, some people seek alternative therapies to help them deal with these symptoms. That can be a bit of an issue, as the pain-alleviating capabilities of some alternative treatments can vary.
An All-Natural Option
Another aspect why some seniors might opt for alternative therapies is because of their perceived “naturalness”. Indeed, many of these treatments use natural methods that lessen potential side effects. Additionally, various studies indicate how these methods might be more effective.
The Alternative Therapies That Seniors Can Opt For
One of the tricky things about alternative therapies is that there are many of them. Because of that, seniors can become confused about what to go for. We look at some of the most popular ones they can subscribe to.
Aromatherapy is one of the fastest-growing alternative therapies for seniors. That is mainly due to its ease of use/ As the name says, aromatherapy uses essential oils for healing. The patient burns the oils and sniffs the resulting fumes.
These oils come from the extracts of various medicinal plants. They purportedly help treat conditions like Alzheimer’s and heart disease. While these claims have yet to be proven, experts discovered that aromatherapy is an effective stress reliever and mood enhancer. The effects can contribute to an older patient’s health greatly.
Acupuncture is arguably the most recognized example of alternative therapy. It involves sticking thin needles into specific points in the body to alleviate symptoms. The principle works based on centuries-old Chinese belief about energy pathways in the body. Through manipulating these pathways, the method can purportedly lead to better health.
While this idea has no concrete scientific basis, experts have nevertheless begun to understand the actual mechanisms behind its effectiveness. As it turns out, the needles used in the therapy trigger neurons that deliver an anti-inflammatory response. That is what helps alleviate the pain and symptoms.
In modern medicine, physical and mental health are often treated as separate aspects. But some alternative therapies take a more holistic approach. Here, they consider treating one aspect as being integral for recovery in the other. These also emphasize the power of one’s mental state in their overall health.
Many therapies fall under this umbrella, each having its distinct approach. Some examples include:
- Guided imagery
- Relaxation therapies.
Note that some of these therapies have already moved from being alternative to being recognized as part of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine has also adopted various principles that stem from these.
In most forms of therapy, patients are very much passive. They simply sit there as the procedures happen to them. In performative methods, the patient becomes an active participant. The idea here is that, as they do the various activities, they become more attuned with their bodies, aiding in recovery.
Art and music therapies are two of the popular examples of this type. What is great about these is that seniors don’t need to know the arts. They only need to participate and perform on their own.
Getting Alternative Therapies From The Best Home Health Care
At first, you might think you need to go to a special center to get these alternative therapies. But as part of Amavi’s goal of providing holistic care, we are bringing these to your home. When you sign up with us, we give you a wide array of therapeutic options.
Our caregivers have extensively studied these alternative methods, guaranteeing you the best. We can also bring specialized equipment to your home as needed. With that, you get maximum benefits. Contact us for consultation and get the best home health care and alternative treatment you want.