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What Is an Alternative Health Education?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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An alternative health education focuses on diagnosing and treating patients using non-traditional methods. Often, people who choose to study alternative healthcare learn about the human body, and sometimes the mind and spirit, and then learn various ways to promote health. Among the subjects a person may study are homeopathy, holistic medicine, acupuncture, and acupressure. Some people include massage therapy in their alternative health education programs as well.

Homeopathy education involves studying the preparation and use of medicines derived from substances that can contribute to health problems in the first place. The idea with this type of approach is that using a small and impotent amount of a harmful substance can stimulate natural mechanisms in the body to get rid of the symptoms it might cause if taken in a large quantity. As such, a person who wants to become a homeopath studies the human body, common illnesses and conditions, and homeopathic medicines used to treat them.

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Holistic alternative health education focuses on the treatment of patients as whole people rather than just treating the particular parts of their bodies that are affected by an illness or injury. Typically, this means healing and supporting the health of a patient’s mind and spirit as well. While a person interested in holistic education will usually learn about the body and a range of illnesses, conditions, and traditional treatments, he may also learn about meditation, alternative medications, spiritual healing, and emotional support of patient health. Additionally, this type of alternative healthcare typically includes efforts to determine the cause of a condition as opposed to focusing on how it manifests in a patient.

Acupuncture and acupressure are also among the types of non-traditional healing techniques a person may study. With acupuncture education, a person studies the use of thin needles, placed strategically in the body, to relieve a range of illnesses and conditions and promote a healthy state of mind and overall good health. Acupressure education, on the other hand, involves learning how to use physical pressure on the body’s pressure points to treat conditions and help a person stay healthy. Both of these techniques are said to work, in part, because they stimulate energy and blood flow to needy areas of the body.

Often, people who are interested in studying alternative approaches to healthcare also study massage therapy. This type of alternative health education focuses on the use of a healing touch to stimulate blood flow and promote relaxation. Practitioners of massage therapy often assert that it is helpful for relieving pain, treating depression, and regulating a patient's blood pressure and heart rate; and some studies support these claims.

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