Metaphysical Healing Essay 1: Healing Practices in the United States
Rev. Ira J. Potter
Technology-wise, the United States is one of the global leaders in healing. Hospitals here offer the most advanced diagnosis and treatment options available anywhere, and groundbreaking discoveries in almost all categories are happening with more and more frequency as technology becomes more advanced. Provided you have the means to pay for it, there are few places in the world to receive better medical care.
In addition to Western medicine, there is a plethora of other treatment options available. Acupuncture continues to grow in popularity, now with more than 50 accredited schools in 19 states specifically geared towards teaching the Eastern medicinal art. This art consists of applying needles to various points in the body known to practitioners as meridians that the body's natural energy, or qi, flows along. Western medicine has yet to determine the medicinal value of acupuncture, however, and at best says it acts as a placebo effect.
Alternative medicine is also becoming more prevalent in U.S. society as more people turn to herbal remedies due to the rising cost of prescription medication. Garlic and Echinacea are very popular natural antibiotics, and ginkgo bilopa is a bestseller for improving brain and memory function. Ginkgo has also been used to combat asthma and lung congestion, and to generally promote physical and mental well being. Ginseng is another big seller because it is believed to improve physical performance and help boost the body's natural defenses. Increasing numbers of people have also begun to use fish oil extract in recent years because of its omega-3 content, which helps control cholesterol. Omega-3s are also believed to provide relief from a wide range of problems including arthritis, depression and migraines.
Another alternative medical art gaining popularity in the U.S. is the Indian Ayurveda, which relies heavily on oils for various treatments. This system of medicine also promotes an entire dietary plan, and employs the use of vegetable drugs like cardamom and cinnamon. Cardamom, in particular, is used to treat a wide range of ailments from teeth and gum infections to breaking up kidney and gallstones. It has also been used as an antidote for snake and scorpion venom.
Yoga and meditation are also widely used in the United States for mental and physical improvement. Nintendo's Wii Fit includes some beginner and advanced yoga poses that have been a hit with the public, making Wii Fit Nintendo's most popular, and by extension best selling, game for the Wii game system. More and more people are discovering the benefits of both yoga and meditation with the former being taught in health spas and community centers across the country. Faith healing can also be found here, although unfortunately most "faith healers" are usually found to be charlatans exploiting honest people's beliefs for a profit. Some are said to possess the power to lay on hands, but belief of this in the United States is minimal in the general public.
The United States offers an ever-increasing variety of healing practices from all over the world. Traditional modern western medicine, traditional eastern medicine, alternative medicines and everything in between can be found here. The federal government, and the Federal Drug Administration in particular, continues to frown upon alternative medicine, contesting that modern medicine is the best method of curing ailments and diseases. But as modern medicine becomes increasingly more expensive more people are turning to and rediscovering the benefits that alternative medicine has to offer, and usually at a much more affordable cost.
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