Hottest health fads

Top health searches:
  1. Alternative treatment
  2. Reiki
  3. Hypnotherapy
  4. Acupuncture
  5. Alternative herbal medicine
  6. Holistic health
  7. Homeopathic treatments
  8. Natural remedies
  9. Massage therapy
  10. Alternative practictioner
Trendy health kicks come and go and many of them sound like a good idea - aromatherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, but are they really worth the time and money?

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils of plants. Once regarded as New Age nonsense, these days many people, healthcare practitioners included, use aromatherapy for relieving stress-related symptoms. The oils, which are only ever applied dilute, can be inhaled or applied through massage. The scent of the oil triggers the limbic system which is responsible for emotions and the retrieval of memories and this in turn makes you feel relaxed. While some studies have shown that using aromatherapy can heighten the patients relaxation during a massage, there is very little scientific evidence to prove that essential oils have any legitimate clinical benefits. In other words, if you like the smell go ahead and use them, but don't believe anyone when they tell you aromatherapy can cure all your illnesses.

Acupuncture is one of the practices of traditional Chinese medicine and it is not for the fainthearted. It involves inserting stainless steel needles into certain points of the body in order to realign the flow of Qi - the body's vital energy. Acupuncture is used in the relief of pain, stress and various other complaints. The first visit to an acupuncturist will be longer than the subsequent ones and they will ascertain your course of treatment based on an holistic examination. The needles do not cause any pain although may occasionally result in bruising. There is not enough scientific evidence to support or refute the effecicacy of acupuncture, but it has been shown to be very effective in the relief of migraines, lower back pain, nausea and dental pain. So if you don't have a problem with needles but you do suffer from headaches, acupuncture may be a good treatment for you.

Homeopathy follows the principal that 'like cures like', a substance that relates to an illness is given to the patient in a tiny amount. In fact, the more dilute something is the stronger it is - so homeopathy advocates say. It sounds bizarre but practitioners believe these substances, which in theory contain such a tiny amount of active ingredient as to be neglible, can cure all sorts of ailments. Scientists are incredibly sceptical on this topic and claim there is little or no evidence to support it. However as there appears to be no risk involved with homeopathy, if you feel it is the right therapy for you then there's no reason not to use it, but don't rely on it for something severe.

Do you think alternative health therapies can cure your ailments or do you think they are all ineffective fads? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.