A review of 25 years of studies by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of high-quality studies shows that "natural" techniques including acupuncture, yoga, tai chi and massage can help people with lower back pain, headaches and arthritic knees.
They found evidence that:
· Acupuncture and yoga can help back pain
· Acupuncture and tai chi can help osteoarthritis of the knee
· Massage therapy gives short-term relief for neck pain
· Relaxation techniques can ease severe headaches and migraine.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with many types of pain should try such complementary approaches, as well as the tried-and-true technique of using ice to numb pain and reduce swelling, before turning to drugs — especially strong drugs such as opioids.
By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives.
In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.