Natural therapies boost well-being
Alternative therapies are becoming increasingly popular for addressing a range of health and wellness issues.
It’s a fast-growing field as people seek additional options to boost well-being and treat a range of conditions.
Today, more hospitals and clinics are integrating complementary and alternative medicine – known as CAM, the term for natural products and practices.
“CAM works in conjunction or together with conventional medicine,” says Dr. Irka Ebanks, herbal medicine practitioner and medical doctor at the Health Services Authority’s recently opened complementary and alternative medicine clinic in Cayman.
“It takes a very holistic approach towards healing by supporting the body’s own natural effort in achieving a balanced state of positive energy and optimum physical health,” she says.
CAM practitioners consider health to be an alliance between physical, social and mental well-being. A few examples of common CAM practices are acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, chiropractic therapies, massage, yoga and meditation.
CAM therapies can help with a range of conditions such as colds, post-viral fatigue, stressand anxiety, muscle, back and joint pain, sleep issues, headaches and migraines, digestive health, hypertension, autoimmune disorders and weight concerns.
“CAM may also encourage the use of naturopathic medicine, which embraces the idea that one should not only attack symptoms of illness but attack it at its root cause,” says Dr. Ebanks. These may be influenced by such factors as poor diet, lack of sleep or mental health struggles that can negatively impact a person’s overall health.
The HSA clinic, located at its new specialist clinic in the Smith Road Centre, includes an herbal medicine dispensary headed by pharmacist Rosemarie Bailey. While Caymanians have long used herbal remedies and natural products to treat a variety of ailments, Dr. Ebanks notes they should be treated with caution.
“They are medicines – persons should be aware that there are possible interactions with pharmaceutical medications, supplements and other herbs, therefore should only be administered under the care of a physician,” she says.
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