“Alternative medicine” is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of complementary and natural treatments. Olive Branch Wellness Center in South Elgin offers wellness care that falls into several of the categories we’ll discuss throughout this article — but feel free to reach out if you don’t see something on this list.
Our center is conveniently located in South Elgin to serve St. Charles, Geneva, Bartlett, and beyond. Our goal is to be a place where you can come for natural, gentle wellness from people who really care about you as a whole person.
We also have an extensive network of alternative and complementary care providers throughout Chicagoland. That means that we can often refer you to another professional if you are seeking a specific type of treatment we do not provide here at our center. With that in mind, here’s what we’ll discuss in this brief guide to alternative treatments:
- Finding What Works for You
- Naturopathy and Naturopathic Care
- Movement Therapy and Therapeutic Exercise
- Massage Therapy
- Chiropractic Medicine
- Tai Chi
- Dietary Supplements
- Herbalism and Herbal Care
- Electromagnetic and Magnetic Therapy
- Infrared Sauna
Finding What Works for You
At Olive Branch Wellness Center, our first focus is always on people. We get to know you so we can understand where you are — and where you might be able to go on your wellness journey.
Before you read through these descriptions of natural and holistic care methods, please know that your recommendations will be based entirely on your unique situation. That said, if you are especially interested in one specific type of treatment, we can probably go over your options for it in much more detail during our initial consultation.
Naturopathy and Naturopathic Care
Naturopathic Care is a major form of alternative and natural care. It also happens to be the main focus of our practice here at Olive Branch. Essentially, means that we prioritize gentle, natural care instead of synthetic medicines, surgeries, or other invasive procedures.
We want to help your body unlock its natural tendency to be well. That’s why naturopathy follows a specific order of care. Here’s an outline:
- Setting the groundwork for wellness
- Empowering your body
- Supporting and restoring weakened systems
- Realigning physical structures and systems
- Relieving discomfort
When you visit a naturopath, you could expect to find a variety of different types of care. However, what you will always find is focus on strengthening your body, mind, and spirit, activating your own natural ability to be well.
Nutrition and diet are important factors in our overall wellness. Therefore, it makes sense that medical providers often focus on your food and drink habits.
In alternative medicine, nutrition recommendations are often highly personal. Rather than simply trying to balance your nutrient and vitamin intake, we would try to work with you to develop eating habits that reinforce your natural ability to be active and well.
Movement Therapy and Therapeutic Exercise
Many traditional systems use body movement to maintain and enhance wellness. A few examples are even listed here in this article, such as yoga and tai chi. Even conventional doctors often recommend that patients maintain a steady regimen of daily exercise.
Contemporary alternative care also uses movement and therapeutic exercise to address a variety of wellness concerns. At Olive Branch Wellness Center, we work with you to understand your current lifestyle and discover where motion and exercise fit in.
There are so many different ways that you can get moving, and many more opportunities than most people realize for recreation and exercise out here in the South Elgin area. The fact is that regardless of whether you have access to natural recreation or exercise equipment, you have options. Whether you’re out hiking in a forest preserve, stuck in a long-haul international flight, or experiencing limited mobility after an accident, there should be a motion that promotes your general wellness.
Ayurvedic care is a popular form of traditional treatment in contemporary South Asia. Countries, where it is widely practiced, include Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India. It has a distinct set of treatment principles and diagnostic procedures.
The most recognizable aspect of Ayurveda, at least here in the United States, is probably its use of various types of aromatic oils. However, care plans are diverse and might include anything from yoga to herbal treatments.
Speaking of yoga, this body-spirit discipline is often recognized as a distinct wellness-enhancing technique. Care providers might recommend yoga for patients with a variety of different concerns. Its benefits as an element of an alternative care program could include any or all of the following:
- Increasing physical strength
- Relaxing the body and mind
- Increasing flexibility
- Controlling body weight
- Improving circulation
- Enhancing focus
- Promoting social connection
Acupuncture is a system where a trained acupuncturist applies a series of needles to specific points on the body. Despite the fact that “puncture” is in the name, needles do not go in very far and they do not hurt most people. This is one of the more popular components of Chinese traditional medicine in Europe and the United States.
More than a simple back rub, massage therapy is the result of a specific type of clinical training. Licensed massage therapists know how to perform massages without aggravating existing conditions.
Many natural and alternative care providers either have massage licenses or work closely with those who do. It’s important to receive a massage from someone you can trust, especially if you have conditions such as joint pain, back pain, or injuries.
Chiropractic medicine is a specific form of alternative care that’s most commonly associated with spinal and joint manipulation. Despite their reputation as “back crackers”, chiropractors often handle a wide variety of wellness concerns focusing on the spine.
Similar to many other forms of alternative care, such as naturopathy, chiropractors try to strengthen the body. Their goal is to address underlying issues that cause pain rather than simply treat the pain itself.
Chiropractors are typically categorized as alternative care providers because they do not write prescriptions for medication. They might, however, work in clinics with doctors who do prescribe such medications.
Tai Chi is related to yoga in that it is a system of body movement that has been celebrated for its ability to maintain and enhance wellness. Also like yoga, people often perform and study tai chi in groups. It has many of the same types of goals, such as alleviating stress, increasing flexibility, maintaining good circulation, and reinforcing your body’s core strength.
Nobody’s diet is perfect, and sometimes alternative care providers recommend dietary supplements to help fill in for nutritional deficiencies. While it is usually a great idea to get nutrients straight from natural food sources, dietary supplements are sometimes an appropriate suggestion for short-term or seasonal stopgaps.
Herbalism and Herbal Care
Many conventional medicines have their roots in traditional herbalism and herbal care. However, the power of plants goes well beyond symptom relief. Many care providers who focus on herbalism use plants and plant-based preparations to achieve a variety of wellness goals.
Electromagnetic and Magnetic Therapy
Several types of electromagnetic fields are bio-interactive. Our bodies even produce this type of radiation — albeit mostly in the infrared spectrum (as heat).
There are various types of electromagnetic therapies, mostly using highly controlled field generators. However, there’s a significant range in this category. For example, conventional doctors might use electrical fields to slow the division of certain types of cancer cells whereas alternative practitioners might use the weaker fields of permanent magnets to accomplish other goals.
Thermal baths and saunas have a long history in multiple cultures of being associated with wellness. Infrared saunas are a type of contemporary technology that offers a more controlled version of this type of penetrating heat.
Infrared saunas can be a calming and soothing experience. We might use them to alleviate discomfort, increase circulation, or complement other types of care.
Treatments Available at Olive Branch Wellness Center in South Elgin
We make personalized treatment programs for everyone who comes for wellness care at Olive Branch. We also actively study and develop our range of professional alternative options.
If you would like to learn more, or if you’d like the most updated alternative medicine information possible, please feel free to call us directly at 630-370-7290 or reach out through our website. We are always happy to speak with people about their wellness journey or about alternative care in general.
Additionally, we advise on ways for companies to include alternative care in their corporate wellness programs. Whether you have personal wellness needs, you’re caring for your family, or you want to provide more options for your workers, please reach out today.