Home Healthcare TRADITIONAL, COMPLEMENTARY & ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IN NIGERIA – Growing An Important Sub-sector...

TRADITIONAL, COMPLEMENTARY & ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IN NIGERIA – Growing An Important Sub-sector of the Economy

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A World Health Organization Report indicates that: ‘’There was also an increase in the use of national and other monographs on herbal medicines, with 93 Member States responding in the affirmative at the end of 2012. Traditional Medicine is “the total combination of knowledge and practices, whether explicable or not, used in diagnosing, preventing or eliminating physical, mental or social diseases and which may rely exclusively on past experience and observation handed down from generation to generation, verbally or in writing” COMPONENTS OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE PRACTICE  Bone Setters Traditional Birth Attendants — TBAs, Herbalists, Therapeutic Occultism, Spiritual Healers, Psychiatric Healers, Hunters: Traditional Surgeons, Herb Sellers etc What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)?The usefulness of the above is reinforced by World Health Organization’s definition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a group of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own traditional or conventional medicine and are not fully integrated into the dominant health care systems. The scope of practices that constitute CAM varies from country to country. Examples include Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Homeopathy etc. Homeopathy is alternative medicine based on the principle of treating like with like, meaning that a substance that produces or causes symptoms of disease when taken by a healthy individual can be used in extremely small amounts to treat those same symptoms. Homeopathic medicines or drugs (known in homeopathy as remedies) are prepared in a special way (known in homeopathy as potentisation and proving) from minute amounts of that same substance which would create the disease symptoms if taken in crude form by a healthy individual. Naturopathy is alternative medicine based on the healing power of nature, popularized by Dr. Benedict Lust who founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York and graduated the pioneer students in 1902. The healing power of nature principle of Naturopathy is premised on the fact that the human body is equipped with inherent ability to heal itself Naturopathy involves a variety of therapies and treatment techniques, including Aromatherapy, Herbal Medicine, Massage, Reflexology, Nutrition, Detoxification, Hydrotherapy, Psychotherapy, Acupressure, Bach’s flower remedy, and others. Acupuncture is a way of treating disease by the insertion of special needle (acupuncture needle) into the body at specific points (acupuncture points) to get rid of pain and disease. The stopping of pain follows, among others, the principle of Gate Control Theory as presented in physiology textbooks. Some studies have found…

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