Each system of medicine has its advantages and disadvantages. To be cured, the patient needs to find that type of treatment (or a combination thereof) which will cure him and with which he is comfortable with and able to afford, irrespective of the opinions and disagreements between practitioners of different systems of medicine about the efficacy of other systems.
Acupuncture is one of the most effective methods of relieving pain, irrespective of it's cause, including backaches and arthritis. It is effective in a wide range of diseases but especially disorders of the joints like arthritis, nerve disorders involving the spine and brain and immune system disorders. It even offers an effective treatment for some conditions like blindness and deafness, which are generally regarded as being incurable.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine has the best treatment for problems affecting the liver and the kidney. Ayurveda places little emphasis on treatment of actual illness and disease. The purpose is not to cure a particular disease but to bring each individual to his or her natural self harmony. Ayurveda emphasis the maintenance of positive good health by the control of diet, lifestyle, techniques of breathing called "Pranayama" and different postures called Yoga.
Cranio-sacral osteopathy is the treatment of choice for displaced joints including those in the spine and skull. It is useful in conditions like sinusitis, backaches, sciatica, neck and shoulder pain, dyslexia, some forms of mental retardation, epilepsy, snoring and injuries to the joints like knee, ankle, wrist and elbow. It is a gentle and effective treatment which yields excellent results either used alone or in conjunction with other methods. This is described in detail in a separate chapter.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine which originated in Germany under the inspiration of a physician called Samuel Hahnemann. This system is based on the use of minuscule doses of various substances, based on the principle that like cures like. This system of medicine treats the constitution of the individual rather than the symptoms of the disease. It strengthens the constitution and if used wisely allows the body to heal itself and is useful in many chronic diseases where other systems have poor results.
Bach Flower therapy draws it's name from Dr Edward Bach a 19th century physician who described the use of alcoholic extracts of flowers which he had exposed to sunlight. These remedies work exceedingly well for psychological conditions like anxiety, fear, depression, shock, lack of self confidence, anger, bitterness, jealousy etc. They are useful as an adjunct to most forms of therapy, including treatment of psychosomatic disorders.
Western medicine/ allopathy is at it's best in emergencies like accidents and in life threatening acute bacterial infections. It also has a wide range of effective, but potentially toxic symptomatic treatments for a wide range of conditions. As most of the currently used drugs are relatively new, information about their long term safety are not likely to be available till well into this century (provided they remain in use).