4 of the Most Popular Alternatives to Prescription Medications

There are many people in the world who are resistant to taking any prescription medication if an alternative is available – and when you consider the side effects of many drugs, it’s very understandable. The side effect profile of the well-known smoking cessation drug Chantix, for example, includes severe mood changes and depression. Who wants to go through that if there’s a possibility that something else might work?

There are some medical conditions that legitimately require the use of prescription medications, but there are also plenty of reasons to consider alternative remedies for conditions that aren’t severe or life-threatening. If you’re not sure what the right decision is for you, ask your doctor for advice. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of using an alternative remedy as opposed to taking the risk of using a prescription medication that may have negative side effects. If you decide that using an alternative remedy is the right choice for you, these are some of the most popular alternative remedies that people try instead of using prescription medications.

Meditation

Alternative remedy for: Anxiety, tension, insomnia, high blood pressure

The best part of using meditation is an alternative remedy is that it has absolutely no barrier to entry. Meditation requires no special skills, and you don’t have to buy anything to try it. Meditation also has no known negative side effects – and even if it doesn’t do anything to alleviate your medical condition, you may find that it benefits your life in other ways. According to Mayo Clinic, research into the potential benefits of meditation has produced some very promising results.

The easiest way to get started with meditation is by reading a book, watching a video online or downloading an app for your phone or tablet. You’ll find that there are many free meditation apps that you can download for any device. When you use the app, a voice will guide you through your session by providing imagery or a mantra that can help you focus.

Vaping

Alternative remedy for: Smoking cessation

If you’re a smoker, you’re well aware of how difficult it can be to quit. People use all sorts of over-the-counter products, prescription medications and alternative remedies for smoking cessation, and the success rates for most quit-smoking products and remedies are fairly poor. Given the fact that many smokers have failed to quit successfully with traditional nicotine replacement products and are reluctant to risk experiencing the side effects of prescription medications, it’s understandable that many people are willing to try just about any available alternative. Vaping has emerged as one of the most popular alternatives, and tens of millions of people have used e-cigarettes from companies like V2 Cigs UK to quit smoking successfully in the little over a decade in which vaping has been around.

The reason why vaping has worked so well for so many people is because it feels remarkably like smoking. The vape juice that you put into your vaping device contains nicotine. When you inhale it, you feel the same throat hit that you would feel when smoking a cigarette. Since you absorb the nicotine through your lungs, it enters your bloodstream much more rapidly than it does with traditional nicotine replacement therapies. Those two factors combine to make vaping much more satisfying than other smoking cessation methods.

Melatonin

Alternative remedy for: Insomnia

Humans are naturally diurnal. We wake up when it’s bright outside, and we’re active during the day. When the level of ambient light begins to decrease at night, our bodies produce the hormone melatonin to signal that it’s time to go to sleep. The fact is, though, that it’s not always possible to maintain a strict rhythm of working during the day and sleeping at night. Maybe you work long hours and don’t get home until it’s already dark. You don’t want to go straight to bed; you want to relax a while and spend some time with your family. Maybe you work the overnight shift and don’t ever get the opportunity to sleep when it’s dark outside.

Your work schedule may disrupt your body’s normal circadian rhythm – and during your free time, things probably aren’t much better because there’s a good chance that you spend much of your time looking at the screen of your phone, tablet, computer or television. The illumination from your electronic devices further discourages sleep by suppressing your body’s melatonin production.

There are many reasons why people occasionally have trouble falling asleep at night – but if you think that the reason for your insomnia might be because you frequently stay up late or spend a bit too much time in front of a bright screen, you may find a melatonin supplement helpful. Melatonin is available in virtually any supermarket or pharmacy. Research suggests that it may help you fall asleep at night – particularly if your body’s melatonin production is deficient – and that it is safe for occasional use.

Acupuncture

Alternative remedy for: Pain relief

Acupuncture is a key element of traditional Chinese medicine, and it has been practiced for more than 2,000 years. In Chinese medicine, acupuncture is based on the believe that life force – or qi – flows through pathways located in specific areas of the body. The idea behind acupuncture is that, by stimulating specific areas to encourage the flow of qi, the body can be encouraged to bring itself back into normal balance. Similarly, western practitioners of acupuncture believe that stimulating specific areas of the body can result in the release of natural painkillers.

During an acupuncture session, the practitioner will insert extremely thin needles into specific areas of your body. Because the needles are so small, the insertion doesn’t hurt; many people don’t feel the needles at all. When the session is over, the practitioner will remove the needles – and that’s it. You may feel an uplifting sensation after the session, and after a few sessions, you may find that your aches and pains have become easier to manage. For many years, researchers have attempted to conclusively prove the benefits of acupuncture and have been unable to do so. Nevertheless, enough people find it helpful that it would definitely be worthwhile to give acupuncture a try if you’re looking for an alternative form of pain relief that doesn’t require taking a prescription medication.

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Ashley Macdonald
Ashley has recently joined the FeedsPortal content writing team and brings with her a wealth of journalistic experience, which we believe our readers will find extremely useful.

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