A to Z of Alternative Medicines  
by: Dr. Leo Rebello (leorebello@indolink.com)


In this age-old Chinese system, the body is divided into 14 meridians and 365 specific points to stimulate, disperse and regulate the flow of vital energy and restore a healthy balance. In acupuncture, needles are inserted at these points, whereas in acupressure only finger pressure is used. Acupoints are also stimulated by a low-frequency electrical current (electro-acupuncture), or with finely tuned laser beams. Some times moxa (common mugwort) heat is used over specific points (moxibustion), some times needles dipped in homoeopathic mother tinctures are inserted (homoeo-puncture). In addition to pain relief, acutherapy is used to improve well-being and treat acute, chronic and degenerative conditions. Under acupuncture anaesthesia minor/major operations are conducted effortlessly with conscious participation of the patient.

Ayurvedic Medicine:

Practiced in India for more than 5000 years, ayurvedic tradition holds that illness is a state of imbalance among the body´s systems. These imbalances can be detected through diagnostic procedures like : Nadi (pulse), Mutra (urine), Mal (faeces/stools), Jeevha (tongue), Shabda (tone clarity), Sparsh (touch), Netra (eyes), Akruti (figure). Nutrition, counseling, massage, natural medications, meditation and other modalities are used to address a broad spectrum of ailments.


is a practical psychosomatic medicine according to which the autonomic nervous system can be trained. With this, blood pressure can be lowered, cold hands warmed, migraine and epilepsy treated, hemiplegias rehabilitated and deep meditative states induced. Any bodily or mental function that can be monitored can be altered.


The body synthesizes colours from fruits, vegetables and food eaten. A solarium, colour suncharged water, 12 tissue salts which emanate different colours, are used by experts of Chromotherapy in treatment. It is a fascinating art and science.


Using sterilized equipment, filtered water is gently introduced into the rectum, which softens and expels stagnated faecal matter and colon poisons from the large intestine. Colon malfunction can lead to 80% of diseased states. Keep the innards clean and you will be fine throughout your life.

Dance therapy:

Dance and/or movement therapy uses expressive movement as a therapeutic tool for both personal expression and psychological healing. Practitioners work with people with physical disabilities, substance abuse, sexual abuse cases, eating disorders, and other concerns.

Ear Candling:

Primarily used for wax buildup and related hearing problems. Ear candling is also used for ear and sinus infections. Treatment involves placing the narrow end of a specially designed hollow candle at the entry of the ear canal, while the opposite end is lit.

Flower Remedies:

A method of alleviating negative emotional states that may contribute to illness or hinder personal growth. Discovered by Dr. Edward Bach there are thirty-eight remedies, each flower or bud being specific for an emotional state or a personality type. Flower remedies are made from water in which flowers have been dipped and exposed to sunlight for a few hours. Remedies are administered sub-lingual.

Gem Therapy:

Vibrations from gem-stones can relieve or remove mental and emotional problems – for example, emerald is said to improve memory; red coral gives beneficial results in anemia, lassitude, pain, collapse and general debility; Ruby balances tridoshas and is specific for billiousness and blood disorders. Since AIDS spreads through blood, Ruby can be worn on the right hand.


Founded in 1790, by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., it is a medical system that uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances - called remedies - to stimulate a person´s immune and defense system. A remedy is individually chosen for a sick person based on its capacity to cause, if given in over dose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those a patient is experiencing. The four cardinal laws of homoeopathy are : (a) the law of similars (b) the law of direction of cure (c) the law of single remedy (d) the law of minimum dose.


A means of bypassing the conscious mind and accessing the sub-conscious, where suppressed, repressed emotions, and forgotten events may remain recorded. Hypnosis may facilitate behavioral, emotional, or attitudinal changes, such as, weight loss, or smoking cessation. It is also used to treat phobias, stress, and as an adjunct in the treatment of illness.


Your thinking or imagination can make or mar you. Imagery can boost the immune response, thereby increasing the activity of natural killer cells to identify and eliminate virus-infected cells, other microbes, and tumor cells. Imagery can lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate, alleviate insomnia, relieve stress and anxiety, treat phobias and obesity, and help regulate menstrual cycles. If you can imagine, it can become real.

Iscador Therapy:

centres round the extract of the white-berried mistletoe (viscum album) plant which grows on a number of host trees. Mistletoe therapy is directed not only against Cancer cells, but it aims to restore the dynamic equilibrium between cells and organism. The earliest declaration over the use of the mistletoe for the healing of Cancer was made by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, in 1904 and was introduced into medicine in 1920 by the Lukas Clinic at Arlesheim in Switzerland.

Joviality/or laughter therapy:

creates in the body a different chemistry. When you are jovial or when you laugh, you relax, you breathe freely, your digestion improves, movements are easy, coordination better, thinking cordial, memory becomes sharp and vision becomes clear. Joviality, laughter, love leads to vibrant health.

Kirlian Photography:

For centuries, mystics, spiritual healers and psychics have been fascinated by the ‘auras’ – luminous, misty outlines – that surround people, animals, plants and other animate or inanimate objects. Kirlian photography prints auras that reveal people’s mental and physical disorders before they display any outward symptoms. Cancers can be diagnosed by modern medicine in later stages and a lot of time is wasted in sub-classifying them while the patient sinks further in health. A good Kirlian photograph in experienced hands can reveal cancer two years before its onset.

Lamaze Method:

The purpose of the Lamaze education is to prepare a mother for happy childbirth. This is done by removing fear from her mind and by making her relax and teaching her how to coordinate her breathing, so that childbirth is normal and natural. Based upon Pavlov’s principle of conditioned response, the theory is that the brain can be trained to accept and analyze a given stimulus and select a response to it.


A general term for a range of therapeutic approaches with roots in both eastern and western cultures. It involves the practice of manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft tissue with the intent of improving a person’s well being or health. Massage can sooth the body, mind and the spirit.

Music Therapy:

The rhythm of life as a healing force has been used since ancient times. Making music, dancing to the tune of music, drawing some revealing patterns on paper with colours as music unwinds, breathing in and out in synchronisation, frees the client from submerged feelings and problems. Many people carry unnecessary burdens of the past which, in an enlightened moment, music helps them to unload.


The oldest health-care system which emphasizes the curative power of nature, treating both acute and chronic illnesses in all age groups. The three cardinal principles of nature cure are : (a) healing is within (b) there is inner environment and (c) treatment should not be worse than the disease. It is a drugless healing. Naturopathy can cure every disease.


A system of physical techniques, exercise and meditation used to relieve tensions and fatigue and induce a state of harmony and peace. The practitioner first assesses a person´s state by feeling the hara, the area below the navel. Then, using continuous and flowing movements, the practitioner presses and stretches the body´s energy channel, working in unison with the person´s breathing.


It uses injections of natural substances, such as, dextrose, glycerin and phenol in order to stimulate the growth of connective tissue and this strengthens weak, damaged joints, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. This re-constructive therapy is used to treat degenerative arthritis, lower back pain, torn ligaments and cartilage, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other conditions.


Qi is a pre-physical energy existing in air. T’ai chi which means great pole or axis is a form of active meditation which helps in tapping the qi or chi or prana. Breathing is faulty in almost 90% people. Due to wrong breathing there is insufficient oxygen in the blood. This leads to hypoxic diseases, like cancers, gangrene, heart attack, stroke, impotence, low vitality, etc.


It is the fine art of tuning the body, mind and the spirit. Practitioners of this ancient healing system use light hand placements to channel healing energies to the recipient. Reiki is commonly used to treat emotional and mental distress as well as chronic and acute physical problems, and to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity. The five principles of Reiki are : Just for today, I will live with gratitude. Just for today, I will not worry. Just for today, I will not be angry. Just for today I will do my work honestly. Just for today, I will love and respect every living being.

Silva Mind Control:

This technique teaches you how to tap brain-waves as an aid to the development of greater mental discipline. It is a combination of Autosuggestion and Meditation to expand intuition and extrasensory perception.

Tibetan Medicine:

Evolved as a synthesis of Tibetan, Chinese, Persian medicine, and Ayurveda. These remedies include indigenous herbs, fruits, flowers, metallic powders and minerals given in tablet or powder form, and are especially effective in treating rheumatism, asthma, gastritis, diabetes and many neurological disorders.


Involves the use of plants, herbs and minerals. Known to provide cures for diseases, such as, sinusitis, leucoderma, rheumatism, jaundice and elephantiasis, Unani Tibb or Graeco-Arab medicine is mainly practised in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. The basic framework of the four-humour theory of Hippocrates, which presupposed the presence in the body of four humours : blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Vital force or life-force is called Ruh in this system of health care.

Vitamin therapy:

A complementary therapy of vitamin usage combined with other treatments to address a range of illnesses and to enhance the functioning of the body system. Assists the immune system in combating chronic fatigue syndrome and HIV/AIDS.

Water therapy:

Also known as hydrotherapy, it is a treatment of diseases by means of water in various forms and temperatures. For example, ice massage is given in Parkinson’s disease and paralysis, steam for throwing out impurities from the body by opening blocked pores of the skin. In enemas, stomach wash, douches, sitz baths, spinal baths, compresses - cold or warm water is used, both internally and externally. Water is the best cleanser and healer, as 70% body is made of water.

X-ray therapy or X radiation:

Radiated medicine is used to treat diseases like cancers, tumours, genetic deformities and to nullify radiation effect in the human body. This is not the same as irradiation.


It is an eight-fold method of evolving an ordinary man into a super human being. Yoga connects an individual with the universe. It consists of Asanas (physical postures), Pranayam (breath control), Kriyas (cleansing techniques), Mudras and Meditation (for mind control). Yoga addresses mental and physical problems, while integrating body, mind and the spirit.

Zone Reflexology:

This modality is based on the idea that specific points on the feet and hands correspond with organs and tissues throughout the body. With fingers and thumb, the practitioner applies pressure to these points reflected in the feet or hands to treat a wide range of illnesses.

From the above description, you would note how the Holistic Healing modalities are far superior to Modern Medicine’s treatment-oriented chemical approach, which only tackles the human body in parts, not bothering about the mind and spirit aspect. Modern medicine does not also know anything about ‘soul sickness’.

Dr. Leo Rebello is the Director of Natural Health Centre, Bombay. He is an eminent Naturopath and Holistic Healer with over 25 years of clinical, teaching and research experience.

He has written 24 books, and lectured in 50 countries - including at WHO, UNESCO, UNDP, Nobel Foundation and other conferences. He has Trained and treated thousands around the world.