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Number9:Alternative medicine (1)
Estimated figure of Japanese medical costHuman beings own natural healing power by nature. However, it is said that modern people, who take medicine easily, and rely on doctors when they find something wrong in their bodies, are liable to illness. Also, it is reported that Japanese medical costs marked 38 trillion in 2000, and it will mark 68 trillion in 2010 and 141 trillion in 2025. Our country's medical technology has attained to the highest level in the world, and this has lead to the highest life expectancies in the world. On the other hand, chronic diseases such as lifestyle-related diseases, which require a long-term treatment, have been increasing and affecting the public medical treasury. Due to reduced birth rate and plateaued population of working people, the social foundation that has supported our universal health care system is now threatened. We cannot avoid the increase of the out-of-pocket expenditures for health care in the future. It is yourself who lose the most when you get sick.
To get out of these situations, self-medication (self-management of one's health) has come to get the attention. This is a concept to change the life-style often relying on doctors and medicines, and protect one's health by oneself. To prevent the lifestyle-related diseases in advance, and have healthy days, one should make an effort. In order to achieve this concept, it is important to acquire the basic knowledge for healthcare. Especially, many of these lifestyle-related diseases are caused by unbalanced daily diets, lack of exercise, and stressful life. It is necessary to know and practice what you should improve in your health.
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[Alternative health care] in the spotlight
Under these social trends, "alternative health care" is now in the news. "Alternative health care" means medical cares and medicines that are not verified scientifically or applied clinically. It includes folk medicines, traditional Chinese medicine, aromatherapy, finger pressure therapy, and acupuncture and so on.

One of the backgrounds of which "alternative health care" has come to get the attention is discontent with Western medicines. Certainly, infection diseases are dramatically decreased, and examinations and treatment methods for lifestyle-related disease have made a considerable progress by Western medicine. However, because the disease structure has changed due to medical progress and rapid aging, chronic diseases and adult diseases that existing Western medicine cannot cure adequately have been increasing.
western medicine and alternative health care
Furthermore, an idea that Western medicine is focused on "treatment" not on "prevention" is also a problem. Certainly, Western medicine makes up the greatest portion of examination and medications accompanied by diagnosis and treatments, and the performances of medical treatment are superior, however, the side effects are not negligible.
On the other hand, alternative health care is effective for not only "treatment" but also "prevention". It is said that some alternative health care are used for prevention as certain kind of hygiene, and some are used for both of prevention and treatment by enhancing one's natural healing power.