Written by Jacy Meyer
You´re antibiotic´d out; you´ve tried every pain pill known to man and still you aren´t getting better. Maybe it´s time to look into alternative medicine. What used to be considered “quack” science is becoming more and more accepted around the world. Whether you call it natural, holistic or alternative; acupuncture, Chinese medicine, hypnotherapy, Ayurveda and more can be found here in Prague.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is generic term for a variety of therapies including acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage and nutrition advice. The Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Revoluční 20, www.tcm.cz) was developed by the Czechoslovakian Sinobiological Society as a consultation center for practitioners and patients. They have a variety of staff members specializing in different ailments. In Prague 7, Guo Li (Milady Horákové 6, www.sweb.cz/guoli/) is a Chinese medicine practioner.
Acupuncture is that scary looking treatment where the therapist sticks a bunch of needles into you. In truth, acupuncture should not hurt and can be used for a variety of different ailments. In Prague 2, Renáta Šotová is an acupuncturist at Hálkova 8 (www.cinskamedicina.com.) Nature Care Clinic (Plavecká 12, www.naturecare.cz) offers acupuncture, along with Chinese medicine, physiotherapy (a combination of treatments, including ultrasound and electrotherapy, used to treat pain,) homeopathy (an alternative treatment to typical medications,) hypnotherapy and reflexology which is a form of pressure massage designed to remove energy blockages.
Reiki is a Japanese technique used for stress reduction and to promote healing. Treatment is provided through the Reiki master´s hands and involves the movement of energy flowing through the body. If our energy is low we are more likely to feel stressed or become sick while if a person´s energy is high they are more likely to be healthy. Jana Koubová is a Reiki practitioner in Prague 2 (Jaromírova 59, www.zivotvradosti.cz.)
Ayurveda is an Indian treatment that dates back about 5,000 years. It focuses not just on the origin of illnesses, but their causes as well and seeks to put a person´s body back into a natural state of health. Any prescribed medications are always herbal, and a great deal of focus is based on the interplay between food, drink and lifestyle based on each individual´s constitution. Treatments include massage, herbal inhalation or steams, shiatsu, a traditional Japanese massage or Shirodhara which is a relaxation and healing technique. Practitioners of Ayurveda include Ayurmedic Ceylon (Na Šafránce 17, www.ayurmedic.cz), the Ayurveda Spa & Clinic in the Crowne Plaza Prague Castle hotel (Strahovska 128, www.ichotelsgroup.com), and the Ayuma Wellness Center (Haštalská 27, www.ayuma.cz).
If you are suffering from some undiagnosed ills, or are looking for a preventative treatment, Controlled Inner Cleansing (CIC) may be for you. This treatment involves purifying the body from a build-up of modern day toxins. Dr. Josef Jonáš treats people in Prague 1 (Na Florenci 19, www.joalis.eu.)
Biotherapy involves removing blockages of energy from your body or putting energy back where it is missing in order to allow the body to heal itself. Treatment is offered locally by appointment only by phoning 608 606 581.
If you are suffering from back, neck or shoulder ailments, you may want to look into the Alexander Technique. The treatment educates you on proper posture and movement to ensure a healthy upper body. Sarka Provaznikova (U Smaltovny 20H, 608 802 218) is a local practitioner.
Much of Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on specially chosen herbs. It´s quite common for people nowadays to take Echinacea is they feel a cold coming on, ginger for motion sickness or Gingko Biloba in the hopes of sharpening the mind. While some of the more well-known supplements have undergone scientific testing, results are not in on all of them. Do your homework before trying any new supplement, and be sure to let your regular doctor know what you are doing. Some herbal products can have very nasty interactions with other prescribed medications. Almost all Bio stores have a selection of teas, pills and other herbal products. Country Life (Melantrichova 15, www.countrylife.cz) has many herbal products, including cosmetics. In the Můstek metro station, there´s Máta (Vodičkova 40, 224 238 368) a small but well-stocked shop that has bio products as well as a huge wall of tea. Bio Market Vitek (Vinohradská 53, www.biomarketvitek.cz) and Albio (Truhlářská 18, www.albiostyl.cz) also have some options for you. Tibetan Healcare (nám. 14. října 2, www.tibetskamedicina.cz) is in Prague 5 and has a large variety of medical supplements. It´s only in Czech but www.celostnimedicina.cz has a lot of health information, as well as the possibility to buy herbal products online. Another good resource, again, only in Czech is www.herb.cz.
As with anything that has to do with your health; tread carefully. The options and opinions out there are mind-boggling and it is sometimes difficult to just whittle it down to the facts. If you are meeting with a practitioner, ask for credentials and references. Discuss the procedure in detail before committing to anything. Ask what the expected results will be as well as any side effects. Even better, get a recommendation from someone you know. However, not every treatment is right for every person or every ailment so be prepared to explore your alternatives. Other things to keep in mind is what, if any, research has been done on the treatment, and don´t forget to keep your general doctor informed of what´s going on.