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JLo practices acupuncture, Lady Gaga treats her ailments with marijuana, Muhammad Ali got hooked on reflexology, Uma Thurman believes in the power of precious stones.

Diametrically opposed views of respiratory diseases. Doctors or healers?

Kristina Valachyová
01.Dec 2021
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6 minutes
Jennifer Lopez často vyhledává akupunkturu.

A great number of people have chosen to say no to meds and doctors, choosing alternative treatment options instead. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicine are among the most popular methods, closely followed by homoeopathy and herbal treatments. Western medicine was also included in the ranking, but surprisingly, it ranked as low as fifth place. What's more, many world-class celebrities use and practice alternative medicine and search for various non-traditional solutions.

Alternative medicine is slowly overpowering the western kind

While Western medicine offers verifiable treatment effects, the alternative offers only guesswork based on patient confidence. Medicines and modern devices are replaced by herbs, needles and, every now and then, by supernatural energy. So why is Western medicine being pushed to the margins? We should consider the fact that emergency medicine that deals with resetting broken bones, surgeries etc. is at a very high level, however, it lacks, for instance, a holistic approach to chronic diseases.


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Žena na ajurvédě
Žena na ajurvéděSource: Unsplash

Ayurveda defines health as a state of harmony of body and mind, while disharmony is a manifestation of disease. It prefers the use of natural products to drug addiction. From the point of view of Ayurvedic medicine, liquorice, cinnamon, Guduchi, Indian basil and ginger are particularly effective for the treatment of wet cough. In case of a dry cough, one must drink a lot of ginger tea with honey.


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Žena cvičící jógu.
Žena cvičící jógu.Source: Unsplash

Yoga is the meeting of the three elements at one point - body, breath and consciousness. We breathe differently when we sleep, when we are in a happy mood, when we experience sorrow, and when we are stressed.

"Even more interesting, and yogis know it very well, is that the law of biological feedback applies here, which means that breathing can affect our mood,"

yoga instructor Jozef Blesák says for Even the functions of some organs can be affected by breathing, which yogis use to support healing processes. There are many different breathing patterns and techniques in yoga practice. This part of yoga is called pranayama.

Luxusní penthouse na Praze 1 - 226m
Luxusní penthouse na Praze 1 - 226m, Praha 1

"In the countries of the East, breathing exercises have been one of the foundations of health science for millennia. The Far East believed that breath was a means of eliminating pollutants from the body. China and India have developed breathing exercises down to the smallest detail. How many times to inhale through your left and left nostril, when to exhale and when to hold your breath. Yoga exercises for the expansion of the respiratory system are an ideal means of rehabilitation after a coronavirus infection,"

shares the yoga instructor.

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Prstová jóga.
Prstová jóga.Source: Unsplash

Breathing reflects our relationship with the world. If we breathe superficially, all the organs in our body will also work superficially. If we breathe deeply, our body's oxygen supply will improve. Some may think, "I've been breathing for 60 years, and now I'm supposed to learn it?" In fact, the average person only uses a third of their lung capacity when breathing. That means their breathing is very shallow. It is therefore necessary to teach people to breathe in the individual parts of the lungs, namely the diaphragm, the chest and the pulmonary tips under the collarbones.

Have you ever noticed that when you're happy, your chest swells and you experience pleasant feelings on the front of your chest? When we feel pleasant emotions, we breathe in the front of our chest. On the contrary, when we feel anxious, our chest tightens. The Orient teaches that anxiety can be overcome by learning to breathe in one's back. That may sound strange, but...

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Lena cvičící jógu.
Lena cvičící jógu.Source: Unsplash

Breath was commonly associated with longevity. The organisms that breathe fast have short lives - insects live only for a few days, while a turtle can live over a century. Perhaps we would do well to follow a particular proverb that was typical of the Orient: "We are given a certain number of breaths in life and we have to be sure to make each breath count."

Folk medicine

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vyprávěla Ida Petrovičová, žena, která miluje přírodu.
vyprávěla Ida Petrovičová, žena, která miluje přírodu.Source: Se zvolením Idy Petrovičové

Ida Petrovičová, a woman who loves nature, spoke to us about herbal remedies in an interview for Natural treatment of respiratory diseases using herbs is one of the most common methods.

"It definitely has to do with the fact that while we can stay without food for several weeks and without water for a few days, we can only survive a few minutes without oxygen. The respiratory system and the state it is in has logically been and always will be a priority area for herbal treatment. You would have trouble finding a person who doesn't know a single herb against diseases of the respiratory system. Whether it's the first spring herbs, such as horsetail, spring primrose or lungwort, black elder or small-leaved lime, or summer herbs, such as butterbur, plantain or denseflower mullein, sage or mallow,"

says the herbalist.

Luxusní byt 4+kk na prodej, Praha 7 – 296m
Luxusní byt 4+kk na prodej, Praha 7 – 296m, Praha 7

When treating the respiratory system, it is always necessary to realize that herbs have broad-spectrum effects and an incorrectly mixed herbal concoction won't have nearly the same effects as if you know the substances contained in the herbs and combine them correctly.

"Of course, many herbalists also rely on their intuition, which is a great gift that allows them to offer you a unique medicinal herbal mixture for a certain problem. However, whatever treatment you choose, the rule that each of us should primarily be responsible for our health stands,"

concludes the herbalist.

Chinese medicine

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Čínská medicína.
Čínská medicína.Source: Unsplash

The essence of the world and life is the flow of Qi power that resides in everything that exists. It consists of two forces - yang and yin. Let's take a closer look at a specific example of how Chinese medicine explains, for example, lung disease. Normally, the Qi of the lungs moves downwards and controls all the downward movements in the body in general. When this function is impaired, Qi begins to accumulate in the chest, which causes a cough. Stagnation of the Qi of the lungs also negatively impacts the entire system of the human body. It affects the kidneys, because water descends to this pair organ thanks to the downward movement of the Qi of the lungs, it will also block the function of the liver, affect the heart and the spleen. The disease can even spread to the large intestine. Insufficient support of downward movements by the Qi of the lungs can cause stagnation in the intestine and lead to constipation. The nose will be affected as well, becoming stuffy.

A number of methods are used to achieve balance. They are classified into eight groups, collectively called the "eight methods of pa-fa". These methods include sweating, vomiting, downward movement, harmonization, warming, cleansing, replenishment and dispersion. Of course, all of these concern working with Qi energy. The balance of yin and yang is established by acupuncture and herbs.

Classical medicine

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Lékař.Source: Unsplash

Most patients believe in getting actual help, i.e. they expect to be healed. And so, when conventional treatment isn't helping, they turn to alternative medicine.

"Just recommend the patient to read a critical book on alternative medicine. The average reader should immediately understand that alternative medicine is built entirely on a collection of erroneous, naive, stupid and deceptive methods, and start believing solely in modern medicine and its proven practices. To anyone who believes in the effectiveness of AM methods despite everything, I strongly recommend seeing a healer only after they have been properly examined by a classical doctor and a serious illness has been ruled out,"

says Jiří Heřt, a Czech medical doctor.

Oxygen therapy

Most people don"t understand the difference between oxygen and air. The ordinary air we breathe contains only 21% oxygen. The rest are pollutants that often affect our health. Pure, concentrated oxygen - up to 98%, which we get to breathe during oxygen therapy, has a completely different quality.


Tetany manifests by painful muscle cramps. The main cause of tetanus syndrome is a lack of magnesium in the body. Patients breathe deeply with increased frequency and gasp for breath. In such cases, it is recommended to breathe into a paper bag, which leads to an increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the body.

Even celebrities struggle with health problems

What methods have they tried out?

Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez.
Jennifer Lopez.Source: Profimedia

Many marvel at her eternally youthful, dazzling appearance. People suspect she might have had a lot of cosmetic surgery and botox, but that's not true at all. Although she does use a different kind of needles to achieve her great looks: acupuncture. She often indulges in this technique of classical Chinese medicine, which gets the energy flowing in her body and unblocks the clogged pathways.

Lady Gaga

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Madonna.Source: Profimedia

She makes even alternative medicine fun! The singer resorted to marijuana as an alternative remedy to relieve stress and help restore her mental health. Naturally, the treatment took place under the supervision of doctors. Or so she said.

Muhammad Ali

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Madonna.Source: Profimedia

One of the most famous boxing champions in the world believed that reflexology and massage of special points on the body were helping him win and regenerate. Apparently, he became more physically fit than his rivals thanks to these techniques.

Gwyneth Paltrow

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Madonna.Source: Profimedia

In 2004, she was a huge proponent of cupping. She appeared on the red carpet with bare shoulders and covered in bruises. However, they hadn't been caused by domestic violence, but by cupping. The bruises it leaves on your body looked like you got into a fight with the aforementioned Muhammad Ali.

Uma Thurman

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Madonna.Source: Profimedia

She believes in the power of precious stones. And not just diamonds. The actress changes necklaces with semi-precious stones according to her mood, and you might find things like stone charged water at her place. You'll rarely ever meet her without stones on her body, since she also believes in their protective potential against bad energies.

Richard Gere

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Madonna.Source: Profimedia

He never tried to hide the fact that the Western way of life wasn't really his thing and he was rather focused on the East in his mind. This charismatic actor has practiced various meditation techniques for most of his adult life. According to his own words, they not only relieved him of stress, but also helped him overcome a number of chronic diseases, including insomnia and depression.


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Madonna.Source: Profimedia

A fan of an alternative approach to both life and medicine. In 2004, she admitted that she had even tried urine therapy. With that, she joined the ranks of people who use urine not only in erotic play, but also for healing purposes.

Despite constant advances in medicine, not all diseases can be cured just yet, due to which people naturally seek healing elsewhere - but they don't always choose the right method. Chronic diseases that classical medicine fails to help with are another problem. That is where alternative medicine gets in the game.

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