Acupressure is an ancient Chinese treatment based on the fact that chi, or vital energy, circulates in the body along energy pathways, or meridians, linked to different organ systems. Finger pressure is used on acupoints to stimulate and rebalance energy, and to treat ailments such as tension, menstrual cramps, and arthritis.
In recent years, glucosamine and chondroitin have been widely promoted as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Glucosamine, an amino sugar, is thought to promote the formation and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin, a carbohydrate, is a cartilage component that is thought to promote water retention and elasticity and to inhibit the enzymes that break down cartilage. Both compounds are manufactured by the body.
The leech was indispensable in 19th Century medicine for bloodletting, a practice believed to be a cure for anything from headaches to gout. Leeching was largely abandoned as medical science advanced. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who first condemned the method of using leeches in treating the patients.