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"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
Mark Twain

Alternative medicine can be defined as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.

Read about four people who have tried alternative medicine.


All I knew about it before I went was that you lie down on a bed and let someone stick needles in you. It wasn’t my idea of a good time. But I’d been feeling so stressed out recently that I was prepared to give almost anything a try. So I made an appointment to see Mrs. Woo who was recommended to me by a friend of mine.
I was very sceptical at my first session with Mrs. Woo, but she gave me a very thorough initial consultation. She took details of my medical history and asked me loads of questions about my lifestyle and current problems. She wanted to know all about the kind of things that have been making me feel so stressed lately.
I was a bit nervous about the needles, so Mrs. Woo started off with a few small, sterile needles in my back. She took them out almost immediately and I didn’t feel a thing. I’ve been back several times since, and I’ve noticed a big difference in my moods and stress level. I feel a lot more relaxed and I have more patience at work and at home. My girlfriend has also noticed the difference in my behaviour, and says I’m more laid-back and a lot more fun to be with.


I started being interested in this type of alternative medicine when I was in the process of having a nervous breakdown a few months ago. Because of the cutbacks in government spending, I now earn less than half of what I did 2 years ago in my civil service post. The price of petrol, food and the general cost of living has gone up quiet a bit as well and this has all added to the stress of supporting a family.
I went for my first session about six months ago and it quickly became a deep personal interest as my mood became more depressed, irritated and I started having more nervous system related health problems.
I use just a few drops of essential oil of lemon in a gallon of water to help my arthritis. The amount is unusually small because essential oils are very potent and they are not intended for internal use.
I also had some problems with constipation and can assure you that a dilution of sweet orange essential oil and jojoba really gives quick relief for this condition.
Myrrh is excellent for mouth infections, and immortelle is excellent for people who suffer from mosquito bites.
My daughter also uses a very diluted roman chamomile (1 percent) to calm her baby when he is fussy and teething. She rubs a little bit of the dilution (with sweet almond oil for children) on his feet and this calms him down and helps him sleep.
One variety of rosemary is very good for memory but it might have been better if I had tried basil since it is well known for clarity of thought. Once my memory got better from the rosemary, I started doing some research for my mood.
Since I started using aromatherapy, I find it much easier to get daily tasks done and still have plenty of time for family and friends, and for myself. Daily life seems easier and I can relax now quite easily.
I am starting to take baths in essential oil of grapefruit (pink). Grapefruit is known for having a constituent that fights fat and cellulite.


Losing weight can be a long, troubled journey for some. We hit a plateau that we can't seem to dig ourselves out of and we start to look for alternatives.
This happened to be last year and I was very sceptical when a friend invited to me to a group session for weight loss. I had no idea what to expect during the seminar, but I was comforted by the hypnotist's explanation beforehand and he dispelled many of the myths about being hypnotized.
What I experienced was completely relaxing, refreshing and, more importantly, effective. The hypnotist gave me triggers that I could use to remind myself of my preference for fruits and vegetables, my craving for water and my dislike for diet pop.
I walked out feeling a little strange, not knowing what to expect, but I also felt a real sense of peace and tranquillity. And I have never experienced such a craving for water.
I purchased the Hypnosis for Weight Loss CD, which has been helpful, but I would certainly consider seeing a hypnotherapist regularly to help me change my habits and reach my goal weight.


I was introduced to the Technique through my career as a professional flutist. Since my first lesson in 1996 I have used the Technique to help improve my playing, deal with performance anxiety, and manage chronic pain in my throat, lower back, and shoulder. Many people have just a few lessons and their pain disappears, but unfortunately, I am not one of those people. My bad habits are stubborn. Despite learning how to move, how to stay still, how to breathe, how to learn, how to focus my attention and, above all, how to choose reactions in increasingly demanding situations, my overall condition had not improved enough. In 2004 my chronic shoulder pain became severe and debilitating, despite weekly lessons. I was desperate, and I knew I had to take steps in order to save my career and my health.
As a last attempt to heal myself, I began training to become a teacher of the Technique. I knew that my symptoms were a result of years and years of habit, and I knew it wasn't going to be an easy fix, but I trusted that if anything could help me, it was this technique. I was right. It took some time, but my shoulder pain subsided. I still have minor pain from time to time, but thanks to the Alexander Technique I have effective tools for helping myself feel better. Fortunately, my story is extreme. It's been my happy experience that most of my students experience a life change much more quickly than I did.

Complete the table below.

  Barry James Lucy Jennifer
Type of treatment
Reassons for trying
the treatment
Short description
of treatment
Patient's assessment
of treatment

Answers Check.

Read the texts again and find the English translation of the Spanish words below. Follow the example.

riguroso, detallado –
humor, disposición –
tranquilo, relajado –

crisis nerviosa –
reducción –
estreñimiento –
tarea –

cavar –
morirse por, tener ansias de –
gatillo –
comprar –

garganta –
curar –
calmarse, pasarse -

Answers Check.

Listen and repeat.

Choose words to make collocations and phrasal verbs that appear in the previous texts.

1. to take
2. to give (s.t.)
3. to hit
4. to give
5. to dispel
6. to calm
7. to deal
8. to make

Answers Check.

Now complete the following sentences with an expression (in the correct form) from the previous exercise. Write one word in each space.

1. The new restaurant we found that good food has to be expensive.
2. I was reading an interesting financial blog about the current financial crisis and how .
3. A friend at work went bungee jumping last weekend. It looks really frightening, but I’ve always wanted .
4. Whenever I get a bad headache, I take a couple of Paracetamol. They always me .
5. You can’t just walk right in to see him without any notice. You have first.
6. It’s been four months since I realised I have a problem with alcohol, and I’m to deal with it.
7. What can I give my dog before cutting his nails?
8. Many English students get to intermediate level and . They can’t seem to raise their level any further.

Answers Check.

Listen and repeat.

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