What is alternative medicine?
Alternative medicine is a word that explains medical treatments that are used rather than traditional therapies. Certain people refer to it as “complementary or “integrative” medicine. An example of a complementary alternative medicine is using aromatherapy to help reduce a patient’s discomfort following surgery.
Complementary medicine is typically not taught or used in medical schools or hospitals. Complementary medicine includes a vat number of practices and systems of health care that, for a range of social, cultural, scientific, or economic reasons have not been adopted by mainstream medicine. However, it is important to keep in mind that complementary medicine is different from alternative medicine. While complementary medicine is used alongside conventional medicine, alternative medicine is used instead of conventional medicine. An example of an Alternative Medicine is using a special diet to treat cancer rather than undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery that has been suggested by a physician.
Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Complementary and Alternative Medicine can be classified into five major categories of practice such as:
- Energy therapies: This includes therapies like magnets, acupuncture, Qi gong and Tai chi, Therapeutic touch and reiki
- Whole medical systems: This may include Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Homeopathy.
- Biologically based practices: This includes diet therapy, natural products and supplements, botanical medicine and chelation therapy.
- Mind-body techniques: The common mind-body techniques are meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, hypnotherapy and relaxation techniques.
- Manipulative and body-based therapies: Manipulative and body-based therapies heal a number of conditions through bodily manipulation. These therapies comprise Chiropractic, Osteopathic manipulation, Cupping, Massage, Moxibustion, Reflexology, Scraping etc.
Benefits of using alternative medicines
There are several benefits that alternative medicines offer, some of which are mentioned below:
Alternative medicine therapies are less costly than conventional medical treatments. Even though some alternative therapies are not inexpensive, many herbal remedies and other natural treatments still charge less than prescription treatments and medications.
Overall Good Health Especially Mental Health
Alternative medicine offers a holistic treatment which means it focuses on healing the body, mind, and spirit. Treatment methods can help a person to reduce stress, relax, and relieve symptoms of anxiety. Other alternative approaches to mental health, such as nutrition and diet, self-help groups, and animal-assisted therapies can also be valuable resources.
Zero Side Effects
Usually the alternative therapies have no side effects, in contrast to the conventional medical treatments. However, based on what medical conditions a person have, even natural remedies and other alternative therapies can at times cause adverse side effects. Therefore, make sure that you talk to your doctor prior to using any types of alternative medicine.