Alternative medicine is a broad category of treatment systems or culture-based healing traditions that are generally not recognized by the medical community as standard or conventional medical approaches. This range of treatments does not use pharmaceutical drugs or surgery to prevent illnesses, increase wellness, or address existing symptoms. Instead most focuses on the usage of energy, natural product, or the body’s self-healing powers as treatments for illnesses or conditions.
For instance, this could mean visiting a homeopath instead of a family MD, or using herbal products instead of prescription drugs. Alternative medicine is by many seen as a simple and easy way of preventing, and sometimes curing, patients. Usually, less pain is involved in the process and many feel that the alternative medicines offer more personal autonomy and control over health care decisions.
The Difference between Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine while alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine - CAM
Most of these practices encompass therapies with a cultural or a historical basis instead of a scientific approach. Alternative medicine and Complementary medicine is usually grouped under the umbrella term CAM – complementary and alternative medicine. CAM is seen as a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, products and practises that are not considered part of conventional medicine. The list of what is considered CAM changes continually, as new approaches to healthcare emerge, and as the therapies that are proven effective and safe become adopted into conventional health care.
The Five categories of CAM
1. Whole Alternative Medical Systems
These are build upon complete systems of theory and practise. Often, these have evolved earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the western world. Examples of these are traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and homeopathic medicine.
2. Mind-Body Interventions
These systems take a holistic approach to health, and uses a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. Examples of these are meditation, music therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy.
3. Biologically Based Therapies
These therapies uses substances and elements found in nature, such as vitamins, foods and herbs. Examples of these are dietary supplements and herbal products.
4. Manipulative and Body-Based Methods
These methods are based on manipulation and/or the movement of one or more parts of the body. These include for instance massage and osteopathic and chiropractic manipulation.
5. Energy Therapies
These therapies involve the use of energy fields. The category is divided into two subcategories. The first, Biofield therapies, are intended to affect energy fields that supposedly surround and penetrate the human body. Examples of these are reiki and qi gong. The other category is bioelectromagnetic-based therapies that involve verifiable electromagnetic fields, such as pulsed fields and magnetic fields.
Why is Alternative Medicine so Popular?
In recent years the western world has seen an incredible increase in interest to alternative medicine. While some have lost faith in conventional medicine others turn to alternative medicine out of curiosity. Alternative medicine is by many seen as a simple and easy way of preventing, and sometimes curing, patients. Usually, less pain is involved in the process and many feel that the alternative medicines offer more personal autonomy and control over health care decisions.
Many patients are also afraid of the side effects with conventional drugs, and therefore prefer readily available natural substances. Since many alternative medicines are made up of natural herbs it is also very economical. Another important factor is that most alternative medicines have no side effects. Techniques such as naturopathy or Ayurveda are purely made of natural substances, and provide no harmful effect on the body.
A growing number of medical researchers are focusing their attention on natural supplements, and the benefits of antioxidants and vitamins are now generally assessed. Alternative medicine is also becoming accessible to everyone. Today, you can find vitamins, food supplements and herbs at almost every local grocery store, something that was impossible only 20 years ago.
- Aroma Therapy
- Ayurveda Treatment
- Chiropractic Treatment
- Colonic Irrigation
- Fish Spa
- Herbal Therapy
- Holistic Healing
- Homeopathy Treatment
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Natural Therapies
- Acupuncture in Australia
- Acupuncture in Canada
- Acupuncture in Cyprus
- Acupuncture in Czech Republic
- Acupuncture in Germany
- Acupuncture in Greece
- Acupuncture in India
- Acupuncture in Italy
- Acupuncture in Lithuania
- Acupuncture in Malaysia
- Acupuncture in Maldives
- Acupuncture in Mexico
- Acupuncture in Philippines
- Acupuncture in Singapore
- Acupuncture in South Africa
- Acupuncture in Switzerland
- Acupuncture in Thailand
- Acupuncture in Turkey
- Acupuncture in United Kingdom