Types of Alternative Medicine

Published on: Dec 31 2010 by Zaheer

The concept of alternative medicine or Eastern medicine is not new, as it has been around for many centuries. It is based on the philosophy that the human body has the tendency to heal itself and for this uses the holistic approaches to set off the natural healing process such as practices, products, and medical system. Unlike traditional or Western medicine approach which the primary focus is given to medication and technology, the alternative medicine approach is quite different and relies on natural ways of healing. The number of techniques used in alternative medicine are quite large, but yet not large enough as compared to traditional medicine. More and more people turn to the alternative medicine because the standard medical practice doesn’t give them the desired results.

Mind and Body Techniques

It is a concept based on the fact that the emotional and mental factors can have some influence on a person’s overall health. Mind and body technique is used for the treatment of incontinence, headaches, coronary artery disease, panic disorder, anxiety, chronic pain, depression and insomnia. These techniques can also be used in childbirth and coping with the complexities arise while dealing the cancer. The commonly used methods include meditation, hypnosis, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, and guided imagery.

Biologically Based Therapies

These therapies rely on the natural elements found in nature such as herbs, foods, vitamins and so on.

  • Herbs: Herbs are always known to be popular for their medicinal properties. These have been used for centuries to cure different diseases. Each herbal therapy has its own healing properties, depending on the disease and condition. There are numerous types of herbs and each holds some particular properties. However, it is always important to take advice from your doctor before using any herbal medicine because side effects can occur.
  • Foods: Foods here do not mean an ordinary food. Foods used for therapy are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. These are usually unprocessed and fresh foods.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins are always important for health and include dietary supplements.
  • Acupuncture and Acupressure: Both are the types of therapy used to relieve pain in certain areas of the body. Acupuncture is a type of therapy that uses tiny needles, poked into the body to achieve the desired results. This technique is very beneficial in relieving headaches and muscle soreness. Acupressure is also a type of therapy in which the focus is on using hands, elbows, or any other objects to apply the pressure.

Chiropractic Medicine

The supporters of this technique believe that disorder of the musculoskeletal system, mainly of spine, can affect the health through the nervous the system. Chiropractors usually make use their hands to treat the spine or surrounding tissues into a more natural and comfortable position. In many cases, it has shown remarkable results in relieving back pain.

Manipulative and Body-Based Methods

These methods rely on the manipulation and movement of one or more body parts in order to heal the disease. Some of the popular manipulative and body-based methods include: Trager Approach, Rolfing, Osteopathy, Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, Acupressure, Chiropractor, Massage Therapy, Reflexology, and Therapeutic Touch.

Energy Therapy

It has two different forms:

  • Biofield Therapies: Such therapies use the energy fields by targeting the ones that surround the human body by manipulating and touching. This practice is commonly used and therapeutic touch is an apt example.
  • Bioelectromagnetic-Based Therapies: These therapies rely on the unconventional electromagnetic fields such as pulsed fields, magnetic fields, and alternating or direct current fields.

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