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A GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

alternative medicine

Alternative medicine describes practices used in place of conventional medical treatments.

So also, Complementary medicine describes alternative medicine used in conjunction with conventional medicine.

Hence, the terms complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an umbrella term for both branches.

Alternative medicine includes practices that incorporate spiritual, metaphysical, or religious underpinnings; non-European medical traditions, or newly developed approaches to healing.

The field is so diverse; it encompasses practices spanning diet and exercise changes, hypnosis, chiropractic adjustment, and poking needles into a person’s skin (aka acupuncture). 

Some Alternative Medicines and practices

Acupuncture

Though “acupuncture” may immediately bring needles to mind, the term actually describes an array of procedures that stimulate specific points on the body.

he best-known variety consists of penetrating the skin with thin needles controlled by a practitioner.

Some studies find it helpful for chronic pain and depression.

Acupressure

Acupressure though similar in practice to acupuncture, involves no needles

 Practitioners use their hands, elbows, or feet to apply pressure to specific points along the body’s “meridians.”

According to the theory behind acupressure, meridians are channels that carry life energy (qi or ch’i) throughout the body.

The reasoning holds that illness can occur when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance;

as such, the process tends to relieve blockages so energy can flow freely again.

Acupressure might decrease nausea for chemotherapy patients and reduce anxiety in people scheduled to have surgery.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils (concentrated extracts from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants) to promote healing.

They could be inhaled, massaged into the skin or (in rare cases) taken by mouth, and also each has a specific purpose.

studies suggest aromatherapy might reduce pain, depression, and also anxiety.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Also known as Ayurveda, Ayurvedic medicine originated in India and has been around for thousands of years. 

Practitioners use a variety of techniques, including herbs, massage, and specialized diets, with the intent of balancing the body, mind, and spirit to promote overall wellness. 

Naturopathy

premised on the healing power of nature, naturopathic doctors are given both conventional and alternative medicines training

And they seek to understand the cause of a condition by exploring its mental, physical, and spiritual manifestations in a given patient.

however, naturopathy typically involves a variety of treatment techniques including nutrition, behavioral changes, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture.

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