Alternative Medicine and You

Alternative medicine is any form of practice that is outside the realm of conventional modern medicine. Alternative medicine is an age old healing science that uses natural forces present within the human body to cure various diseases, including the practice of using nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, supplements and other forms of natural health care. Alternative medicine is also referred to as "complementary medicine". Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) encompasses nonconventional approaches to healing, beyond traditional medicine. Since conventional medicine often fails to discover the cause of an illness or to relieve pain, many people turn to some form of alternative medicine. Alternative medicine treatments can be safe, natural and non-invasive ways to resolve problems, get to the cause of your health complaints and help restore vitality.

There are many forms of complementary and alternative medicine, too many to list here. Some of the more common ones are Aromatherapy, which involves the use of essential oils (extracts or essences) from flowers, herbs, and trees to promote health and well-being.

Reiki is a therapy in which practitioners seek to transmit a universal energy to a person, either from a distance or by placing their hands on or near that person. Naturopathic medicine proposes that there is a healing power in the body that establishes, maintains, and restores health. Naturopaths draw on many forms of complementary and alternative medicine, including massage, acupuncture, herbal remedies, exercise and lifestyle counseling. Chiropractors use manipulative therapy as an integral treatment tool. Still other techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, mental healing, yoga, and art, music, and dance therapy. Alternative medicine can include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, special teas, massage therapy, magnet therapy, and spiritual healing. Therapies like hypnosis and visualization claims to be able to change physical conditions through purely mental interventions.

Some osteopathic physicians practice osteopathic manipulation, a full-body system of hands-on techniques to alleviate pain, restore function, and promote health and well-being. Complementary medicine is a group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with conventional medicine. An example of complementary and alternative medicine healing system is Ayurveda. Whereas complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. Alternative medical practices are generally not recognized by the medical community as standard or conventional medical approaches.

Alternative medicine is generally thought of as being used instead of conventional methods. Alternative Medicine is a healthy, viable option for achieving optimum health. Perhaps alternative medicine is becoming more mainstream, and less alternative, in the twenty-first century. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. This is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider.

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