What is Alternative Medicine

What is Alternative Medicine, Types and Benefits


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In This Article

What is Alternative Medicine?​

Is alternative medicine the same as complementary medicine?​

What are the Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine?​

Mind and Body Therapies​

Biological Therapies

Energy Therapies

Traditional Alternative Medicine​

Benefits of Complementary and Alternative Medicine​​



Some forms of alternative medicine have been practiced for decades, even centuries. Others are relatively new. Something that begins as an “alternative” treatment can sometimes become a standard treatment because of strong evidence that it works and works for no safety risks.

The word “alternative medicine” refers to any form of medicine or healing that is not recognized as normal medical methods. It refers to forms of medicine that are not widely accepted or practiced by medical doctors in the United States, particularly those that lack as much scientific evidence to support them as more everyday practices.





In This Article

What is Alternative Medicine?​

Is alternative medicine the same as complementary medicine?​

What are the Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine?​

Mind and Body Therapies​

Biological Therapies

Energy Therapies

Traditional Alternative Medicine​

Benefits of Complementary and Alternative Medicine​


What is Alternative Medicine?

The word “alternative medicine” refers to a broad range of medical practices and systems from different cultures around the world. People in nations such as the United States used it to describe practices that are not part of everyday medicine.

While some doctors in one part of the world may consider a practice to be mainstream, doctors in another way may consider the same practice to be alternative.

Is alternative medicine the same as complementary medicine?

Medical products and procedures that are not part of traditional medical care are referred to as complementary and alternative medicine.

People with cancer may use alternative medicine to:

– help the trying to cope with cancer treatment side effects such as nausea, pain, and fatigue

– relax themselves and help relieve the stress involved in cancer treatment

– believe they are helping with their own care

– attempt to treat or cure their cancer

Complementary medicine

This term refers to nontraditional medical approaches as a supplement or enhancement to conventional medicine. For example, the person who experiences a person living with migraine may take conventional pain relievers as well as attend biofeedback consultations.

Integrative medicine

Is a medical approach that combines conventional medicine with alternative medicine practices that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective. This approach frequently emphasizes the patient’s preferences and tries to address the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of health.

Holistic medicine

This is a type of treatment that looks at a person’s overall health rather than just one organ or body system. Alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine are all holistic in nature.

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What are the Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine?

Every day, scientists learn more about complementary and alternative medicine therapies, but there is still much more to learn. This list is intended to be an introduction to the various types of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), not an endorsement. Some of the therapies listed below require additional research to demonstrate their efficacy. If you have cancer, you should talk to your doctor about using complementary and alternative medicine before trying any of the therapies listed below.

People may refer to complementary and alternative medicine as “natural,” “holistic,” “home remedy,” or “Eastern Medicine.” Experts frequently use five categories to describe it. These are listed below, along with examples:

1. Mind and Body Therapies

These implement mental focus, breathing, and body movements to help the body and mind to rest.

Here are some examples:


To calm the mind and reduce stressful thoughts and feelings, use focused breathing or repetition of words or phrases.


The patient learns how to control certain body functions that are normally unconscious using special machines (such as heart rate and blood pressure).


A deep relaxation state in which a person becomes more self aware and focused on specific feelings, thoughts, images, sensations, or behaviors in order to help in healing, a person may feel more calm and open to suggestions.


Stretching and poses, meditation, and controlled breathing are all part of an ancient system of practices used to balance the mind and body.

Tai Chi

A type of gentle exercise and meditation in which used slow sets of body movements and controlled breathing


A treatment in which the body’s soft tissues are kneaded, rubbed, tapped, and stroked.


A kind of massage in which they apply pressure to specific points on the feet or hands that are thought to correspond to specific parts of the body.

Chiropractic Therapy

A type of spine, joint, and skeletal system manipulation.

2. Biological Therapies

This type of complementary and alternative medicine makes use of environmental factors.

Here are some examples:

Dietary Supplements

Products that are added to the diet and may contain ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, to name a few.


Plants and plant parts. Cannabis is one among them. Turmeric and cinnamon are examples of herbs and spices.

Special Foods or Diets

Dietary medicine is a type of medicine that uses food to cure specific illnesses. This may entail eating foods with specialized therapeutic characteristics, adhering to nutrition diets, or avoiding certain foods totally.

Herbal Medicine

This alternative therapy heals the body by using plant parts such as roots, leaves, berries, or flowers. However, herbal supplements can be given without being ‌ safe or beneficial. If you’re considering using them, talk to your doctor first.

3. Energy Therapies

Therapeutic Touch

Rubbing hands over the body’s energy fields or softly touching a person’s body.

Healing Touch

Placing hands lightly on or just above the person in order to guide energy to aid a person’s own healing response.


The spine becomes a column of energy that sends and directs energy through the whole body.

4. Traditional Alternative Medicine


Acupuncture is a popular Chinese medicine treatment that includes stimulating certain spots on the body to improve health or reduce disease symptoms and treatment side effects.


Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. It began more than 3,000 years ago in India and is still commonly used there today. To treat illnesses, those who utilize it rely on herbs, particular diets, and unusual behaviors. However, Ayurvedic products can be hazardous. Some of the products contain dangerous minerals or metals, such as lead, according to researchers. There isn’t enough evidence from research or clinical trials to prove that Ayurveda is effective.


Naturopathic medicine is a system that does not include the use of medications or surgery. It is based on the body’s ability to heal itself through the use of natural sources such as air, water, light, heat, and massage. Herbal products, nutrition, acupuncture, and aromatherapy may also be used.

Chinese or Oriental Medicine

Many medical problems have been examined with Chinese or Oriental Medicine, including stroke, heart disease, mental disorders, and respiratory ailments (such as bronchitis and the common cold), and according to a national poll, nearly one in five Americans uses it. Because many studies have been of poor quality, no definite conclusions concerning their effectiveness could be drawn.

Benefits of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Each form of complementary medicine may specialize in a specific area of your health. Complementary approaches may provide one or more of the following health benefits in general. 

– Relieves pain.

– Reduces anxiety and stress.

– Reduces nausea.

– Improves mood.

– Increases relaxation.

– Improves wound healing.

– Encourages feelings of well-being, pleasure, positivity and inner peace.

– Relieves muscle tension.

– Decreases tiredness.

– Improves flexibility and circulation.

Alternative medicine has always played an important role in the medical sector, and its popularity shows no signs of fading.

The numerous benefits directly associated with alternative or natural medicine have sparked a surge of interest, particularly in the Western world, that appears to be growing at an accelerating rate.

Alternative medicine incorporates a range of treatments that, while unconventional, offer a number of benefits that many modern types of medicine just cannot match.

When it comes to alternative medicine, think balance – getting the best of both regular and alternative therapy may be the best option for you.


Alternative medicine refers to non-traditional medical treatments. They used this phrase in the United States to refer to a variety of therapies and medical systems, ranging from Ayurveda to reflexology.

Whatever treatment a person chooses, it’s critical to think about the evidence behind it, the dangers and side effects, and whether or not the practitioner is completely certified. Always consult a qualified doctor before using alternative remedies, as they may include hazards.

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