What are Complementary and Alternative Medicines?
When we speak of complementary and alternative medicine we are speaking of techniques that are used to diagnose or treat physical conditions apart from the scope of mainstream medicine. Alternative medicine is used in place of modern medicine while complementary medicine is used together with modern medicine though some of the treatment methods are the same. Many people still use the traditional mainstream method to diagnose their problems but when it comes to treatments some turn to alternatives for total body health enhancing measures.
People with terminal sicknesses are fond of complementary and alternative medicine. Animals have also been beneficiaries of complementary and alternative medicine. Some people who have used alternative medicine have had their lives extended in unexplained ways and there are other health benefits you can gain if you use it. Because of the good results obtained from using alternative medicine, mainstream medical health systems are seriously examining these alternative systems. Alternative medicine is fairly a broad term which covers many different methods of treatment such as acupuncture, homeopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, Ayuvedric, and more.
There are others considered as alternative medicine like biofeedback, massage, and exercise. Chiropractic care, homeopathy, and faith healing also classify as alternative systems of healing or treating diseases. Alternative medicine is a comprehensive approach to healing that uses natural methods to bring physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harmony. Alternative medicine believes that the body has a network of channels that carry a subtle form of life energy. Patients are part of the healing method through prevention and treatment in alternative medicine.
Complementary medicine is sometimes used by modern medical practitioners as an add on to treatments such as drugs and surgery. The improvement of wellness, prevention of disease or treatment of health problems are the goals of complementary therapies. This is mostly used for pain control. Acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy, reflexology, and chiropractic are the health care practices and systems included in complementary medicine. However, most of these have not been fully adopted by modern mainstream medicine. Dietary and nutritional therapies such as macrobiotics, vegetarianism, and orthmolecular medicine is also part of complementary medicine.
Although complementary and alternative medicine is starting to get popular in the West, most clinical research by the health care industry continues to focus on the success of each single therapy within these systems. What is unfortunate about these clinical researches is that they focus on single therapies whereas complementary and alternative medicine is actually based on the belief that the whole person should be treated simultaneously which includes the body, mind, and spirits and therefore it includes the use of many therapies at the same time.
Complementary and alternative medicine are becoming popular as means to treating pain and illnesses because people have found them to work and at the same time leave them with a feeling of a healthy and sound body, mind, and soul.