Alternative medicine is defined as any approach to health care that are used in place of or are outside the field of conventional medicine. Most of the time, alternative medicine involves products and techniques which are generally not recognized by the medical community.
Also, this type of curative standards and procedures are normally chosen by individuals whose ailments for some reasons have not been cured by prescribed drugs or any other kind of conventional medicine.
In addition, alternative medicine can be divided into five major domains of practice. These domains of practice consist of the following: alternative medical systems, biologically based therapies, mind-body techniques, body-based therapies, and energy therapies.
Alternative medical systems usually deal with traditional medicine from China and unconventional techniques of natural healing from certain Western countries. Under this domain of practice is the popular technique known as acupuncture. Known as the most widely accepted alternative medical procedure in the world, acupuncture involves stimulating certain points of the body through the insertion of very fine needles.
The second domain of practice consists of biologically based therapies. Practitioners of this type of therapy make use of chemicals which are normally obtained from natural sources. Common examples of these products are herbal medicine which are taken from plants and are used to treat a wide range of diseases and can even help habits such as smoking.
Next is the practice that involves mind-body techniques. This is derived from the theory that emotional and mental factors affect the person’s overall physical health. Meditation, relaxation, cognitive-behavior therapy, biofeedback, and imagery are the techniques that fall under this practice. Furthermore, chemicals are rarely used in these techniques as most of them involve concentration and mental activities.
Moving on, body-based therapies deal with curing ailments and maintaining physical health through bodily manipulations. Massage therapy and chiropractic are some forms of body-based techniques. Although these techniques differ in terms of approach and procedures, their main goal is to provide a way to alleviate aches and ailments through properly aligning the muscles and tissues of the body.
The last domain of practice under alternative medicine involves energy therapies. These techniques focus on the energy fields that are believed to be inside and around the body. These energy fields are known as bio-fields. Energy therapies aim to cure ailments by balancing or restoring the bio-fields in a person’s body. Oftentimes, people who practice energy therapies place their hands on the affected part of the patient’s body to transfer energy or affect the patient’s bio-fields.
Many individuals choose alternative medicine as they believe that it presents certain advantages. The first advantage is that it is apparently more safe than other curative procedures. Since alternative medicine rarely makes use of drugs and are done naturally, certain individuals are encouraged to try the said form of unconventional medicine. Another advantage of alternative medicine is that it improves not only a specific ailment but also the other aspects of a person’s life as well. It advocates proper diet, a better lifestyle, and the ways of achieving mental health. Apart from this, alternative medicine is usually less expensive than conventional medical procedures.
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