Sure, we have all heard the term “alternative medicine”, but many people do not understand exactly what it is all about and where it came from. Alternative medicine simply refers to medical practices which differ from conventional approaches.
Some of the more common forms of alternative medicine include herbal medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic, and naturopathy.
Alternative medicine methods are usually based on philosophies that go against the grain of modern day medicine. Sometimes they incorporate spiritual practices, pre-modern medical traditions, or completely new approaches to the healing process.
Many have found that the best approach is to combine conventional and alternative medicine. When used in conjunction, an individual is able to benefit from the best of both worlds so to speak — using conventional medicine for information and diagnosis, and using alternative medicine for health enhancement.
Alternative medicine is growing in popularity among developed countries. In these areas, access to medicines is restricted by both lack of resources and poverty. As a result, traditional remedies (alternative remedies) often become a form of primary health care.
As health care costs continue to rise, alternative medicine is also picking up steam in the United States. According to a survey done a few years ago of adults ages 18 and up in the U.S., over 74% had used some form of alternative medicine and more than 62% had done so within the past 12 months.
Used properly, alternative medicine methods can be extremely effective in treating a wide range of medical conditions at a very reasonable cost.