An Introduction To Different Types Of Alternative Medicine Practices As more and more people become aware about the side effects caused by using traditional allopathic medicines, and their inefficiency in curing a number of common ailments, attention is slowly but surely shifting towards the use of alternative medicine practices that not only cure almost all ailments, but do so without causing any severe side effects.
What Is Alternative Medicine?
Simply put, alternative medicine refers to healing practices that are different from those used in conventional medicine. As the name explains, alternative medicine is used as an alternative to or in place of conventional medicine for treating diseases and other ailments. Most alternative medicine systems focus on holistic health as opposed to the treatment of singular ailments and believe that prevention is always better than cure. As a result, all alternative medicine methods aim at making both the body and mind stronger and more resistant to diseases instead of simply providing common cures like conventional medicine.
Types Of Alternative Medicine Systems
Even though alternative medicine systems have been broadly divided into certain types or categories, this categorization is not wholly concrete and fixed since many methods follow techniques used in more than one type of system. However, some of the main types of alternative medicine systems that are commonly used nowadays are Mind-Body Connections, Healing Systems,
Manipulation And Touch, Energy Therapies And Dietary Supplements And Herbal Remedies. The main ways in which these systems work and the alternative medicine methods that they incorporate are as follows:
Mind-Body Connections Alternative medicine practitioners believe that both the mind and the body have to be harmonized with each other in order for an individual to stay healthy. As a result of this theory, many alternative medicine methods incorporate the use of techniques that strengthen the mind-body connection. Some of the main alternative medicine methods that fall under this category are:
- Relaxation therapy
- Art therapy
Healing Systems Healing systems in alternative medicine are actually true alternates to conventional medicine since they also incorporate a large number of techniques and practices with a well developed theory to support them just like conventional scientific medicine. Many healing systems like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine age back thousands of years way before conventional medicine was developed. These healing systems can be defined as a whole system based on a certain philosophy like the human body being a storehouse of energy or nature being the only source of cures for all human ailments etcetera. A single healing system involves numerous techniques, practices and remedies and generally incorporates cures for all kinds of health problems. Some of the most common healing systems in alternative medicine are
Naturopathy: Naturopathy focuses on natural and nature based treatments that aid the body in healing itself. Some of the most common methods of alternative medicine that naturopathy incorporates are yoga, massage, aromatherapy, acupressure, meditation and herbal remedies.
Ayurveda: Ayurveda is a complete form of medicine as complex, if not more than, conventional medicine. This method of alternative medicine originated more than five thousand years ago and is flourishing till date because of its effective cures. Ayurveda is quite holistic in nature and focuses on providing individual cures to different individuals based on the ailments that each one is suffering from. Some methods of alternative medicine that Ayurveda uses are herbal medicines and supplements, yoga, meditation and massage.
Homeopathy: A time tested German system that involves the use of small doses of certain substances that stimulate the body into healing itself. Constant, ongoing research in homeopathy has ensured that the system has greatly improved than what it was before and now offers faster and better cures for all kinds of health problems.
Manipulation And Touch Some alternative medicine methods that use human touch for manipulating or moving certain muscles, nerves or parts of the body are:
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Chiropractic And Spinal Manipulation
Energy Therapies Many methods of alternative medicine are based on the premise that there is a constant flow of energy through the human body at all times and the blocking of this energy at a certain place or area can result in illness or poor health. Energy therapies aim at restoring good health by unlocking or balancing this energy through different methods. Some of the main alternative medicine methods that fall under this category are:
- Touch therapy
- Magnet therapy
- Polarity therapy
Dietary Supplements And Herbal Remedies Many alternative medicine methods involve the use of dietary and herbal supplements. Most of these ingredients, which are either natural or herbal, are used in place of conventional medicines as cures or for holistic therapy. These remedies can include anything ranging from chamomile and lemon grass to ginseng and gingko to bentonite clay and selenium. In most cases, these herbal medicines and supplements are safe, but the popular belief that natural supplements do not have any side effects is not wholly true. Many of these herbs and natural medicines can prove to be habit forming or have certain other side effects , but when compared to the side effects of conventional medicine, these are generally few and far in between.