Health Alternatives - An Overview

Health Alternative Topics - from Acupuncture to Yoga.....

 Acupuncture  Alexander Technique  Alternative Medicine
 Aromatherapy  Art Therapy  Ayurveda
 Biofeedback  Body Detox  Chinese Medicine
 Chiropractic  Cleansing  Fasting
 Folk Medicine  Herbs  Holistic Medicine
 Integrated Medicine  Homeopathy  Hypnotherapy
 Iridology  Light Therapy  Magnetic Therapy
 Massage Therapy  Meditation  Music Therapy
 Natural Healing  Naturopathy  Non-Toxic Living
 Nutrition  Osteopathy  Ozone Therapy
 Reflexology  Reiki  Rolfing
 Wellness Center  Yoga  



  • Conventional Medicine

tell well known high-tech medicine with surgery, prescription drugs, and more. Medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. degrees and by their allied health professionals.

  • Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine has been described as "any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy) not included in the traditional medical curriculs taught in the United Staates and Britain".

Alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a conventional doctor.

  • Complementary Medicine

Complementary medicine refers to a group of therapeutic and diagnostic disciplines that exist largely outside the instiutions where conventional health care is taught and provided.

As its name suggests, complementary medicine differs from alternative medicine in that it does not offer a competing (or 'alternative') viewpoint to that based on science-based knowledge.

Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine. An example of a complementary therapy is using aromatherapy. A therapy in which the scent of essential oils from flowers, herbs, and trees is inhaled to promote health and well-being.

  •  Complementary and Alternative Medicine     (CAM)

CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.  


  •  Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine combines treatments from conventional medicine and CAM for which there is some high-quality evidence of safety and effectiveness. It is also called integrated medicine. 

An approach to medicine that combines treatments from conventional medicine and CAM for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness..


       health alternative                         health alternative


Health Care is a multi-billion dollar industry. Alternative Health accounts for only a small percentage of that amount. It is estimated that "alternative" medicine is a $15 billion a year business. Traditionally, most insurance companies have not covered "alternative" medicine.

Many doctors dismiss alternative medicine as unproven, ineffective and potentially dangerous nonsense - leading advocates to seek the kind of evidence that will persuade the scientific community at large. 

Research conducted by the BBC has shown that alternative medicines are becoming increasingly popular. Yet their effectiveness is yet to be proven to the majority of medical practitioners in the UK and there are concerns over safety as many of the treatments remain untested.  

Many people utilize mainstream medicine for diagnosis and basic information, while turning to alternatives for what they believe to be health-enhancing measures. However, studies indicate that a majority of people use alternative approaches in conjunction with conventional medicine.




What are the major types of complementary and alternative medicine? 


  • Whole Medical Systems 

Whole medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice. Often, these systems have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States. Examples of whole medical systems that have developed in Western cultures include homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine. Examples of systems that have developed in non-Western cultures include traditional traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda


  • Biologically Based Practices 

Biologically based practices in CAM use substances found in nature, such as herbs, foods, and vitamins. Some examples include dietary supplements, herbal products, and the use of other so-called natural but as yet scientifically unproven therapies (for example, using shark cartilage to treat cancer).  


  • Manipulative and Body-Based Practices 

Manipulative and body-based practices in CAM are based on manipulation and/or movement of one or more parts of the body. Some examples include chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation. 


  • Energy Medicine 

Energy therapies involve the use of energy fields. They are of two types: 

    * Biofield therapies are intended to affect energy fields that purportedly surround and penetrate the human body. The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven. Some forms of energy therapy manipulate biofields by applying pressure and/or manipulating the body by placing the hands in, or through, these fields.  

    * Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies involve the unconventional use of electromagnetic fields, such as pulsed fields, magnetic fields, or alternating-current or direct-current fields.  

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM),
National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda , Maryland


health alternative                            yoga


The careful national survey reported by Eisenberg et al. in the New England Journal of Medicine tells us that in a given year (1993) about a third of all American adults use unconventional medical treatments, such as relaxation techniques, chiropractic, therapeutic massage, special diets, and megavitamins. Unconventional techniques are most often used for back problems, headache, arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. The most frequent users are educated, upper-income white Americans in the 25-to-49-year age group, and they are more likely to live in the West than elsewhere in the country  (N Engl J Med 1993; 329:1200-1204).  


In recent decades, North American health consumers have increasingly turned to unconventional therapies to complement, or replace, traditional biomedical practices. The topic of unconventional therapies can no longer be ignored or marginalized because, for better or worse, each seriously ill person cannot help but be confronted with choices about their possible usage. 




Why is "alternative" health care (AHC) so popular? 

There are several reasons. 

  1. Fear of surgery and of the side effects of drugs alienate many people from conventional medicine. AHC is attractive because it does not offer these frightening types of treatments.  
  2. Conventional medicine often fails to discover the cause of an illness or to relieve pain. Alternative" practitioners often encourage their patients to be hopeful even when the situation is hopeless.  
  3. When conventional medicine does discover the cause of an illness, it often fails to offer treatment that is guaranteed to be successful. Again, AHC offers hope when conventional medicine can't offer a safe and sure cure.  
  4. AHC often uses "natural" remedies. Many people believe that what is natural is necessarily better and safer than what is artificial (such as pharmaceuticals).  
  5. AHC is often less expensive than conventional medicine.  
  6. Many doctors of conventional medicine treat diseases first and people secondly. Alternative" practitioners are often "holistic," claiming to treat the mind, body and soul of the patient.  
  7. The main reason people seek "alternative" health care, however, is that they think it "works." That is, they feel better, healthier, more vital, etc., after the treatment 


tai chi                        healthy food




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