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Alternative Medicine

The Prospects of Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine herbal fruits

These days more and more traditional doctors offer complementary and alternative therapies to patients who believe in a more integrated medical practice. In spite of this trend, alternative medicine is not widely available in hospitals, but as a positive sign, they are appearing in the traditional medical curriculum of even prestigious medical schools.

Alternative Medicine Worldwide

What is considered alternative differs from country to country, that is why there is no universally applicable definition.

The most widely accepted definition to identify alternative health care is “a broad domain of healing resources other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system“. As a consequence of its marginal nature alternative medicine does not receive much funding from medical organizations and is not covered by medical insurers.

So we are talking about practices and products that are attributed with healing power, but are not accepted by mainstream science as medically proven remedies, or fall beyond the boundaries of conventional medicine.

Alternative healing products and therapies

Natural products and dietary supplements such vitamins, plant extracts, minerals, oils, are commercially available for patients who wish to preserve health or complement medical procedures (e.g. combine chemotherapy with extract of marijuana).

Alternative Medicine images examples

Alternative healing practices:

  • Traditional healers
  • Homeopathy
  • Naturopathy
  • Meditation and yoga
  • Diet based therapies
  • Mind control
  • Massage
  • Hypnosis
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Reflexology

Alternative Medicine Contra Conventional Western Medical Practices

A criticism of the established order

  • Drastic, non-holistic methods, often not human centered
  • Synthetically produced medication with adverse side effects
  • Addresses the symptoms, does not investigate the root cause

However, all remedies are backed by scientific evidence and are accepted by the majority of the established medical community

Alternative Therapies

  • Scientific data on their safety, efficiency and interactions are still sporadic.
  • Uses natural products, supported by human experimental evidence.
  • Lengthy, requires consistency and regularity, less spectacular results but many believe in the healing power of nature.
  • (placebo effect is quite frequent)
  • Heals from the inside, tries to treat the whole body.

The final aim of alternative health care is to integrate these practices into mainstream health care to preserve or improve health (e.g. combine chemotherapy with meditation). This could be possible if massive scientific research were carried out to ease up skeptics.

Many alternative healing methods have their origins in the Orient, therefore if we wish to have alternative therapies like acupuncture, meditation or Traditional Chinese Medicine, the most authentic and reliable way is to travel to the source country.

If you would like to know more about alternative medicine and the most common procedures, see some related articles below.

See below the entire list of Alternative Medicine's procedures abroad