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A Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine

When we speak of complementary and alternative medicine we are speaking of techniques that are used to diagnose or treat physical conditions apart from the scope of mainstream medicine. Alternative medicine is something that is used instead of using mainstream medicine while complementary medicine is used together with modern mainstream medicine. Diagnosis can be done using mainstream medicine but after the diagnoses a lot of people seek alternative means to treat it or to experience a total body health enhancing measure.

Terminally ill patients look for complementary and alternative medicines for this sickness. It has also been used in animals. When using alternative medicine there were some instances of extensions of life which were unexplained and other health benefits for people who use it. Because of the good results obtained from using alternative medicine, mainstream medical health systems are seriously examining these alternative systems. Alternative medicine is fairly a broad term which covers many different methods of treatment such as acupuncture, homeopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, Ayuvedric, and more.

There are others considered as alternative medicine like biofeedback, massage, and exercise. Different systems of healing or treating diseases can also be known as alternative medicine like chiropractic care, homeopathy, and faith healing. Alternative medicine is a comprehensive approach to healing that uses natural methods to bring physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harmony. The belief of alternative energy is that the body is made up of a network of channels the carry a form of life energy. Patients are part of the healing method through prevention and treatment in alternative medicine.

Complementary medicine is sometimes used by modern medical practitioners as an add on to treatments such as drugs and surgery. Complementary therapies are used to improve wellness, prevent disease or treat health problems. This is mostly used for pain control. The health care practices and systems that are included in complementary medicine are acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy, reflexology , and chiropractic. However, most of these have not been fully adopted by modern mainstream medicine. Some other therapies included in complementary medicine are macrobiotics, vegetarianism, and orthomolecular medicine.

Although complementary and alternative medicine is starting to get popular in the West, most clinical research by the health care industry continues to focus on the success of each single therapy within these systems. This is quite unfortunate because complementary and alternative medicine is based on the belief that you need to simultaneously treat the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – which can include the use of many therapies at the same time.

The success of complementary and alternative medicine in treating certain pains and sicknesses has made it popular to many people in this day.

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