Understanding Alternative Medicine


To be quality consumer, you should understand the various methods and perspectives used in the field of natural healing.

Complementary and alternative medicine refers to any healing approach that falls outside the domain of the current mainstream medical practice. Alternative is usually used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments, while other drugs used in place of these therapies.

In 1992, the National Institute of Health (NIH) described seven areas of complementary and alternative medicine. They were: (1) homeopathy and acupuncture; (2) magnetic treatment field; (3) nutrition and diet support methods; (4) herbal medicines; (5) chiropractic, massage and other touch-based therapies; (6) mind / body interventions; and (7) unconventional biologic or pharmaceutical applications.

Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the body can be healed primarily from within, without the use of external measures like drugs. Methods used herbal and other diet, breathing techniques and acupuncture.

Homeopathy proposes that small doses of compounds that could produce disease in larger quantities can serve to protect the individual against the disease.

manual healing techniques include massage and chiropractic treatment. Massage therapy is confirmed in at least 20 states, and chiropractic treatment is licensed in all states.

intervention Mind / body techniques exploit relationships between mind and body to improve health through practices such as biofeedback and guided imagery.

Vitamin and mineral supplements seek optimum nutritional balance for health, but herbal optimizes the strength of these and other naturally occurring substances to enhance healing.

However, in the United States, vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations are only governed by supplements and health Act (DSHEA). Many herbal medicines have undergone clinical trials to substantiate its health-enhancing or traditional / historical requirements. Others have not.

Some herbal will interact with conventional medications, change their therapeutic effect. For example, St. John’s wort can suppress the amount of a wide variety of drugs in the blood, and Ginseng may interact with steroid drugs to induce shaking and mania. Moreover, where quality control measures are lax, unforeseen contamination from bacteria and toxic metals may cause other side effects.

So buy supplements and herbal remedies only from reputable distributors who ensure the dose and purity, and always make sure the doctor knows what you are taking. In this way you can get optimum benefits from the alternative healing approach you can choose.