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A Guide to Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

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A Guide to Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

Complementary and alternative therapies are an expanding field of treatments that do not fall under standard medical practice. These can range from acupuncture and yoga to herbal medicines, reflexology and meditation – which may be used in combination with conventional medicines or as stand-in solutions.

Alternative medical practices are sometimes promoted as “natural” or “holistic,” yet aren’t subject to the same level of regulatory oversight as mainstream methods. They may be based on unproven theories and treatments that have not been tested in clinical trials.

Although some research suggests complementary and alternative therapies may help prevent, treat or relieve certain diseases, there is not enough proof to prove they work for everyone. Furthermore, there are concerns that they could have negative consequences such as side effects or drug interactions.

Some individuals who use complementary therapies adhere to a holistic philosophy of health that emphasizes non-physical elements such as your mind and spirit. It is believed that these influences can have an impact on how your body functions and even lead to illness.

Alternative therapy options are plentiful and some have even been proven safe and effective. Before beginning any type of treatment plan, it’s essential that you discuss your options with your physician and get a full diagnosis.

Energy medicine is an alternative therapy that involves manipulating invisible energy fields around the body. Practitioners believe that when these are disturbed or blocked, a person becomes ill. To correct the flow of energy, practitioners use techniques like running their hands over or lightly touching someone’s body to reduce pain and promote wellness.

Bioelectromagnetics is an alternative medicine field that studies how electromagnetic energy from plants, foods, and other objects can impact your wellbeing. It has been found to be particularly helpful for treating conditions like osteoarthritis and non-union bone fractures.

Chiropractic is an alternative therapy that seeks to relieve pain by manipulating your spine, joints, and skeletal system. Studies have demonstrated that it can effectively reduce discomfort and inflammation in some people.

Herbal medicine draws upon plant parts such as leaves, seeds and roots to treat various illnesses and conditions. It tends to be more gentle and less dangerous than medications made from synthetic chemicals or other substances.

Acupuncture is a popular alternative medicine that uses needles to stimulate points on your body for pain relief. It often works in tandem with other complementary and alternative medicine treatments like tai chi or reiki.

Reflexology is an alternative medicine practice that involves applying pressure to your feet or hands in order to heal various conditions. It has become particularly popular for people suffering from arthritis, back problems, or muscle pain.

Alternative medicine options include homeopathy, which uses medicinal substances to treat symptoms rather than the disease they are meant to address. While it’s generally seen as safer than some conventional medications, some worry it could alter drug activities and lead to adverse reactions.

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