The term Alternative Medicine means any form of medicine that is outside the mainstream of western medicine or conventional medicine as practiced a majority of doctors today. This term is loosely used to over all forms of medicine except allopathic. In 1973, the Medical Faculty of the University of Rome convened the first World Congress of Alternative Medicines and the provisional program contained no less than 135 therapies.
Alternative medicine exists in all cultures to some degree and terms such as traditional medicine, indigenous medicine or folk medicine etc. are used to describe such practices. These medicines date back hundred or even thousands of years depending on the country and culture concerned.
There are more than 100 systems of alternative medicines still in practice all over the world. Every country, region or area has its own traditional system of health and medical cares such as for the Chinese it is acupuncture, for the French, magnetic healing; for the Germans, Heilpraxis; for the English, Herbalism; for India, Ayurveda with Siddha being widely practice in the southern part of the country; for Japan, Shiatsu etc.
The most popular forms of alternative medicine are Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Yoga, Acupuncture, Acupressure and Diet therapy.
The following is a guide to some Alternative Therapies
Similar to acupuncture, but using finger pressure rather than fine needles on specific points along the body to treat ailments such as tension and stress, aches and pains, menstrual cramps, arthritis.
Fine needles are inserted at specific points to stimulate, disperse, and regulate the flow of vital energy, and restore a healthy energy balance. In addition to pain relief, acupuncture is also used to improve well being and treat acute, chronic, and degenerative conditions in children and adults.
Practiced in India for more than 5,000 years, ayurvedic tradition holds that illness is a state of imbalance among the body’s systems that can be detected through such diagnostic procedures as reading the pulse and observing the tongue. Nutrition counseling, massage, natural medications, meditation, and other modalities are used to address a broad spectrum of ailments.
A medical system that uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances – called remedies – to stimulate a person’s immune and defense system. A remedy is individually chosen for a sick person based on its capacity to cause, if given in overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those a patient is experiencing. Common conditions hoeopathy addresses are infant and childhood diseases, infections, fatigue, allergies, and chronic illnesses such as arthritis.
Naturopathic physicians work to restore and support the body’s own healing abilities using a variety of modalities including nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, and orient medicine. A primary health-care system which emphasizes the curative power of nature, treating both acute and chronic illnesses in all age groups.
A therapy that has grown up around the ability of the human being to use radiesthesia together with simple instruments to help in the diagnosis of disease in animals, plants and humans and then to treat this disease at a distance without the presence of the patient.
The use of yoga to address mental and physical problems while integrating body and mind.