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What are Complementary and Alternative Medicines?

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. Although most people use modern or mainstream medicine to diagnose their problems, many are now turning to alternatives for total body health-enhancing measures.

Complementary and alternative medicine is very popular with people who have terminal sicknesses. Animals have also been beneficiaries of complementary and alternative medicine. 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. We use the term alternative medicine for many different methods of treatment including acupuncture, homeopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, Aurvedric, and more.

Some other treatments or activities that are considered alternative medicine are 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 uses natural methods in a comprehensive approach to bring harmony to the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It also believes that the body has a network of channels that carry a subtle form of life energy. In alternative medicine the patient takes part in the healing method which includes prevention and treatment.

As an add on to treatments such as drugs and surgery, complementary medicine is sometimes used. Complementary therapies are used to improve wellness, prevent disease or treat health problems. Pain control is its most popular and prevalent use. 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. Complementary medicine also includes dietary and nutritional therapies such as macrobiotics, vegetarianism, and orthomolecular medicine.

While there is an increasing popularity today with complementary and alternative medicine, the tendency of most clinic research by the health care industry merely focuses on single therapy successes within these systems. What is wrong about the way most clinical researches as conducted by the health care industry is that they study each therapy in isolation whereas the real issue with complementary and alternative medicine is its holistic approach to treatment which means that the whole person should be treated all at the same time, his body, his mind, and his spirit, and so to make this happens it requires 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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