Alternative medicine practices, also known as holistic medicine, are considered complementary therapies not considered "conventional", though many of these therapies have been used and practiced by people around the world for thousands of years. Alternative medicine may include herbal therapies and remedies to oxygen therapy to stem cell therapy approaches for a variety of medical conditions and disease processes.
Alternative Medicine Approaches
Common alternative therapies include but are not limited to:
Herbal medicine involves the use of herbs, flowers, and parts of trees found in nature. Herbal medicine has been used by civilizations for thousands of years to treat everything from a stomachache to fertility issues. Medicinal herbs, remedies, and supplements offer a botanical (also called phytomedical) approach to health and wellness.
Homeopathy is the practice of combining certain ingredients in diluted preparations that take into consideration the psychological and physical status of a patient for treatment. Homeopathy practitioners believe that sickness and disease is caused by disturbances in the body’s life forces that are then manifested through a variety of symptoms. Homeopathy combines minerals, plant products, animal products and some synthetic materials into remedies and tinctures.
Folk medicine has been practiced in every culture for centuries, incorporating healing techniques, cultural beliefs, and at times with traditional medicine, including Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine practices, to create an all around approach to health care. Folk medicine employs the use of many types of plants that may be cooked into poultices or teas for use on burns, to stop blood flow, or to treat a headache.
Acupuncture and massage has been practice in the Far East for thousands of years to treat and restore the flow of Chi, or energy, through the body. Practiced throughout Southeast Asia, acupuncture and massage divides the human body into meridians, each of which controls certain areas of the body. Both acupuncture and massage are considered popular complimentary alternative medical approaches and are often combined with traditional medical practices in the relief and treatment of conditions such as arthritis and chronic pain.
Treatments such as ozone therapy, live cell therapy, and chelation therapy are considered a type of new age medical treatments. Chelation therapy utilizes a variety of chemical infusions designed to remove heavy metal wastes from the body, enabling the body to heal itself from illness. As a detoxification therapy, the practice is designed to reduce or lower the amount of heavy metals such as lead, magnesium, and copper in the blood, which helps restore circulation and vitality to body organs and processes.
Ozone therapy, also known as O3 therapy, has not been scientifically tested, but is believed to help provide holistic benefits when offered in monitored and precise therapeutic doses. Also known as oxygen healing, O3 therapy is a type of naturopathic alternative medicine that believes that oxygen therapy is a powerful antifungal, anti bacterial and antiviral substance that may help the body detoxify as well as cleanse the lymph system.
Live cell therapy has been used for decades in the treatment of a variety of health issues, from arthritis to antiaging. Also called cellular therapy, the practice became popular in the 1930s, utilizing the use of sheep cells to rejuvenate dormant cells in the body to activate, producing new numbers of healthy cells and tissues in the body.
Naturopathy, (also known as naturopathic or natural medicine) is an alternative medical discipline that focuses on natural remedies for the treatment of a variety of illnesses or disease processes. This practice minimizes surgery and medication in the treatment of illnesses and focuses more on diet and lifestyle for treatment.
While today such treatments as those listed above may be considered 'alternative', they were at one time the method through which medicine was practiced before the days of prescription drugs. Such treatments and practices are still used throughout the world, sometimes alone and sometimes in combination with conventional or traditional medical treatments for effective therapies designed to treat a variety of illnesses and disease processes.
Many people today believe in and utilize the benefits of a variety of alternative medical options when it comes to health and wellness, often encouraged by physicians in conjunction with other therapies and approaches to medical care.