What Is Alternative Medicine and Its Uses?
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The term alternative medicine typically refers to any medical practice that is not traditionally taught in medical schools. Many of these remedies date back over thousands of years but have still not made their way into mainstream medical practice. In some cases, they are used in combination with more traditional practices, while other patients may choose to rely on them solely as an alternative to traditional medicine.
Physical Remedies to Ailments
In some cases, alternative treatments physically manipulate parts of the body. One of the most common examples of an alternative treatment is chiropractics. A chiropractor is a practitioner who physically manipulates the spine in order to remedy any number of ailments. This is not a surgical procedure, but rather a fairly quick physical adjustment that impacts overall wellness.
Another example of an alternative form of treatment physically affecting the body is homeopathic medication. In these instances, practitioners administer a diluted version of the substance that caused the illness in the first place. It is believed that this cures the disease, although there have been a few studies that suggest this is merely a placebo effect.
Spiritual Remedies and Controversies
In some cases, an alternative treatment practitioner will work not with the body but with the mind. There are many who believe that the mind is more powerful than the body and that it must be harnessed in order to enact physical change. These treatments include practices such as prayer and meditation to help focus the mind on the healing process. This is often used in conjunction with modern medicine.
Although many people find these treatments to be very effective, they have always been surrounded with controversy. This is, in large part, because funds are not typically made available to research them completely. They are also not given very much attention by medical journals and other professional publications. Because there is not a great deal of concrete information available, many patients are not comfortable with these alternative treatments.
There are a great many questions about these treatments but it is undeniable that they have proven to be effective for a great many people. Although they are not taught in traditional medical schools, most practitioners have undergone rigorous training in order to provide these services for their patients. There are some patients who rely only on alternative forms of treatments for their illnesses and injuries, while others use them alongside more commonplace options.