Alternative medicine is the term used for medical practices and products which are not a part of standard care.It can also be described as medical treatments that are used instead of traditional therapies. It includes special diets, mega doses of vitamins, herbal mixtures, special teas, magnet therapies, etc. Unlike complementary medicine, alternative medicine completely replaces conventional medicine in a treatment.
Traditional medicine refers to the knowledge, techniques and practises based on the theories, beliefs and experiences native to diverse cultures, used to maintain health and in preventing, diagnosis, improvement of physical and mental illness. It comprises medical aspects of traditional knowledge that developed over generations before the age of modern medicine.
Ethnobotany is the study of a regional, indigenous plants and their practical uses in treating diseases and illness through the traditional knowledge of local people and their culture. Ethnomedicine is a study or comparison of the traditional medicine based on bioactive components in plants and animals. Ethnomedicine is often the easily reached and affordable therapy for people away from the availability of western medicine.
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment. pseudoscience. Aromatherapy, also called as essential oil therapy, refers to a range of traditional, complementary or alternative therapies that use aromatic materials, essential oils, and other aroma compounds, with claims for improving psychological or physical well-being. It utilizes blends of essential oils for topical application, massage, water immersion and inhalation.
Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest system of medicine with its historical roots in India more than 3,000 years ago and is still widely used. Practitioners rely on herbs, special diets, and unique methods to treat illnesses. Ayurveda traditions are sources of many modernized practices which are considered as types of alternative medicine.This system of medicine reminds us that health is a balancing and homogenizing our environment, body, spirit and mind.
Complementary medicine is a term used for a group of diagnostic and therapeutic practices that may be used along with standard medical treatment i.e. conventional medicine. People often use complementary practices along with care provided by medical doctor to deal with their chronic health issues, treat the symptoms, or just to stay healthy even there are no serious problems.
Products made from botanicals, or plants, that are used to treat diseases or to maintain health are called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines Herbal medicine is the most suggested alternative treatment for numerous diseases, particularly lifestyle diseases that require longterm pharmaceutical medication.It is also believed that the phytoconstituents present in herbal medicine have better compatibility with the human system.
Acupuncture is a key component of Traditional Chinese medicine technique and a form of alternative medicine that uses needles to stimulate specific points around the body. TCM explains acupuncture as a technique to balance the flow of energy or life force by inserting very thin needles through your skin. The goal is to help your body’s natural healing process to kick in.
Chiropractic and osteopathic medicine represent nonsurgical treatment option for patients with back pain.This practice focuses on the body’s structure, mainly the spine and how it functions. Chiropractors and osteopathic medicine trained professionals use different techniques to maintain your spine or other parts of your body in proper alignment which decrease pain especially the low back pain.
A Home remedy is a prepared medication or tonic usually of indefinite effectiveness,taken without a prescription or professional supervision. These are done at home, with common household items to alleviate ailments or improve health. Natural household products like turmeric, ginger, coconut oil, mint etc. have their own medicinal benefits. Natural remedies can be used to efficiently treat a range of ailments through correct and regular usage.
TCM practitioners use various mind and body practices such as Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Cupping therapy, Massage (tui na), Exercise (qigong), various forms of herbal medicine and Chinese food therapy to address health problems. TCM describes health as the harmonious interaction of entities and the world, and disease as a disharmony. In TCM, symptoms are diagnosed by checking the pulse, the tongue, eye, skin and take note of the eating and sleeping habits of the person etc.
Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine invented in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his theories of like cures like and law of minimum. This method runs on the belief that the body can cure itself. Homeopathic products come from plants, minerals or animals. Medications are usually made as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue. They are also available in other forms such as tablets, ointments, creams, gels and drops.
Pharmacognosy is the science or study of all the properties(physical, chemical, and biological) of drug components of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources that are useful for medicinal purposes. Phytochemistry is the study of chemicals or metabolites derived from plants(phytochemicals). Both the studies are interdisciplines of Herbal medicine.
Physical therapy or Physiotherapy is a branch of rehabilitative healthcare that uses special exercises and equipment to help patients improve or regain their physical abilities. In physical therapy, trained professionals called Physiotherapists evaluate abnormalities in patient’s physical function and treat them. Physical therapy is either provided as a primary care treatment or simultaneously done with other medical services.
Yoga is a 5,000-year-old Indian practice about knowledge on body. It involves a group of physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines. Yoga poses are not only great to strengthen and relax the body but also harmonize the body with mind and breath through the means of several kinds of yoga asanas, breathing exercises and meditation.
Siddha medicine is ancient system of medicine prevalent in the region of Tamilnadu. According to Siddha medicine, human body is made up of five basic elements - earth, water, fire, air and space, three humours-vatha, pitta and kapha and seven physical constituents. The equilibrium of humours is considered as health and its imbalance leads to a diseased state. Siddha system is based on a combination of ancient medicinal practices and spiritual disciplines as well as alchemy and mysticism. The drugs used are classified as herbal product, inorganic substances and animal products.
Unani medicine is the term for practiced in Middle- East and South-Asian countries. It is referred as Graeco-Arabic medicine. According to Unani medicine, the health of the human body is maintained by the harmonious arrangement of the seven basic physiological principles .Treatment is with a regimental therapy known as Ilaj-Bil-Tadbeer which include cupping, aromatherapy, bloodletting, exercise, bathing, massaging the body, use of unani drugs and surgery.
Reiki also called energy healing is a form of alternative medicine. It is a Japanese technique. Practitioners of Reiki use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing. It is said that a universal energy is transferred through their palms to the patient which encourages emotional or physical healing. Reiki provides relaxation, feelings of peace, security and wellbeing to the treated person.
Naturopathy is a holistic approach of healing using the powers of nature. The concept of naturopathy is prevention and elimination of accumulated toxins from body. Treatments that come under naturopathy are Mud Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Outdoor walking, Yoga, Open air baths, Sun baths, Diet & Fasting therapy Magnet therapy, etc. Internal medications do not have a role to play in the nature cure system.
Nutritional therapy is a therapeutic approach, classed under complementary medicine, to treat medical conditions and their symptoms as well as to promote good health by the use of a specifically designed diet devised and monitored by a physician or nutritionist. Restoring nutritional balance, avoiding certain toxins, allergens, detoxification and the use of high-dose vitamins are few dietary recommendations.