Although it has been around for centuries, alternative treatment continues to raise the ire of some in the medical community. The term applies to any type of treatment that does not conform to standard Western medicine practices. It has been argued that the effectiveness of these methods has not been proven, or that they warrant further study. Still, it is hard to argue with something that has been used in so many different cultures largely unchanged for hundreds of years.
Types of Alternative Medicine
Some doctors have adopted a more relaxed stance to these practices. They have expressed support for at least trying alternative methods where conventional methods fail. Some of the more well known types of alternative medicine options are:
Ayurvedic medicine originated in India. It emphasizes caring for the whole patient, incorporating physical fitness and other aspects of the body to treat disease.Chinese herbal medicine which as the name implies, relies heavily on the use of herbs to restore mind – body balance.Meditation which has been practiced in various cultures. The aim is to use the mind to deal with many of the of issues affected physical and mental health.
These and other types of alternative medicine have been the focus of intense study for years. Medical studies have been published which support their use and effectiveness. Arguments offered against these practices include:
Herbs have not been subjected to the rigorous testing that prescription medications go through and there are possible side effects.Alternative medicine is not subject to government regulations.Some substances used could interact with prescribed medications.
In some cases, the line between the two has become less distinct. While the debate continues it is generally agreed that when you are sick, it comes down to what works for you.