Alternative medicine is what? The term “alternative medicine” has been bandied about increasingly in the media, bookstores, and increasingly in doctor’s offices, but how frequently is it actually defined?

Theoretically, alternative medicine refers to any medical practise that does not adhere to the scientific principles of conventional western medicine. A medical practise should no longer be regarded as alternative after it has been shown to be scientifically beneficial and a theory explaining its effectiveness in terms of western medicine has been established.

Unfortunately, politics always follows theory. Alternative medicine is actually, in the eyes of the American Medical Association and the US Government, any type of medicine that has not been sanctioned as scientifically valid. Different government agencies in other nations will decide what constitutes alternative medicine. Massage is considered an alternative form of medicine in the US. As conventional medicine, massage is extensively regulated in Canada.

Would you believe that vitamins, depending on how they are administered, are considered complementary or alternative medicines by the US government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine yet have not yet been shown to be any more effective than a placebo? Personally, I’d like to know if they would prefer to have a placebo as scurvy treatment. I’ll continue to use vitamin C. Vitamins may have potential applications that have not yet been completely established, but this does not diminish the validity of the effects that have been shown.

However, just because someone says what they’re offering is medicine doesn’t mean it actually is. Herbal supplements may not completely disclose their constituents because they are not regulated. You can be sure they won’t let you know if your cardiac medicine has any potentially harmful interactions!

Of course, you can consult an authority, but bear in mind that there are other forms of complementary medicine, an acupuncturist need not be knowledgeable about herbs, and your primary care doctor most likely isn’t either.

It’s probably best to first research the types of alternative medicine you are interested in and then ask your doctor if she will cooperate with an alternative medicine practitioner if you want to use alternative medicine, whether it’s to treat a specific issue or just to improve your general health. Then locate a practitioner who has experience in that particular branch of complementary medicine. Ask them where they attended school and how long they have been in practise because the majority of alternative medical practises are not regulated in the United States. They can then collaborate with your doctor to ensure that you receive the care you require without suffering any unintended side effects.

The following are some alternative medical practises to consider:

Oriental medicine: The only alternative medical practise that can be accurately compared to western medicine as a whole medical system is oriental medicine. Oriental medicine is founded on a number of notions that were initially elaborated in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic, which dates back between three and five thousand years. Oriental medicine encompasses a variety of techniques, such as qi gong, herbal treatment, massage, and acupuncture. A type of oriental medicine unique to China is tradition Chinese medicine. It is the only type of eastern medicine that is somewhat simple to locate in the United States. Oriental medicine is still widely regarded as the gold standard of healthcare in many regions of Asia, while western medicine is seen as a “alternative.”

Herbal therapy: Arguably the most popular and maybe the riskiest alternative medical practise in the United States is herbal therapy. While the majority of modern conventional medications that doctors prescribe are made from plants, the herbal supplements that are frequently sold do not have standard dosages, often contain fillers, and seldom ever include a warning about potential negative effects. Even though herbs may be used to treat all medical conditions, possibly much more, consult a certified herbalist before using any. They can advise you on safe dosages, reliable suppliers, and any possible adverse effects.

Homeopathy: In the 1800s, two doctors discovered that quinine, the only medication that could treat malaria, actually induced symptoms of malaria in healthy recipients. According to the idea that opposites attract, caffeine, which typically keeps people awake, would be administered to promote deeper, more restful sleep for someone who was having trouble staying asleep all night. Homeopathy is likely the only complementary therapy that is risk-free to try without consulting a specialist because the active ingredient is so diluted that it is impossible to overdose or experience side effects on the amounts found in your local health food store, let alone the few bottles you would keep at home. To be certain that the medication you are taking will be effective for your needs, it is still best to see a homoeopath.

Massage is the act of manipulating the muscles and tendons with the hands or other objects. Massage is most frequently used to reduce tension and to relieve aches and pains. Massage is surprisingly successful in treating a number of ailments, including eating disorders, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome. While many conditions, such as diabetes, massage will obviously not help with, there are many others. Additionally, massage can be used to treat practically any musculoskeletal injury in order to hasten healing, reduce scarring, and expand a limited range of motion. Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, Pre-Natal massage, Shiatsu, Thai massage, Lomi Lomi, Medical massage, Chair massage, Aromatherapy massage, and Hot Stone massage are just a few of the numerous varieties of massage treatment. Make sure the massage therapist you visit for a medical ailment has received training in medical massage. Currently, certain states and the majority of European nations have licencing procedures for massage therapists. Make sure the therapist you visit is licenced if you live in a region where such requirements exist.

The majority of holistic medical practises as well as energetic healing, aromatherapy, Rolfing, and cranial-sacral therapy are examples of further forms of alternative medicine.