refers to any healing practice that falls outside the scope of
conventional medicine. Some examples include naturopathy, chiropractic,
herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, meditation, yoga,
biofeedback, hypnosis, bodywork, homeopathy and diet-based therapies
and many other practices.
A related term called complementary medicine refers to the same set
of therapies and treatments but when they are used alongside
There is a large variety
of Alternative medicine practices in existence today and they are
highly diverse based on their foundations and methodologies.
Alternative medicine practices are often derived from, or based on
traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs or newly
conceived methods to heal.
Laws regulating alternative medical
practices vary around the world. Often the claims made by alternative
medicine practitioners aren't accepted by the medical community at
large because many of them lack evidence-based assessments. However,
off late and with the increasing popularity of this form of medication
many scientific studies are being carried out and some of which have
indeed supported their efficacy in healing and treating diseases.Types of Alternative Medicines
practices of alternative medicines are as different and myriad as their
foundations. Some popular alternative medicine approaches are explained
This type of alternative medicine makes use of volatile liquid
plant materials, termed as essential oils (EOs) in addition to several
other aromatic compounds that are believed to have an effect on a
person's mood and health. Sometimes aromatherapy refers to any of the
several traditions that use of essential oils coupled with other
alternative spiritual beliefs and medical practices. Today, there are
many products available which are popularly used in aromatherapy. These
products are available as include massaging products, medicine, or any
topical application that have essential oils as their main component.AyurvedaAyurveda
is a complete medical system with origins in India, the objective of which is to integrate the body, mind
spirit in order to prevent and treat disease. Ayurvedic therapies
include herbs, massage, and yoga. The medicinal compounds in Ayurveda
are derived from herbs.
The word Ayurveda combines two Sanskrit
words -- ayur, meaning life, and veda, which means science or
knowledge. Thus the term Ayurveda implies "the science of life." The
ancient Ayurvedic texts cover a range of different branches of medicine
including, Internal medicine, Pediatrics, Psychology/Psychiatry, Ears,
eyes, nose and throat,Toxicology, Rejuvenation, Fertility Therapy, etc.HomeopathyHomeopathy
implying "similar to disease," is a form of alternative medicine based
on an underlaying philosophy that an ill person can be treated by
consuming a substance that produces, symptoms similar to those of the
illness in a healthy person. Homeopaths believe that consecutive
dilution of such substances, coupled with shaking between each
dilution, removes the toxin, while it retains the remedial essence.Massage Therapy
is the practice of manipulating soft body tissues with physical and
mechanical aids for medical/therapeutic, and psychological purposes and
goals. A typical massage regimen entails acting on and manipulating the
patient's body with pressure, tension, motion, or vibration done either
manually or through mechanical devices. The massage could be directed
on to muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective
tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, and/or organs of the
gastrointestinal system.Magnetic Therapy
Known by several different terms like magnetic therapy
Magnet therapy, or magnetotherapy is a type ofan alternative medicine
practice that uses static magnetic fields to provide relief. The
underlying belief is that when body parts are subjected to magnetic
fields, they are healed and undergo beneficial health effects.Buying Tips
It’s about medicinal formulations and medical aids for use in
alternative therapies, it's quality which determines how effective and
safe the treatments will be. The importance of the quality of
Alternative medicines can’t be overemphasized. The following tips would
help you to procure quality Alternative medicine supplies.
1.Establish the integrity of the source prior placing the order
2.Establish a list of approved suppliers.
3.Require that any alternative source of supply provides the following as a minimum:
a. A pedigree back to the previous source
b. Certification that it is not a diverted product
c. Certification that any actions by the alternative source will not
alter any original manufacture warranties or guarantees
d.Certification that the product has been stored and handled consistent with product labeling requirements
4.Be wary if a product is being offered at an unusually cheap price.
5.Check for signs of a removed or switched product label
for subtle changes in the product’s package (compare with previously
purchased products), notwithstanding legitimate parallel imported
7. Look for variations in the size of the container
(compare with previously purchased products), notwithstanding
legitimate parallel imported products
8.Look for differences in container length, diameters and shapes.
9.Examine for variations in diameters of bottle openings or lids.
10.Examine for variations in the thickness of glass or plastic containers and for variations in container color tints.
11.Compare the physical characteristics of the productIndustry Overview
medicine, or Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) has become
quite popular over the years. In the US for instance, the sales of
complementary and alternative remedies (CAM) reached about $5 billion
in 2005. Further, close to 62% of U.S. adults used some form of CAM for
preventing and managing chronic disease, the same year. In now is an
integral constituent of the medical industry
widespread use of complimentary and alternative medicine can be further
gauged by the fact that 74.6% of Americans have used CAM, and that the
average American spent $60 on various remedies in 2005, base on the
estimates of the Centers for Disease Control.
according to projections is worth at least a $30 billion-a-year.
Different industry products and services entail diet-based therapies,
natural products, prayer, deep breathing exercises, yoga, acupuncture
and massage therapy.
A large number of people (Over 100 million
) in the European Union (EU) too use complementary and alternative
medicine. In the UK alone, there were about 90,000 complementary
therapy practitioners in 2006.
Similarly the prevalence of
complementary and alternative medicine in Asian and the African
continents is high. In fact many of the therapies such as Ayurveda and
the traditional Chinese medicine have their origins in these regions.