Alternative Medicines – The Different Kinds of Therapies

November 12, 2012

Alternative Medicines - The Different Kinds of Therapies

Sometimes, in place of regular medical treatments, alternative medicines can be used instead. These medicines aren’t generally recognized in the medical field as conventional or standard medical approaches, though.

Overall, alternative medicines are different from complementary medicines because they aren’t meant to be used with regular medical practices like the latter is; they are meant to replace them altogether. Some types of alternative medicines out there include megadose vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal preparations, magnet therapy, massage therapy, spiritual healing, and special teas.

There are five different therapies for this kind of medicine altogether:

1. Alternative Medical Systems

These systems are built on complete practice and theory systems that have usually evolved earlier than and apart from the regular Western medical approaches. Some examples of these systems in the West would include naturopathic medicine and homeopathic medicine. Some examples of these systems in the East, on the other hand, would include Ayurveda and Chinese alternative medicines.

2. Biologically Based Therapies

These therapies mostly use natural substances, like herbs, vitamins, and foods. Some examples of these substances would include herbal products, dietary supplements and other natural therapies that have not yet been proven by science, like using shark cartilage as a form of cancer treatment.

3. Body-Based and Manipulative Methods

As their name implies, these methods are based on moving or manipulating several body parts. Some examples of these methods would include massage, and osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation.

4. Mind-Body Interventions

These interventions generally put various tactics to use that are specially designed to improve the mind’s ability to affect various symptoms and functions in the body. Some examples of these tactics are quite old, but are now considered to be mainstream, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and patient support groups. Other mind-body interventions in the same department would include meditation, mental healing, prayer, and other therapies that require creative outlets, like art, dance, and music.

5. Energy Therapies

In general, energy therapies put energy fields to use. There are two different kinds of these alternative medicines out there:

- Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies basically use electromagnetic fields in an unconventional way.

These therapies would include magnetic fields, pulsed fields, or direct-current or alternating-current fields.

- Biofield therapies are meant to affect the energy fields that are already known to penetrate and surround the body.

There is no scientific evidence that these fields actually exist, though. Still, some forms of these energy therapies manipulate biofields through body manipulation and pressure on the hands or through the fields. Some examples of these therapies would include Reiki, therapeutic touches and qi gong alternative medicines.

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