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Alternative medicine refers to medical treatments used in place of the traditional way of treating diseases.

Here are the five categories of alternative medicine and the common therapies/methods being practiced under each category.

ENERGY MEDICINE. This therapy is based on the belief that subtle bio fields are present in and around the body that affect health. The common practices are:

Acupuncture – the acupuncturist inserts needles into the skin to stimulate specific points that block the universal life force and energy pathways. This therapy will restore balance in the body and promotes healing. Headache, pa in, and hypertension are believed to be eased by acupuncture therapy.

Therapeutic Touch – a type of energy medicine wherein the therapist places his hand over the patient’s body at a distance. It operates on the belief that the therapist’s positive energy can influence the patient and bring healing. Therapeutic touch is said to lessen anxiety and is recommended in several clinics in the U.S.

BODY – BASED PRACTICES. This kind of alternative medicine operates under the philosophy that each part of the body is interdependent and has the ability to heal itself. The therapies include:

Chiropractic – the principle behind this treatment is that the nervous system is the key to restoring one’s health. The process includes manipulation of the soft tissues, the s pine, and other joints. Chiropractors may recommend exercise and lifestyle changes or may perform acupressure or massage to the patient. Chiropractic is useful for neck and lower back pain, migraine, and asthma, to name a few.

Reflexology – specific points on the palm and foot are believed to be connected to our body organs as believed by reflexologists. The treatment includes applying pressure to the palm or foot to block the energy that causes pain. The efficacy of this method is yet to be proved.

MI ND – BODY MEDICINE. The philosophy behind this type of alternative medicine is how the mind and the body are strongly connected. A healthy mind makes a healthy body. One of the commonly know methods is meditation.

Meditation – during meditation, the patient is asked to focus her attention on a certain aspect of her life or place that makes her feel relaxed. Daily meditation is believed to develop metacognition which helps the patient not automatically to react to a stressor and regulate her emotion effectively. It helps patients with anxiety, depression, insomnia, relieve pain.

BIOLOGICALLY – BASED PRACTICES. This method uses natural substances that are readily available and inexpensive. Some of the practices include:

Diet Therapy – recommends a specialized diet to address specific diseases. Mediterranean diet is considered therapeutic and is recommended to people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol level. It effectively prevents diseases, detoxifies the body, and is the best way to promote health and wellness.

Botanical Medicine – these medications may be available in your backyard or any shops that promote natural healing. They are considered safe as they are made from natural ingredients such as herbs and plants with healing properties.

WHOLE MEDICAL SYSTEM. It is a complete system wherein a patient is educated on how and why he incurred the disease and the treatment he has to undergo. The most popular among the practices under this category is naturopathy.

Naturopathy – operates in the philosophy that nature has the power to heal. The patient may be recommended to do exercise, attend counseling sessions, follow a specific diet plan, hydrotherapy, stress management, and use medicinal plants. All these stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities.

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