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Alternative And Complementary Therapies

Philosophies Of Alternative & Complementary Therapies

Alternative & Complementary therapies tend to share a few core beliefs, including:

• Illness occurs if the body is out of balance.
• The body can heal itself and maintain a healthy state if given the right conditions.
• The whole person should be treated, not just the disease or the symptoms.
• The gentlest therapies must be tried first before harsher ones.
• There is no quick fix, since healing and balance take time.
• Natural products are preferable to synthetic ones.

Why people use complementary therapies

People may have more than one reason for choosing a complementary therapy and they may use other strategies at the same time to enhance their health. Some of the reasons for using complementary therapies include:
• Achieving and maintaining good health
• As an aid to the performance of everyday tasks
• Dissatisfaction with conventional medical practices
• Unsatisfactory doctor-patient relationships
• The desire to take charge of your own health and medical problems
• The increase in easy-to-access consumer health information, including health information on the internet
• Evidence of the benefits and safety of some complementary medicines and therapies
• Dissatisfaction with limited success rates or adverse side effects of prescription medicines

The desire to receive healthcare that treats the whole person and not just their symptoms (it’s worth noting that both complementary healthcare practitioners and some conventional health professionals actively endorse holistic care).

Studies show that the most frequent users of complementary therapies include well-educated women, high-income earners and people with chronic conditions. They also show that many people use complementary therapies and medicines because of their cultural traditions and beliefs.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), complementary and alternative medicine therapies can be classified into five broad categories:

1) Alternative Medical Systems

Alternative medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice. Often, these systems have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States.
Examples of alternative medical systems include:
• Acupuncture
• Ayurveda
• Homeopathy
• Native American healing practices
• Naturopathic medicine
• Tibetan medicine
• Traditional Chinese medicine

2) Mind-Body Interventions

Mind-body medicine uses a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms.
Some techniques that were considered alternative in the past have become mainstream (for example, patient support groups and cognitive-behavioral therapy).

Other mind-body techniques are still considered alternative, including:
• Art therapy
• Biofeedback
• Dance therapy
• Guided imagery
• Humor therapy
• Hypnotherapy
• Meditation
• Music therapy
• Prayer therapy
• Yoga

3) Biologically-Based Therapies

Biologically based therapies in complementary and alternative medicine use substances found in nature, such as herbs, foods, and vitamins. Some examples include:
• Diet
• Dietary supplements
• Herbal products
• Megavitamins
It also includes the use of other so-called natural but as yet scientifically unproven therapies (for example, using shark cartilage to treat cancer). 

4) Manipulative and Body-Based Methods

Manipulative and body-based methods in complementary and alternative medicine are based on manipulation and/or movement of one or more parts of the body. Some examples include:
• Acupressure
• Alexander Technique
• Chiropractic
• Feldenkrais Method
• Massage therapy
• Osteopathy
• Reflexology
• Rolfing
• Therapeutic Touch
• Trager Approach

5) Energy Therapies

Energy therapies involve the use of energy fields. They are of two types:

Biofield therapies are intended to affect energy fields that purportedly surround and penetrate the human body. The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven. Some forms of energy therapy manipulate biofields by applying pressure and/or manipulating the body by placing the hands in, or through, these fields. Examples include:

• Qi gong
• Reiki
• Therapeutic Touch

Bio-electromagnetic based therapies involve the unconventional use of electromagnetic fields, such as:
• Pulsed fields
• Magnetic fields
• Alternating-current or direct-current fields

Alternative And Complementary Therapies Alternative And Complementary Therapies Reviewed by CREATIVE WRITER on August 06, 2019 Rating: 5

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