Good question! Alternative medicine is any unconventional, unorthodox, or unproven methods used to treat illness and disease. Some may say that alternative medicine is innovative, complementary treatments to the treatments and remedies currently used everyday by doctors and health professionals. This argument was addressed and a decision was made in 2002 that the National Library of Medicine classify alternative medicine as “complementary therapies,” giving the sense of adding to the conventional allopathic medical practice which is more of the mainstream.
Usually lacking in the area of biomedical explanations but contribute as important historical footnotes worthy of recognition, alternative medicine is widely being used as additional treatment methods. In the areas of physical therapy, diet, and acupuncture alternative medicine is explored and used with acceptance and respect. Noted as Complementary when in use with conventional treatments and Alternative when replacing conventional treatment, alternative medicines cover a broad area of healing techniques, systems, and practices. While still others define this form of treatment as just those interventions and treatments not taught in the United States schools of Medicine or not available in United States hospitals and clinics.
To narrow it down just a bit, we can safely say that alternative medicine and therapies are attributed to the use of folk medicine, diet fads, faith healings, new age healing, some chiropractic and massage therapies and herbal medicine. Most people seeking these kinds of treatments suffer from diseases like arthritis, cancer, back pain, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. All of these illnesses require long treatment therapies and may or may not be chronic.
Some people swear by alternative medicines as the most significant treatments that contributed to the alleviation of their specific affliction; while many others are still very skeptical of the significance of such treatments at all. Humors or radium therapy never really gained any popularity as alternative medicines are concerned and simply faded away. Other alternative treatments have long staying power and are readily accepted such as physical therapy and acupuncture. So whatever your personal preference dictates in the way of alleviating the aches, pains, and ills that sometimes prevent use from living a healthy life; the decision is yours and yours alone. Alternative medicine may be the cure to what you have been suffering from or afflicted with and have yet to find the one method of treatment that helps. It surely can’t hurt to investigate some of these treatments and learn about how they have originated and the cultures that influenced them. Learning is also the alternative medicine for another ill that many of us suffer from; ignorance.