Alternative medicine is a health care practices which may include diagnostic methods, products and therapies other than the wide spread system of allopathic or modern conventional medicine.
Following are the most common alternative medicine practiced all over the world
Herbal medicines, Ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy, Aromatherapy, Massage therapy, Acupuncture, Acupressure (Reflexology), Reiki, meditation and yoga, Homoeopathy, chiropractic, Body manipulation, Traditional Chinese medicine, Chromo therapy (treatment by various colors).
An alternative medicine of one location may be a conventional in another. For example, osteopathy is not an alternative medicine in America, while chiropractic is not considered alternative in Denmark.
Herbal medicines and Ayurvedic medicine
In both of these systems of medicine, herbs or herbal extracts or powder prepared from the herb are used as medicine. Ayurvedic medicine also uses preparations called ‘bhasmas’ or ‘pishtis’ made by processing of herbs or minerals.
Nature cure is based on the concept that when man takes birth in a healthy state he can maintain this healthy state if he lives according to laws of nature. It has its base on vitalism. Vital energy or vital force influences metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation of our body. Naturopathy believes in holistic approach, non-invasive treatment and minimal use of surgery and drugs.
Diseases are treated by employing natural healing agents like fresh air; sunshine, a proper diet, exercise and relaxation; right mental attitude; prayer, meditation and yoga.
Aroma therapy as the name suggests, is an alternative form of treating diseases which employ aromatic compounds. Essential oils are the volatile components derived from the plant sources and contain aromatic compounds. Aroma therapy includes inhalation and topical application of aromatic compounds.
Massage therapy involves massaging of different parts of body. Massage is considered as passive exercise involving scientific manipulation of the muscles body. Massage therapy if correctly carried out, can be highly stimulating and invigorating.
In Acupuncture treatment several point on our body are punctured with a tiny needle and mild current is passed through. It is believed that insertion of needles influences the flow of energy responsible rot the disease.
Acupressure involves pressing intensely certain point on our palms and feet to heal various types of disorders. It is believed that intense pressure on a points related to the diseased organ, generates electrical impulses to cure the disease.
Reiki is a Japanese system of healing, which offers healing through correction of energy fields by giving Reiki to various nerve plexus. It is based on the belief that supernatural energies flow through palms of the healer into the various nerve plexus forming various ‘Chakras’ (they are the centers and source of supernatural energy) in the body to stimulate them to affect the healing.
Meditation And Yoga
Meditation involves correction of our breathing pattern and offers relief from various diseases by normalizing breathing pattern and body metabolism.
Yoga involves Yogasans which are various static posture of our body and is helpful in alleviating diseases. Yoga and meditation are considered as lifestyle for a healthy living.
Homeopathy is based on principle of “like cures like”. A disease treated with a very low dose of a drug which produces symptoms of disease in a healthy person.
Chiropractic and Body manipulation
Body-based therapies such as massage, chiropractic and osteopathy use movement and physical manipulation of joints and muscles.
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on a concept of “spirit” called qi. Chinese medicine involves use of herbal plants substances of China. It is believed that a map of the disease is produced on the tongue and the treatment is based on that map.
Chromo therapy (treatment by various colors)
Treatment using various colors is used in conjunction with other natural remedies like appropriate diet, regular exercise, meditation and yoga, adequate rest and relaxation. According to concepts of chromo therapy, a disease is caused by deficiency of a particular color in the body system. Techniques of chromo therapy restore balance of color through light having different colors. Water charged with different colors is also used externally and internally. Different colors have different therapeutic effects. Vegetables and fruits having different colors are also included as part of chromo therapy.
Each system of alternative medicine has their methods of diagnosis and treatment.
A concept of Integrative medicine also has emerged for offering treatment in stubborn diseases. It is the combination of two and methods of treatment (evidence-based medicine and alternative medicine).