Alternative medicine encompasses medical treatments that are not part of the conventional means of treatment (evidence based medicine). Its effectiveness has been discussed, debated but never dismissed. An excellent example would be the use of accupressure and accupuncture. Though claims suggest that the health benefits derived from accupressure and accupuncture are more of a placebo effect, nevertheless the benefits are real with a wide number of patients globally claiming pain relief, better mobility and various other health benefits from accupuncture and accupressure.
Alternative medicine includes the use of ancient systems of healing, such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, which are ancient practices of healing and have developed outside the domain of ‘Western Medicine’. Alternative medicine does not treat a disease as a standalone problem. It takes a holistic approach and considers the body as a whole while administering any treatment. So, unlike convenional medicine where one just pops a pill to get well, alternative system of medicine is more like a lifestyle correction aimed at treating the very factors that caused the disease in the first place.
There continues to be an ongoing debate for only one form of medicine to exist, the one that is scientifically proven. I do agree with this point of view wholeheartedly, but how can one neglect the beneficial effects of a particular line of treatment, even though the scientific eidence to back that claim may not have been fully explored. This is a grey area open to both positive and negative opinions.
Having said that, one cannot deny the fact that people are now turning their attention to holistic treatments much more than what was being taken few years ago. The term ‘complementary medicine’ is one that is now gaining recognition and refers to the use of conventional science based medicine along with alternative medicine with the intention of making patients feel better and assist in their speedy recovery.
Patients can derive the real benefits of alternative medicine when used adjacently with ongoing medical treatments. Such treatment requires a working level of understanding between practitioners of western and non-conventional medicine. Alternative medicines are here to stay and there is no denying that this field of science is open to both scientific examination and reproof. It is time that people start taking such treatments seriously and begin exploring the numerous health benefits it has to offer at the hands of certified and trained professionals.