Alternative medicine encompasses any practice that is used to provide healing as medicine does, but it is not based on evidence gathered through the scientific method. It includes a wide variety of alternative medical diagnoses, therapies, treatments and products which have not been included in medical schools' curriculum or used in conventional medicine.
Some examples of alternative medicine include: homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, energy medicine, acupuncture, traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Homeopathy and chiropractic originated in the West during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, while traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have ancient non-Western origins. Treatments considered alternative in one location might be considered conventional in another.
Homeopathy uses small doses of a substance that causes symptoms to stimulate the body's self-healing response. Naturopathy helps the body do its own healing by using non-invasive treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, herbal remedies, exercise and lifestyle counseling. Osteopathy and chiropractic employ human touch to move or manipulate a specific part of your body for treatment. Energy medicine revolves around the notion that an energy force flows through the body, and when this energy flow is blocked or unbalanced people can become sick. Therefore the aim is to restore the flow of energy.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/alternative-medicine/ART-20045267?p=1
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