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Alternatives to Conventional Medicine

Updated on August 11, 2009


Alternative medicine is increasing in popularity as people become more upset with conventional health care. People are looking for alternatives to conventional doctors and medication. According to the NationalCenter for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, people spent over thirty billion dollars on complementary and alternative medicine in 2007.


The definition of alternative medicine is health care alternatives that are not considered part of conventional medicine. Examples of alternative medicine are massage, meditation, reiki, yoga, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, acupuncture/acupressure, and hypnosis. Most of these therapies are all natural and contain no medications. Alternative medicine can be used to treat stress, chronic pain and more.


Massage therapy is one of the most well known of these therapies. People think of massage as just relaxation. It is a component of massage but massage therapy can be so much more than that. Benefits of massage include pain reduction, enhanced immunity, relief from migraines, reduced anxiety and more. Massage therapy can be used to increase blood and lymph flow in the body. It can enhance other health care regimens.


Meditation is a therapy that a person can perform for themselves. It is easy to learn and has many benefits. The benefits of meditation include reduced stress, lower anxiety levels, and a reduction in chronic pain. Meditation cd’s, books and classes are available to teach basic and advanced meditation.


Reiki is an all natural form of hands on energy work. It is used to balance energies in the body and promote the body’s ability to heal itself. Possible benefits include relaxation, pain reduction, better health and more energy.


Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to affect health. Essential oils are produced from fruits, flowers and herbs. Aromatherapy can be practiced alone or combined with massage. Each essential oil has its own healing properties. Essential oils can be used for headache relief, stomach aches, muscle pains, sinus problems and more.


Acupuncture and acupressure are aspects of traditional Chinese medicine. In acupuncture, needles are used to puncture the skin and stimulate specific points. Acupressure does not require needles. Acupressure points are stimulated by direct pressure on top of the skin. Both therapies are used to stimulate the flow of energy and help the body health.



Alternative medicine should be performed or taught by a trained professional. It can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine or alone. If you are suffering from a serious condition, you should consult your physician before beginning an alternative medicine program.


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