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Non-Drug or Alternative Therapies

Updated on April 24, 2008

Alternative Medicines Instead of Prescribed Medicines

Non-drug or alternative therapies refer to treatments that are medicines not prescribed by typical health professionals. It is as medicines used instead of regular medicine. Some alternative therapies have been used for centuries in other parts of the world. Others have just gained acceptance. Non-drug or alternative therapies have exhibited promise in curing ailments. However, one must proceed with caution in using these drugs.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) enumerates five kinds of non-drug or alternative therapies. These are the following:

Alternative medical systems pertain to complete systems of medical theory and practice. In the East, some of the popular alternative medical systems used are traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. The West introduced homeopathy and naturopathy which were popular in Europe or the United States.

Mind-body interventions are therapies which involve techniques intended to improve the mind's capacity to influence the state of the body. Some of the therapies under this are EEG biofeedback, meditation, prayer, and art therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy started as an alternative mind-body intervention which has become an accepted method of therapy.

Biologically based therapies refer to therapies that need substances found in nature, such as herbs, vitamins, and certain foods. The ketogenic diet is an example under this category which was proven scientifically to be effective and is now an accepted method of healing.

Manipulative and body-based methods are methods that require maneuvering parts of the body. Chiropractic and massage are popular examples of this kind of therapy.

Energy therapies are therapies which utilizes energy fields. Two popular methods under this are the biofield therapies and bioelectromagnetic-based therapies. The former such as Reiki and Therapeutic Touch include energy fields of the human body, which currently has no scientific basis. Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies make use of magnets or electrical current like the magnetic stimulation.

Alternative therapies have evolved through the years. Several new approaches have been introduced with the discovery of new health methods. Others have been proven safe and effective and become an accepted part of health care. One good example of this is in epilepsy where the ketogenic diet started as an alternative therapy but has been proven scientifically and has now an accepted way to treat particular patients.


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