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Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Old Medicine, Current Synergies

by Howard Tiano

The phrases alternative medicine and complementary medicine are often incorrectly used as synonyms. Actually, the expression alternative medicine relates to medicine systems like homeopathy or chiropractic, that are utilized instead of conventional medicine, while complementary medicine refersto those therapies like massage that are used in combination with conventional, or allopathic medicine.

Both end up assumining the same role in diverse western nations, who are starting to concur that that these medicinal therapies are a significant component of healing. That is why in popular usage, alternative medicine has come to be known as complementary medicine.

Interestingly, an essential facet of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is that it focuses on the patient as a whole. The treatment is based not only on the patient's physical symptoms, but also on the individual's lifestyle, surroundings, nutrition, mental and emotional well-being ; in some instances even their spiritual health. For this reason alternative medicine is sometimes called holistic medicine.

Most devotees concur that acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic, Ayurveda, homeopathy and herbal medicine as the most important types of alternative and complementary medicine.

Other than homeopathy, almost all of the alternative and complementary medicine systems evolved in ancient periods in countries like Egypt, Tibet, Persia and the Far East. Some countries, notably India and China, are applying their knowledge of alternative and complementary medicine to encourage what has come to be known as medical tourism. A considerable amount of westerners are flying to these Asian Regions to look for holistic cures. In the West too, a substantial number of women are applying aromatherapy and massage, while men are resorting to alternative and complementary medicine to feel better from sports traumas or back injuries.

The other medical problems for which followers are turning to CAM are chronic illnesses like arthritis, cystitis, asthma or chronic fatigue. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the value of holistic treatments. Amidst the maladies that WHO considers can be cured with these methods are asthma, eczema, digestive disorders and headaches.

This burgeoning adoption of alternative and complementary medicine is a healthy signal for the globe, because the Synergies that have been so created are helping to take on many incurable diseases. In the final analysis, we should not forget that alternative and complementary medicine systems developed thousands of years ago, and have been successful in healing millions of people through the ages.

Copyright 2005 Howard Tiano, has studied optimum health techniques for three decades, and came to alternative medicine through a family health crises. Alternative-Medicine-Resources.com was created to inform visitors of available treatments beyond standard medical solutions, and cut through the politics and hype! Know your options, and optimize your health! http://www.alternative-medicine-resource.com


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