Find out more about alternative medicine
If conventional treatments fail to have the desired effects, if you fundamentally disagree with the theoretical underpinnings of clinical approaches, or if you are concerned about drug side effects, you may be a candidate for alternative therapy. Increasingly popular with people from all walks of life, alternative therapies favor holistic or unconventional approaches to treating medical issues.
The backbone of most approaches to alternative medicine is that natural or ancient wisdom has been overlooked in the development of clinical treatments, and that science has limits and does not have all the answers. Proponents of alternative health treatments use spiritual, environmental and energy-based stimuli to encourage healing.
An Overview of Alternative Therapies
Alternative treatments can be broadly grouped into three major categories:
- Spiritual therapy. Spiritual approaches to therapy seek to unlock the power of the mind to heal the body. Examples include art therapy, hypnotic therapy, meditation and yoga.
- Manipulative therapy. These minimally invasive treatments focus on the manipulation of body structures and senses, often to correct or ease the symptoms of a chronic medical problem. Massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and aromatherapy are the best-known examples.
- Energy therapy. A fundamental tenet of energy therapy is that drawing on natural sources and pathways of energy can correct an energy imbalance, which is perceived to be at the root of the problem.
When to Seek Alternative Therapies
Some people don't need any motivation to seek services from alternative therapy clinics—they've already learned about the principles and practices of alternative medicine, and perhaps even feel they've personally experienced the healing powers these approaches offer.
Mainstream medicine is more approving of some techniques than others. Chiropractic treatments, for example, are considered by some to be a form of alternative therapy, yet the medical community refers millions of people to chiropractors every year for chronic pain, muscle and joint problems, and rehabilitation.
However, if you have consulted several different doctors and tried numerous approaches approved by conventional medicine without experiencing the relief you desire, it may be time to try an alternative treatment. Many providers of these services are very welcoming to new clients and are more than happy to arrange a no-obligation consultation during which they explain how a treatment works and its potential benefits.