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As per available reports about 49 Relevant Journals, 39 Conferences, 102 National Symposiums are presently dedicated exclusively to alternative medicines and about 32 articles are being published on alternative medicines.
Alternative medicines means any form of medicine that is outside the mainstream of western medicine or conventional medicine as practiced a majority of doctors today. This term is loosely used to over all forms of medicine except allopathy.
Every country, region or area has its own traditional system of health and medical care such as for the Chinese it is acupuncture, for the French, magnetic healing; for the Germans, Heilpraxis; for the English, Herbalism; for India, Ayurveda with Siddha being widely practice in the southern part of the country; for Japan, Shiatsu etc. The most popular forms of alternative medicine are Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Yoga, Accupressure, Magneto therapy, Shiatsu, Herbalism, Meditation, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Chromotherapy, Diet therapy, Hydropathy and Reiki.
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The following is a guide to some alternative therapies
Acupressure: Similar to acupuncture, but using finger pressure rather than fine needles on specific points along the body to treat ailments such as tension and stress, aches and pains, menstrual cramps, arthritis. Acupuncture Fine needles are inserted at specific points to stimulate, disperse, and regulate the flow of vital energy, and restore a healthy energy balance.
Aromatherapy: Using "essential oils" distilled from plants, aromatherapy treats emotional disorders such as stress and anxiety as well as a wide range of other ailments. Oils are massaged into the skin in diluted form, inhaled, or placed in baths. Aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology, chiropractic, and other holistic treatments.
Auto-Urine Therapy: This practice comes from Yoga and is the use of one's own urine as food, medicine, restorative, transforming agent and immune system booster. It is sometimes called 'Your Own Doctor'.
Organo-Therapy: Refers to various procedures in which processed tissue from animal embryos, fetuses or organs, is injected or taken orally. Products are obtained from specific organs or tissues said to correspond with the unhealthy organs or tissues of the recipient. Proponents claim that the recipient's body automatically transports the injected cells to the target organs, where they supposedly strengthen them and regenerate their structure.
Chromo-Therapy or Color Therapy: : The use of colour ( usually in the form of coloured light) to produce beneficial or healing effects.
Dance/Movement Therapies: Dance and/or movement therapy uses expressive movement as a therapeutic tool for both personal expression and psychological or emotional healing.
Herbalism: An ancient form of healing still widely used in much of the world, herbalism uses natural plants or plant-based substances to treat a range of illnesses and to enhance the functioning of the body's systems. Though herbalism is not a licensed professional modality in the United States, herbs are "prescribed" by a range of practitioners.
Yoga Therapy: The use of yoga to address mental and physical problems while integrating body and mind.
Scope and Importance:
Alternative medicine is a conventional method of healing the disease by examining the symptoms without collecting clinical evidences. An integrative approach to medical treatment is a broader approach to healing by allocating more time and attention to the patient and not solely based on the biomedical western model of treatment. CAM (Complimentary and alternate medicines) therapies have been extensively demonstrated and recognized as safe, effective, and nontoxic additions to conventional healthcare.
It is basically aimed at the Clinical Practitioners, medical/health practitioners, students, professionals and researchers and professional bodies and institutions.
Alternative medicine can be defined as the practice having the healing effects of medicine but not based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. It involves a wide range of health care practices, products and therapies, alternative medical diagnoses and treatments which typically have not been included in the degree courses of established medical schools or used in conventional medicine. Examples of alternative medicine are homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and acupuncture. Homeopathy is a branch of science that deals with curing a disease by administration of a very low dose of substance that creates similar symptoms in a healthy person. These ideas are called as 'like cures like' and the 'law of the minimum dose'. It is widely considered as a pseudoscience. Naturopathy is based on vitalism, which puts forward a special energy called vital energy or vital force that governs the bodily processes such as growth, reproduction, metabolism, and adaptation. Naturopathy is a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment and it is similar to conventional medicine which encourages minimal use of surgery and drugs. The term "naturopathy" is derived from Greek and Latin, which means "nature disease. Acupuncture involves penetration of the skin with needles to stimulate certain points on the body. It is part of traditional Chinese medicine. It is based on removing pain or curing diseases by correcting the imbalances in the flow of energy called as qi through its channels called as meridians. Chiropractic deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal disorders and their effects on health.
The global alternative medicines market is to hit $93.15 billion by 2015. According to research from Global Industry Analysts the global alternative medicines industry is forecast to exceed $105 billion by 2017. Over the past ten-year period, the market has recorded strong growth, relatively unaffected by the economic recession.
Relevant Society and Associations:
This page will be updated regularly.
This page was last updated on 11th Sep, 2015
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