What Is The Definition Of Alternative Medicine?

To arrive at one ultimate definition of alternative medicine is almost impossible. Still now, various methods and treatments are being experimented making a single, all-encompassing and firm definition of alternative even more difficult. You will understand why it is so difficult to have a firm definition because it also has other names such as natural medicine, holistic medicine, integrated medicine and complementary medicine. They all have the same root, which is natural and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine aims to ensure the well-being of all parts of a person's life and being.

Alternative medicine is mostly used as a substitute for traditional treatment and therapy of ailments. It may include using in some form herbal substances, maintaining a special diet, or a combination of approaches that are unlikely to be recommended by a doctor who practices conventional medicine. For example, a person might opt for alternative medicine to treat his/her cancer using a special diet rather than chemotherapy.

The origin of alternative medicine can be traced to medicinal expertise of ancient times. Various different types of remedies used by various cultures over the years, which includes inserting needles for pain relief, herbs for medicinal treatments, or even massage therapy, are considered to be a form of medicine by their users because these methods or medicines are effective to a certain degree. There are many alternative medicines still unknown to the common people, as they do not conform to the treatments and pharmaceuticals of today.

Oriental cultures have developed alternative medical treatments over thousands of years that are gradually being accepted in the United States. Those treatments and therapies are generally known as complementary or alternative (CAM). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has now given recognition to some alternative therapies. However, alternative therapies are yet to be as readily embraced as complementary therapies, and countries like the US, Canada or even Europe have not yet adopted this way.

In the US, when we require medical attention, we usually visit a doctor who practices traditional medicine, known widely as allopathic medicine. This conventional medicine provides for a diagnosis, then treatment using drugs or other therapies developed by researchers through observation over time, and through studies and clinical trials. Pharmaceutical drugs, surgeries etc. fall in this category.

Alternative medicine involves looking for other possible ways to treat an ailment without using allopathic drugs. It aims to prevent a person from getting dependent on drugs of any type, which can supersede any medicinal or curing effects they might have. In fact, looking for different ways of dealing with your physical or emotional problems could stand you in good stead in the long run.

According to advocates of alternative medicine, health does not just mean the absence of disease or illness. Alternative medicine tries to ensure that a person can sustain his/her purpose in life, because in its absence no one can fulfill his/her complete potential. It emphasizes that there is need for motivation and inspiration for one to live his/her life to the fullest. So alternative medicine does not confine itself to only the physical health of a person, but tries to focus on his/her personality and emotions as well in treating ailments and bringing about a complete well-being.