Alternative Medicine: An Overview Part One

May 23, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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An Overview of Alternative Medicine

Pre med hospital shadowing hours Alternative Medicine refers to all forms of medicine that fall outside mainstream western medical practices or conventional medicine that is practiced by a majority of doctors today. This term is loosely used to over all forms of medicine except allopathy. This means that all kinds of treatment that do not use regular medical equipment or the regular medical ways of healing fall under this category. Alternative forms of medicine have been around for hundreds of years.

Recognition of Alternative Medicine

Alternative therapies have been practiced for hundreds of years. Different parts of the world have their own traditional forms of healing and medicine. In the first World Congress of Alternative Medicines convened by the Medical Faculty of the University of Rome in 1973, the provisional program contained as many as 135 different alternative therapies. 

These therapies were given different names in different countries and some people looked upon them as being traditional medicines, home medicines or folk medicines. Even though these medicines may not be accepted or practiced by conventional doctors, various alternate remedies are becoming popular forms of treatment for patients suffering from all kinds of health problems and there have been many cures that have been attributed to alternative treatments.

Types of Alternate Remedies

Herbal healing is a form of alternative medicine which has been practiced by the English for hundreds of years.

– Countries like Japan practice Shiatsu while the French are known for their magnetic healing therapy.

– Heilpraxis has been used as a form of medicine in Germany and India is well known for its Ayurveda and Siddha practices.

– Acupuncture, which was originally followed in China, has now been adopted in numerous countries as a natural form of healing.

Other forms of remedies include Yoga, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Reiki, Diet Therapy, Chromo Therapy, Meditation and Bach Flower Remedies.

Ayurvedic Medicine

One of the oldest known forms of treatment in India, this form of medication believes that any health problem is due to a state of imbalance that exists in the body. This means that in order to cure a person of any illness, it is necessary to restore the state of balance. Ayurveda is not limited only to the use of medicines. It uses various forms of treatment to restore this balance. Massages, meditation, dietary changes, counselling and other treatments are used alongside natural medication in order to achieve the state of balance.


This type of healing uses finger pressure, which is applied on certain points of the body. This pressure, when applied at specific areas, helps to keep the energy in the body flowing smoothly. When this happens, the body has a good energy balance and stress pockets are released. Acupressure is used in order to get rid of body ailments like cramps, arthritis and other body aches.


Acupuncture is a slightly advanced version of acupressure since it uses fine needles that are inserted into particular points of the body in order to release stress and get the energy flowing properly. This is practiced by highly skilled acupuncture therapists who are familiar with the exact energy points on the body that correspond to the injured body part.