Alternative Medicine - An Overview

Alternative Medicine Options


Are you getting tired of the conventional methods of healing and medicine? Are the long waits at the doctors' office beginning to wear you out? You've popped a pill whenever you've been sick and hoped for a quick recovery, but at the same time had been concerned about the side effects. Maybe it's time you tried out something new and different in "medical options." You have probably heard about acupuncture and aromatherapy and wondered what these were and whether you should try them out. It is never too late. A large number of Americans are looking for alternatives to conventional medicine. This is no longer a "new" phenomenon.



What are alternative medicine options?


Alternative medicine options are often tied together with complementary medicine and come under the umbrella of CAM or Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a part of the National Institutes of Health, defines CAM as "a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not presently considered to be a part of conventional medicine."

 You should keep in mind that complementary medicines are not the same as alternate medicines. Alternative medicine options are used instead of conventional medicine while complementary medicines are applied together with conventional medicine. These medicinal practices follow unconventional paths and are often based on belief systems and philosophies. Many of these alternative therapies do not conform to scientific methods. But over time, some of these therapies gain grounds with extensive research and become more accepted than others. For example, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy and herbal medicines have now become part of the lexicon of average Americans.