The use of alternative and complementary medicine has grown in recent decades. Many options are safe, but some can be dangerous. Always speak to your GP before discussing any complementary or alternative medicine treatment for yourself or your family Kambo.
What are alternative and complementary medicines?
Complementary and alternative medicines are types of medicine and healing that differ from conventional medicine. Conventional (also called traditional or Western) medicine is the main type of medicine taught in most medical schools. It is scientifically proven and many doctors practice it in hospitals and clinics. The most common conventional medical treatments include medications, surgeries, and changes in diet or exercise habits.
There are some differences between alternative and complementary medicines, but many people use both terms with the same meaning. The slight difference is that “complementary” means it is used alongside conventional medicine, while “alternative” means it is sometimes used in place of conventional medicine.
What are some types of complementary and alternative medical treatments?
There are many types of alternative and complementary medical treatments. Not all of them have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective.
Some types of alternative and complementary medicines can be grouped as follows:
Therapies for mind and body
- Meditation – Trains the mind to be silent, calm and focused.
- Hypnosis – Places a person in a trance-like state. This helps some people respond to a suggestion (for example, quit smoking).
- Biofeedback or biofeedback : teaches the body to modify the way it responds to a situation (for example, to breathe slowly in a stressful situation).
- Yoga : Uses a series of postures and stretching exercises accompanied by rhythmic breathing.
- Tai chi – uses a set of slow dance-like movements.
- Herbs : like chamomile.
- Nutritional supplements : such as probiotics.
- Vitamins and minerals : such as vitamin C or calcium taken in pill form.
- Special diets : such as the ketogenic diet.
- Massages use different touch pressures.
- Therapeutic touch ( or distant healing ) uses the hands.
- In reflexology , pressure is placed on certain areas of the feet and hands.
- Acupuncture involves the use of small needles to stimulate certain points on the body .
- Chiropractic therapy uses spinal manipulation (pressure on different parts of the spine).
- Reiki uses your hands close to the body or in contact with the body.
Complete medical systems
- Traditional Chinese medicine uses methods such as herbs, acupuncture, and tai chi.
- Ayurveda medicine makes use of treatments based mainly on plants and changes in diet , physical exercise and lifestyle.
- Homeopathic medicine uses highly diluted formulas of herbs, minerals, and other substances.
- Naturopathic medicine uses a combination of conventional medical practices and herbs, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, massage and other treatments.