An overview of complementary and alternative medicine and its types


What is alternative medicine?

Alternative medicine is a term generally refers to any traditional non-standard treatment method that is not used in Western medical practices.

What is complementary medicine then..

Complementary medicine is that term given to alternative medicine.

When saying alternative medicine and application of its methods besides the use of standard medical practices (Western medicine), at this time we refer to alternative methods as “complementary” medicine.

Alternative medicine

What about physical therapy or naturopathy?

Physical therapy often involves a large variety of treatment methods that tend more to rely on the strength of nature such as focusing on changing the diet and relying on herbal medicines and plants that have effective therapeutic effects as well as changing behavioral patterns and the use of needles.

Physiotherapy is one of the branches of alternative medicine.

An Overview..

There is a gray and dialectical area when we call this treatment as a complementary or alternative treatment.

As these practices vary from exercising, hypnosis, using and inserting needle techniques to the layers of the skin, changing the diet, as well as using techniques to adapt the spin and other practices and treatments.

How worthy are these alternative treatments..?

This region still needs a lot of academic researches.

It is necessary to produce definitive conclusive results on the feasibility of these practices

Also, researches are needed to show benefits of these alternative and complementary treatments.

This does not mean that alternative medicine is completely useless in general.

but there are many cases that are beneficial and have a clear positive impact on them.

Quick tip

Despite the inevitability of the results and studies and the need for researches and laboratory studies, this did’t prevent patients from trying alternative medicine.

Confirmed by the following study:

More than 38 percent of adults in the United States of America use a technique or form of alternative medicine.         

(Source: US National Institute of Health 2016)

In the following paragraphs,

we will know a part of those practices that fall under alternative medicine and that you can use and change your treatment regimens

of course, this is after referring to your specialist doctor.

1. Acupressure

This type of technique is similar to acupuncture treatment. Therapists place needles using the elbow, hands, or feet to press certain points along the body.

According to the theory on which pressure therapy is based, those specific points that are pressed fall on so-called longitude.

The practitioners

of this technique believe that infection occurs when one of those longitude is closed or imbalanced.

The treatment opens the energy gates again so that you can flow freely to restore activity again.

At a glance:

Meridians are channels that are believed to carry life energy in different parts of the body, which are also called Chi or Ki

The benefits:

A lot of studies were carried out in this field.

It proved the feasibility of pressure therapy in helping to sleep deeper, overcoming anxiety, as well as its role in relieving lower back pain.

Also, it has a role in relieving headache as well as pregnancy and labor pains.

A study:

In a study conducted in 2015,

Researchers found that treatment with this technique 3 times/week for a month, had an effect in relieving the pressure and anxiety associated with dialysis.

2. Acupuncture

This is one of the very old practices of traditional Chinese medicine.

It relies on stimulating certain points in the body.

Although the most famous technique here is acupuncture , it is possible to use electrical stimulation.

The benefits

The use of needles show positive results in treating insomnia and many types of chronic pain for instance neck pain and arthritis, as well as menstrual pain.

Study on the effectiveness of technology...

A study conducted in the year 2016 on 2349 volunteers who were suffering from severe tension and chronic headache.

The results were promising as the effectiveness of using the technology were good indicators in the treatment.

3- Balneotherapy

Hydrotherapy is confused with mineral water, where only mineral water is used for therapeutic purposes.

A brief look at this treatment …

The history of the use of this technique dates back to more than three centuries ago.

Its start was before the 1700’s.

Technology is one of the very common treatment regimens in many countries of the European continent.

Quick information:

Hungaria is one of the most famous countries in the use of this technology as it spreads the presence of thermal baths.

The benefits:

The basic criterion for this technique is based on the idea that water is a beneficial ingredient for the skin

It is able to treat a range of conditions such as acne, pain, redness and edema as well as those who suffer from anxiety.

A study:

A 2016 study found that mineral water treatment.

In addition to an effective practice of sports, works to relieve pain of the lower back in the long term, it increases the capacity and efficiency of the body’s immunity.

This is helpful especially for those with arthritis.


This technique needs scientific effort and research to expand the scope of its use.

It needs also efforts for showing its effectiveness on the human being, as well as to adopt it as an effective and definitive treatment.


This method includes applying pressure to specific areas of the body on the feet and ears, as well as the hands.

This theory is based on the fact that these positions are compatible with and coordinate with the body’s systems.

The pressure works positively on these organs and on the general health of the human body.

The benefits:

  • Focusing pressure on the arch of the foot stimulates and increases the efficiency of the bladder function.
  • It is used in conditions such as anxiety, diabetes, restoration of kidney function, asthma and cancer.
  • It improves the conditions of patients with cardiovascular diseases. 
  • In addition, it reduces stress as well as calming and relieving nausea and fatigue from chemotherapy.


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