Are Traditional Medicine and Alternative Medicine Effective?

The current pandemic highlighted the importance of using conventional medical treatments in dealing with the virus. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) set the guidelines on how medical professionals should handle the disease to reduce its effect on the patient.

Even as the current virus requires proper medical treatments, some people also turn to traditional and alternative medicine for other ailments. Traditional treatments are typically attuned to the values and beliefs of some people. On the other hand, alternative treatments are neither associated with a person’s values and beliefs, nor are they conventional medical treatments.

Traditional Medicine

For the World Health Organization (WHO), traditional medicine is associated with knowledge and practices based on the experiences and beliefs of different cultures. They can diagnose, prevent, and treat both physical and mental ailments.

These types of medicines are indigenous or unique to specific cultures. Some countries that have wide usage of traditional medicines are India and China. They are also used in several countries in the African continent.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine or Ayurveda is among the oldest holistic medical treatments in the world. Developed over 3,000 years ago, this natural treatment method is based on the belief that a balance in the body, mind, and spirit results in health and wellness.

Practitioners of the treatment method believe that everyone has the five basic universal elements in them. These elements are space, fire, water, earth, and air. These elements combine to form the doshas or life forces.

The goal of the Ayurvedic medical treatment is to cleanse the body of a person from undigested food since it can result in illness when it stays in the body for a long time. It relies on herbs, medical oils, and massage.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine has evolved ever since it was first used thousands of years ago. Its practitioners use different practices in addressing health issues in a person. These practices include acupuncture, tai chi, and herbal products. Some studies and researches have found some safety issues when people practice traditional Chinese medicine. Despite these issues, it offers several benefits to certain health conditions.

Its use of a combination of natural products aims to restore balance and wellness in the body. The traditional methods can also help improve the quality of life. For instance, the gentle movements, breathing, and mental focus of tai chi can improve stability and balance among older people. It can also help people suffering from back pain and fibromyalgia.


Developed in Germany in the late 1700s, homeopathy is a medical treatment method that believes that the body can cure itself. It uses natural substances in small amounts to stimulate the healing process. This method cures illnesses by using substances that can produce similar symptoms as the illness. Homeopaths believe that the effectiveness of medications increases when their dosage goes down. Even as research results are mixed, some people can recover from their illness after receiving homeopathic remedies.

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Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine refers to medical treatments used in place of traditional and conventional therapies. They are also called complementary medicine.

Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic medicine is a treatment that involves spinal manipulation to improve a person’s health without using surgery or medication. It typically focuses on the ability of the body to heal itself. Aside from spinal manipulation, the treatment also uses nutritional counseling and exercise. Chiropractors normally talk with the patient and ask about the medical history before developing a management plan to deal with a health issue.

Chiropractors normally deal with health issues associated with the musculoskeletal system. This treatment helps patients deal with neck pain, back pain, and dizziness. Chiropractors use different types of manual treatment methods, from stretching up to the manipulation of specific joints.

Energy Therapy

Energy therapy uses different types of energy fields to bring or balance the energy that a patient has. This type of treatment uses external energy sources to deliver healing into a patient’s body. It can use sound, light, and electromagnets. Therapeutic touch is also used to affect the energy fields that are supposedly found in and around the body.

It is challenging to measure these types of therapies. Many energy therapy techniques come from Asian and shamanistic traditions that were practice thousands of years ago. For instance, ancient Asian healers believed in the importance of the balance and flow of life energies in keeping people healthy. They also believed that imbalances in these energies cause illnesses. These healers developed practices and techniques to fix these imbalances.

Even as many people believe in traditional and alternative medical treatments, it is still important for people to check with their doctors before going through these healing methods.

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