What Are The Five Major Domains Of Alternative Medicine?


Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are not homogeneous. Rather the word "categorical" encompasses a wide variety of more than 100 therapeutic philosophies and methods not widely researched, understanded, approved, used or made accessible in allopathic medical practice. These therapies can be used in combination with traditional, allopathic or conventional treatments.

Major Domains of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Natural Products 

In the US, complementary approaches to medicine are widely used as one of two subgroups, namely Natural products and/or mental bodily practice, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Natural products often available in a dietary supplement can include plants, probiotics, Vitamins, Fatty omega-3 acids, chemicals such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and a number of other substances.

Mind-Body Therapies 

According to the NCCIH, second class of the most widely used supplementary medicine approaches usually include the use of complex strategies to develop the ability of mind to affect physical activity and improve health. Common method of mind-body therapy is hypnotherapy. Often known as Hypnosis, several clinical studies have shown that it facilitates weight loss, relieves back pain and helps to avoid smoking.

A practice that is used for many years to encourage calm is a mind-body treatment that shows potential to make blood pressure and sleep more safe. There are also some proof that meditation can help people who are dealing with chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Yoga is mostly done as a form of stress relief and exercise, but it is often used for mind-body therapy. In fact research has shown that yoga can help treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, migraines and depression.

Alternative Medical Systems 

Alternative treatment systems typically include activities which have grown independently of traditional medicine and even before it. Many are alternative medical systems followed around the world by various cultures. Homeopathic and naturopathic medicine are also used in complementary medical systems. The theory "like cures like" is primarily focused on homeopathic medicine. That means that the same drug that causes sickness symptoms in large doses cures the disease in extremely small quantities. The more the cure dilutes, the more homoeopathic professionals find it is stronger in the treatment of a range of diseases. Homeopathic practitioners are therefore using very small amounts of various vegetable extracts and minerals to improve body defense mechanisms and help cure disease.

Manipulative and Body-Based Methods

Chiropractic, osteopathy and massage care are coercive and body-based treatments. Chiropractors concentrate on how the body structure and functions affect health restoration and maintenance. Like several CAM specialists, osteopathic physicians are focused on preventative health care: they are assessing patients' general health rather than simply treating individual symptoms of illnesses. The DOs undergo additional exercises inside the musculoskeletal system, the nervous, muscular and bone system, which make up two-thirds of the mass of the body because they believe that all of the body's mechanisms must function together in order to preserve their health. In hopes of stability of these tissues, massage therapists manipulate the soft tissues of the body.

Energy Therapies 

Energy therapy focuses on energy fields that are either within or from another source (biofields) (electromagnetic fields). Biofield therapies are meant to manipulate the energy fields surrounding and penetrating the body. Some types of biofield therapy include qigong and Reiki, which influence biofields by applying pressure to the body or shifting the body, regulate the breathing, channel spiritual energy and sense imbalances of energy.

User:Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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