Major Types of Alternative Therapies and Complementary Medicine


Alternative Therapies have a long and rich history that goes thousands of years back. Different civilizations evolved their own methods to treat various diseases and epidemics affecting them. Many of such therapies were discarded when they were proved non functional. But those that were successful have found their way right to the modern times. And even the mainstream medical science has started to accept their relevance and utility.

Major Types

There are five major demarcations in Alternative Therapies.

Alternative Medical System

These are the traditional systems of therapies. They include

Mind Body Techniques

These techniques are founded on the theory that mental and emotional factors have a dominant affect on physical health. This theory has been scientifically corroborated.

The main Mind-body Alternative techniques are

These mind body techniques are used in treatment of diseases like coronary artery disease, headaches, insomnia (sleeping difficulty) and incontinence (loss of urinary and bladder control).

Biologically Based Alternative Therapies

These therapies use chemicals in treatment of patients. However, these chemicals are not synthesized rather they are directly obtained from natural sources.

Biologically based therapies primarily use following medicines

Body Based Alternative Therapies

These therapies employ bodily manipulation techniques to treat various maladies and conditions. The principle techniques used are

Energy Therapies

Energy therapies incorporate the manipulation of energy and magnetic fields present around the body (bio-fields). They also embody use of external energy sources such as electromagnetic fields for health and healing. The theory behind energy field therapies is existence of a universal life force that reside within and around every living being.

Energy healers or practitioners use the touch method to positively affect the energy field of a body.

The main types of energy alternative therapies are as follows