History of Alternative Medicines


What is complementary and alternative medicine today was once actually the mainstream form of therapy. For thousands of years people relied upon them to get cured of their ailments and diseases. The history of Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Massage, to name a few, dates to ancient periods of human civilization. Modern scientific system of medicine, with its foundation on sustained research, experiments, and scientific diagnostic methods has sidelined them in past 200 years.

Current Status of Alternative therapies arounf the World

Despite its enormous success, the modern medicine system has some inherent flaws. There are many diseases which it can not yet cure nor even ameliorate them. Cancer, AIDS, Diabetes, Asthma typifying some of its prime failures. In other cases, it often produces severe adverse reactions while the care is institutional and impersonal. Further, the modern medicine system relies heavily on surgical methods which are not acceptable in all the cultures and traditions across world.

Alternative and complementary medicine, on the other hand, relies more on personal and one to one interaction between healer and patient. CAM practitioners use organic and natural products in their recommendations, which many people prefer over synthetic drugs. They also use holistic mode of care where broader social, emotional and medical context of illness are considered while giving the treatment.

Difference between Alternative therapies and Contemporary Medicines

Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine. An example of a complementary therapy is using aromatherapy to help lessen a patient's discomfort following surgery. Alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by an unconventional doctor


A range of unconventional choices will always be present in society along with mainstream route of medicine. In place of dismissive attitude, the modern allopathic system of medicine needs to analyze these options on a serious note and try to integrate those aspects of CAM that have verified scientific and proven beneficiary for patients.