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Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is an eclectic collection of practices that aim to heal. Almost all of them are defined by the fact "that they do not fall within the realm of conventional medicine". It may be based on historical or cultural traditions. Some of these systems are rooted in antiquity with very strong scientific evidence now emerging as more and more research is being directed towards these systems.

Alternative medicine is frequently grouped with complementary medicine or integrative medicine, which, refers to the same interventions when used in conjunction with mainstream techniques. This amalgamation of what is best in all systems of medicine is fast gaining ground even among die-hard advocates of modern medicine.

A recent systematic study conducted across thirteen countries having a strong tradition of alternative medicine concluded that about 31% of cancer patients use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. The systems practiced vary from country to country. Some countries like India and Germany where there is widespread practice of these forms of medicine, there are authorities and medical boards that license and regulate them.

Alternative medicine methods are diverse in their foundations and practice methodologies. Methods may incorporate or base themselves on traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs, or newly conceived approaches to healing.

What is attractive about these systems is almost all of them focus on individualizing treatments, treating the whole person, promoting self-care and self-healing, and recognizing the spiritual and psychological nature of each individual. In addition, many systems have characteristics commonly found in mainstream healthcare, such as a focus on good nutrition, cleanliness and preventive practices.

List of Alternative Medicine Systems

Ayurveda

Homeopathy

Unani

Siddha

Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese

Reiki

Pranic Healing

Yoga

Aromatherapy

Biofeedback

Meditation

Naturopathy

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