Alternative medicine treatment methodologies refer to those healing practices that are not within the aegis of conventional medical treatment processes. The American National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) cites the following as some of the more well-known alternative medicine curative methods:
· Naturopathy: This method of treatment deals with natural healing methods and concentrates on the body’s natural capability to heal itself. This treatment procedure propounds a holistic approach to healing bodily disorders that involves little or no use of drugs and surgical methods. Within naturopathy itself, there are a multitude of treatment methods that range from the popularly advocated diet and lifestyle modification advice and homeopathy to less readily-accepted methods like pseudo-science and quack medicinal practices.
· Chiropractic: This alternative treatment method is founded on the belief that disorders of the musculoskeletal system and especially the spine lie at the root of an individual’s general health. Thus the primary chiropractic treatment methods consist of manual therapies like manipulation of the spinal cord, soft tissues and other joints of the body, and health and lifestyle betterment advice.
· Herbalism: This alternative treatment procedure involves administering herbs, plants, and plant extracts to cure bodily disorders.
· Traditional Chinese Medicine: This field actually spans a wide range of medicinal techniques like acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, tui na massage, and diet therapies.
· Acupuncture: It is probably one of the most thoroughly-researched fields of alternative medicine curative techniques. Acupuncture involves inserting needles at various strategic points all over the body to relieve aches and pain and also bring about several therapeutic benefits. In fact, the World Health Organization and the United States’ National Institute of Health have vouched for the efficacy of this treatment methodology to relieve pain.
· Meditation: What was once practiced as part of religious rituals has now come to constitute one of the most extensively-researched fields in alternative medicine. Meditation usually refers to any personal practice of training the mind or self-inducing a state of consciousness that triggers a self-healing process of the body. Extensive research into the beneficial aspects of meditation has shown that it has the ability to lessen pain, stress, and bring about changes in metabolic rates.
· Hypnosis: Hypnotic induction consists of a series of instructions and suggestions delivered to an individual to lead him into a state of intense concentration and increased suggestibility and trigger various therapeutic benefits.
The above-mentioned alternative medicine treatment methods are only some of the many more practiced all over the world and for the sake of medical science, it can be hoped that more research will be carried into these fields to judge their effectiveness.