Alternative medicine is a broad term used to refer to any medical practice that isn’t currently accepted by mainstream doctors. It includes a variety of therapies and systems, including energy healing.
Some alternatives have strong evidence that they work, while others have not been tested in a scientific way.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice that uses needles to treat a variety of health conditions. It is said to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and restore balance.
The risks associated with acupuncture are minimal if it’s administered by a competent, certified acupuncture practitioner using sterile needles. However, you should always talk to your doctor before receiving acupuncture.
Massage is a form of bodywork that involves stroking, pressing or manipulating muscles and tendons. It’s used to relieve pain, promote relaxation and increase flexibility.
Massage also reduces cortisol and increases oxytocin, which can help with depression, anxiety and sleep problems. It may also improve blood flow and lymphatic circulation.
A diet is a fancy word for the foods, beverages and other stuff you consume over an extended period. Diets may vary from one person to the next but a wholesome diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats is a surefire way to live a long and healthy life. The medical and scientific community have been lauding the health benefits of such foods for centuries.
Exercise is any activity that requires your body to use energy, such as running, swimming or dancing. It can also include activities that require more effort, like weight lifting or martial arts.
Physical activity has many benefits, from reducing the risk of chronic diseases to boosting mood and self-esteem. It can also help you cope with mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.
Meditation is one of the most widely used complementary health practices in the United States. It is also a key topic of discussion among researchers.
Research has identified a variety of different meditation techniques, which are influenced by both ethical and spiritual contexts. In this way, there is a lack of consensus on how to define risk in meditation. Using a new classification system could help researchers develop better evidence-based research.
Hypnosis is a mind-body intervention used in healthcare to induce a relaxed state of consciousness. It can help people control pain, quit smoking and lose weight.
It is also used to treat anxiety. It’s especially helpful for those who have chronic health problems, like heart disease or high blood pressure.
Reiki is a type of energy therapy that works on the whole person – mind, body and spirit. It’s a system of spiritually guided healing that was first practiced by Japanese master Mikao Usui in the 1930s.
While Reiki hasn’t been proven to cure anything, it can improve pain and anxiety in patients with certain health conditions. It can also help people recover from surgery and manage symptoms of cancer or AIDS.
Herbs have been used for savory purposes in cooking for thousands of years and some herbs can be a source of medicinal value. However, as with conventional medicine, herbal products can cause side effects and interact with medications.
Some herbs can be toxic if taken at high doses or in the wrong way. These include kava, ginkgo, and arnica. They can also increase the risk of bleeding in people taking anti-coagulant drugs, like aspirin or warfarin.
Ayurveda is a traditional healing system that originated in India around 5,000 years ago. It teaches that a healthy lifestyle is about balance and harmony.
Ayurvedic practitioners use a variety of therapies to restore the natural flow of energy in the body. These include herbs, yoga, meditation, and other practices.
Yoga is a type of exercise that uses stretching and postures to improve health. It can also help reduce stress and depression.
Yoga can be safe when practiced properly and under the supervision of a trained instructor. However, it is important to discuss any medical conditions with your healthcare provider before starting a yoga program.