16 Nov 2021 10 Ways Alternative Medicine Differs From Traditional Western Medicine | Synergy Health Associates

When someone is ill and seeks treatment, there are two main paths to choose: alternative medicine and traditional western medicine. Some people are more comfortable with a more scientific approach, while others prefer to try a less-invasive way to heal. Both approaches are valid and they have their pros and cons, but it’s important to be aware of how they differ from each other. Having a correct understanding of both healthcare modalities will give you stronger arguments for when you determine which option you prefer.

What Is Alternative Medicine?

Alternative medicine is a broad term that has come to encompass diverse medical modalities gathered over the years from various cultures around the world. These diverse modalities are rarely taught in the traditional Western medical setting, however, they are supported by age-long tradition. This kind of medicine generally refers to medical practices that don’t fit into traditional medical practice. They range from herbalism to the ancient Eastern practices of Tai Chi and acupuncture, as well as chiropractic manipulation, Reiki, and several others. Since the 19th century, these modalities have been referred as “alternative” to differentiate them from allopathic medicine.

What Is Traditional Western Medicine?

Allopathic medicine is what most people know as traditional Western Medicine, mainstream medicine, evidence-based medicine, or conventional medicine. It’s the type of medicine in which patients to to the doctor and they’re usually treated with drugs, rehab or surgery.

Differences Between Alternative Medicine and Traditional Medicine

Here are the ways alternative medicine differs from traditional Western Medicine:

  • Approach– Alternative medicine focuses on a holistic approach in achieving wellness while traditional medicine employs a disease-centric approach.
  • Nature of Treatment– Alternative healthcare practitioners use methods that stimulate the ability of the body to heal itself while traditional medicine uses pharmacological or invasive techniques that are symptom-specific. The alternative approaches are also more individualized compared to traditional medicine.
  • Scientific Evidence– Mainstream medicine is backed up by scientific evidence. While there is not enough documentation about research evidence on alternative medicine, these methods have been studied and researched upon and are considered effective and safe if practiced by a professional.
  • Risk– There seems to be a sense of risk attached to alternative medicine because it is not backed by the government when compared to traditional medicine regulated by the FDA and other government agencies.
  • Ingredients– Some patients believe that the alternative forms of medicine are better and safer than mainstream medicine because they use more natural ingredients. While this is true, it’s important to note that not all-natural products are totally safe for everyone.
  • Side Effects– Many patients, especially those at the severe end of the disease spectrum, prefer alternative therapies because of the pleasant side effects they induce when compared to mainstream medicine.
  • Accessibility– A lot of people find traditional medicine more accessible than traditional medicine because it is more affordable, easier to understand, and closer to their residences.
  • Diagnosis of Unexplained Symptoms– Most patients with unexplained symptoms and syndromes feel poorly served by mainstream medicine and prefer alternative medicine that may provide a naturopathic or homeopathic diagnosis.
  • Limitations– Patients dealing with minor illnesses tend to prefer treatments using alternative medicine as the treatment options available within mainstream medicine may be limited.

Common Forms of Alternative Medicine

Common forms of alternative medicine include:

  • Acupuncture– Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that uses small needles to treat certain conditions.
  • Chiropractic therapy– This therapy employs manipulation of the bones, tissues and muscles to provide relief from musculoskeletal conditions. Looking for a certified chiropractor in 5th Avenue NY, contact Dr. Loretta.
  • Tai chi and Yoga – Tai chi originated in China and is a martial art involving a series of postures that help improve balance and reduce pain. Yoga is also an ancient exercise that does the same through different poses, postures, and meditation.

Others include:

  • Reiki
  • Massage
  • Hypnosis
  • Ayurveda
  • Reflexology
  • Herbalism
  • Homeopathic medicine

Get The Healthcare You Need | Alternative Medicine in New York

If after reading this blog post you’d like to know more about alternative medicine in New York, schedule a consultation with Dr. Loretta, a specialist in New York holistic medicine. At Synergy Health Associates, she can offer you many alternative approaches for you to heal. For more information, call (608) 201-5406.

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