Holistic medicine, also called complementary, alternative or natural medicine, focuses on the body's vital force and natural healing processes, emphasizing health and prevention of illness. It includes numerous treatment modalities, such as herbs, vitamins and other supplements, nutrition, acupuncture, aromatherapy, biofeedpack, chakra balancing, magnetic therapy, homeopathy, meditation and prayer therapy and many others. Some of these methods have been studied scientifically and are well documented. Others are more controversial and have not been rigorously studied but are based on historic tradition and/or theory. Many of these treatments have been labeled quackery by orthodox practitioners. When alternative therapies continued to rise in popularity in spite of this, the mainstream medical community began to study them and integrate them into medical practice. A survey documenting trends in alternative medical use in US from 1990 to 1997 found an increase of 33.8 % to 42.1%. Estimated expenditures for alternative medicine increased 45.2% from 1990 to 1997. (Abstract of the study). In 1998, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine was established as part of the National Institutes of Health. This can be a very helpful resource in finding out if a specific natural remedy has been studied, and if it has any interactions with other medical supplements or drugs or any harmful side effects.  


Changing How We Define Medicine

Holistic Healing vs Traditional Medicine

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The information presented on this site is for reference only and not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of health problems or as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Websites listed are included for informational purposes, and inclusion does not imply endorsement.


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Last updated 11/16/2012


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