The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how important it is to stay healthy. During the past year, more and more Americans have been paying attention to their well-being. Because of this increase in interest in health care and medical treatments, people have begun to turn to alternative means of improving their health.
According to experts from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, more than 30 percent of people in the United States are making use of some type of non-conventional medicine. If you’re interested in exploring other forms of medicine, you should familiarize yourself with some of the most popular types of non-conventional medicine.
Below is an explanation of the difference between complementary medicine and non-conventional medicine as well as four of the most popular forms of these medicines in the US.
Non-Conventional Medicine and Complementary Medicine
When most people talk about alternative medicine, they tend to conflate non-conventional treatment with complementary medicine. But what are the differences between these two terms?
Non-conventional medicine and alternative medicine are different terms used to describe a wide range of treatments that aren’t part of standard medical practice. Some of these treatments have already been verified as effective my studies. A vast majority are still unproven or the studies on them haven’t found conclusive evidence of their effects.
Complementary medicine refers to any form of alternative treatment that is used alongside more conventional medicine.
For example, treating erectile dysfunction with acoustic wave therapy is a form of alternative medicine. Going to a chiropractor while also doing physical therapy for a broken leg is an example of complementary medicine.
Here are some of the more popular forms of alternative medicine and non-conventional treatments in the country.
1- Acoustic Medicine
Acoustic medicine refers to the use of sound waves and vibrations to affect the body. Some types of acoustic medicine are already used in mainstream medicine. For example, some clinics use ultrasonic sound wave emitters to break down kidney stones. Some forms of acoustic or sound-based medicine are less documented, and they include procedures that try to affect the way organs function. This may involve some form of sound-emitting device placed near or pointed at the organ in question. The sound is directed into high-energy shock waves, which causes vibrations and muscle stimulation in the location.
2- Detox Medicine
Detoxification is a naturally occurring process in which the body flushes out toxic and waste substances. This process occurs through multiple organ systems, from the circulatory to the urinary tract. Detox treatments seek to heighten or speed up the body’s natural detoxification process through various means.
Some detox treatments tout the benefits of Yogi detox tea in flushing the body clean of waste. Others recommend cleansing diets comprised mainly of fiber-rich food and beverages full of antioxidants. Popular foods among detox diets include acai berries, goji berries, watermelons, and other fresh produce.
Many cultures in the east believe that you can affect the body by tapping into the flow of its energy. In China, this energy is known as chi. Contrary to popular fiction, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine don’t view chi as some ethereal mystical force. Instead, it’s just another bodily substance like blood or oxygen.
Acupuncture is a centuries-old tradition of using fine needles to alter the flow of chi. The needles are placed in key points along the body. Practitioners carefully pierced their patients with the needle, sometimes even using lit candles and cups to create suction around the needles. Acupuncture is often used alongside physical therapy and medication for conditions like gout, arthritis, and muscle fatigue.
4- Chiropractic Medicine
Chiropractic medicine is a form of alternative treatment that involves manipulating the structure of the spine and the nervous system. Chiropractors achieve this by vigorous massage of the neck and the back, focusing with a combination of gentle rubbing and occasional twists. Chiropractors may also occasionally provide other types of treatment alongside massages. These include using different temperatures or making use of electromagnetics.
Chiropractic medicine also covers ergonomics. Their practitioners sometimes help rehabilitate their patients by checking if their home or work environment is conducive for the health of their spine. They may recommend changes in chair, posture and suggest a physical activity that will facilitate spinal health.
Medicine is an always expanding field, and alternative treatments are part of the way medical practitioners broaden their horizons. If you’re interested in finding different methods of treating ailments and furthering your well-being, alternative treatments and non-conventional medicine may be just what you’re looking for.