What is Alternative Medicine?

Today there is an increasing trend in society to look outside the conventional role of medicine to find answers for one’s health care problems and that of their family members. While conventional medicine is preferred in the treatment of trauma and emergencies, Alternative Medicine approaches unconventional therapies that are used in place of conventional medicine excelling in prevention and the treatment of chronic disease. Complementary Medicine is another option; using unconventional therapies as a supplement to conventional medicine. Many of these unconventional therapies are now being recognized and integrated with conventional health care services. Termed Integrative Medicine, these therapies combine conventional medicine and complementary approaches and supplements yet do not replace conventional therapy. Integrative Medicine is based on a physician-patient partnership in which both conventional and alternative modalities are used to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential. It is used for:

  • Managing symptoms
  • Increasing wellness (quality of life and sense of well-being)
  • Improving treatment efficacy
  • Curing illness in some cases

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathic medicine is a natural pharmaceutical science that uses various plants, minerals or animals in very small dose to stimulate the sick person’s natural defenses. The medicines are individually chosen for their ability to cause in overdose the similar symptoms the person is experiencing. “Homoios” in Greek means similar and “pathos” means disease or suffering. Since one’s symptoms are actually efforts of the organism to reestablish homeostasis or balance, it is logical to seek a substance that would, in overdose, cause the similar symptoms the person is experiencing. The medicines, thus, go with , rather than against, the person’s natural defenses.

In essence, homeopathy is composed of two highly systematic methods: toxicology and casetaking. First, homeopaths find out the specific physical, emotional, and mental symptoms that various substances cause in overdose. Homeopathic texts have more detail on toxicology than any other source. Second, the homeopaths interview their patients in great detail to discover the totality of physical, emotional and mental symptoms the person is experiencing. The homeopath seeks to find a substance that would cause the similar symptoms the person has and then gives it in small, specially prepared dose.

Homeopaths, like many modern physiologists, recognize that symptoms represent the best efforts of the organism to adapt to and defend against various stresses or infections. Because the body is not always successful in dealing with every stress or infection, it is important to find a substance in nature that has the capacity to mimic the symptoms the person is experiencing in order to aid the body in its efforts to defend and ultimately heal itself.

What is Botanical Medicine?

In Botanical Medicine, plant preparations are used as medicine to restore health and maintain health. Herbs are complex in that they contain many different active chemical constituents and work best when used whole in their natural state or extracted state. Herbs are used to regulate the immune system, alleviate disease or symptoms of disease, prevent disease recurrence, and to detoxify the system.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Founded upon a holistic philosophy, naturopathic medicine combines safe and effective traditional therapies with the most current advances in modern medicine. Naturopathic medicine is appropriate for the management of a broad range of health conditions affecting all people of all ages.

Naturopathic physicians (N.D.s) are the highest trained practitioners in the broadest scope of naturopathic medical modalities. In addition to the basic medical sciences and conventional diagnostics, naturopathic education includes therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, natural childbirth, classical Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulative therapy, pharmacology and minor surgery.

What is Oriental Medicine?

Oriental Medicine is an ancient holistic system of healing that uses a variety of modalities. Medicinal herbs (and occasionally some animal and mineral products) in whole and natural form are used to treat and prevent mental, physical, and emotional illness. Herbs are believed to restore harmony to the mind, body, and emotions. Eastern Herbalism is frequently used in conjunction with acupuncture and the other modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some of the therapies include acupuncture, acupressure, Tuina, Shiatsu, and Chi-kung (also referred to as Qi gong).