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Alternative medicine also known as alternative therapies lie outside the realm ofconventional medicine An alternative therapy is any intervention that is not reimbursable bymost health insurance providers in the United States is not well supported by scientific testsestablishing safety and effectiveness and is not taught by most medical schools in the UnitedStates They are also called adjunctive unconventional or unorthodox therapiesThere are many general areas of alternative medicine This paper will outline just five ofthose general areas and give examples of each One area of alternative therapy is alternativesystems of medical practice One example of this kind of alternative therapy is acupuncture Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of relieving pain and treating a variety of diseases byinserting needles into various parts of the body Insertion of the needles produces a momentarypinching feeling This feeling quickly disappears and may be replaced by occasional tingling or asense of numbness heaviness or soreness while the needles are in place Acupuncture is used torelieve pain and to treat various conditions including arthritis asthma migraine ulcers eyediseases and some mental illnesses Another example of alternative systems of medical practiceis ayurveda This is a traditional Hindu system of improving health by using herbs dietmeditation massage and yoga to stimulate the body to make its own natural drugs Strictlyspeaking it is not a treatment Rather it is an entire medical system whose goal is the preventionof disease through the proper balance of three irreducible principles at work in the body Ayurveda medicine encompasses a wide range of treatments and lifestyle measures includingdietary recommendations massage medicinal herbs and the meditation and breathing techniquesof yoga It is designed to bring a persons tridosha or basic metabolic type into balance Mind-body interventions is another type of alternative medicine An example of thisincludes meditation Meditation is a deliberate suspension of the stream of a consciousness thatusually occupies the mind Its primary goal is to induce mental tranquillity and physicalrelaxation There are many different approaches
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