Alternative Therapies


In Western culture, alternative medicine is usually considered any healing practice "that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine." It often encompasses therapies with an historical or cultural, rather than a scientific, basis. The American National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) lists numerous examples of alternative therapies, including naturopathy, chiropractic, herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, homeopathy, acupuncture, and nutritional-based therapies, in addition to a range of other practices. It is frequently grouped with complementary medicine, which generally refers to the same interventions when used in conjunction with mainstream techniques (i.e. conventional medicine), under the umbrella term complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM.