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The Pros and Cons of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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The term ‘alternative medicine’ is often used to describe treatment that is different to mainstream medical treatment. You might also hear the term ‘complementary’ being used in relation to non-mainstream treatment. The two terms are often used interchangeably. However, complementary medicine is typically non-mainstream treatments that are used alongside mainstream treatments while alternative medicine is when non-mainstream treatments are used instead of mainstream treatments.

Complementary therapies are often used alongside conventional medicine in the treatment of diseases such as cancer. And while there is no evidence that complementary treatments cure or prevent cancer, they can help with some of the symptoms.

According to the experts at KIYA Longevity, there are many other conditions that benefit from the use of complementary and alternative treatments, including massage for stress and sleep supplements for insomnia. But what are the pros and cons of complementary and alternative medicine?

Pros

A major benefit of alternative medicine is the fact that it is a whole-person approach to treatment. Naturopathic consultations involve an in-depth discussion about all aspects of the patient’s health. Medical history and family history of disease is all taken into account before a health plan is put in place. Naturopathic doctors create a plan that treats the mind, body, and spirit and not just symptoms of one particular condition. It helps get to the root of a problem.

Another huge advantage of alternative and modern medicine for many people is the fact that it is natural and does not involve synthetic ingredients or chemicals. Naturopathic medicine usually involves herbal remedies derived from plants and herbs.

The cost of alternative and complementary medicine tends to be far lower than traditional medicine, so it can be appealing to some.

Cons

There is still insufficient evidence as to the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine. This means that there is a lot of skepticism about how reliable it is. Consequently, many individuals simply don’t trust it as an effective medical treatment.

As alternative medicine is not regulated in the same way traditional medicine is, there is the risk that herbal remedies could be compromised. Bad actors may try to sell fake remedies that could end up being harmful.

Alternative treatments are not useful for all illnesses and diseases. Moreover, when it comes to emergency situations, traditional treatment is usually necessary.

Traditional medications tend to provide a quicker solution for many health problems, whereas with alternative treatment, it can take much longer to get results.

Before You Start Alternative Treatment

If you are considering alternative therapy for a specific condition, it is best to seek expert advice. It may be that non-mainstream treatments could be used alongside traditional treatment but not instead of, as in the case of cancer, for example.

You might like the idea of natural treatments, but they are not ideal as the only form of therapy for some health conditions.

Remember, complementary and alternative medicine is primarily designed as preventative care so if you already have a medical problem, it is best to discuss treatment with your current doctor as well as a naturopathic doctor to avail of the best plan. It may be that the two professionals can work alongside each other to ensure you receive the best care. In some medical facilities, a naturopathic doctor will work within a team of professionals to provide a full treatment plan for patients.

Summary

Complementary and alternative therapies can be used alongside or instead of traditional medical treatment. There are pros and cons to this, so it is always best to discuss your treatment with a doctor if you have a specific condition.

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