When it comes to healthcare, you have many choices. There is standard Western medical care, and there are other less conventional methods. A combination of these two is often called complementary healthcare. An approach that combines both conventional with nonconventional medicine, known as integrated therapy, treats the person's mind, body, and spirit. Using this approach may improve your overall health and well-being.
Common complementary healthcare methods
Acupuncture. Thin needles are used to improve energy flow throughout the body.
Ayurvedic medicine. Promotes the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices.
Chiropractic. Spinal adjustments are used to improve health. They may also enhance movement and reduce pain.
Herbal therapy. Plant-based remedies are used to treat a range of health problems.
Homeopathy. Highly diluted remedies are used to boost the body’s healing power.
Massage therapy. Touch is used to improve blood flow. It is also used to relax muscles, relieve tension, and reduce aches and pains.
Mind-body therapy. The connection between state of mind and physical health is used to enhance well-being.
Naturopathy. Nature-based treatments are used to improve health.
Treat the person, not just the illness
Complementary healthcare does the following:
It treats both the person and the root causes of the person’s illness
It focuses on the whole person and not just on his or her symptoms. You may be asked about your personal life and your work life. You may also be asked about your beliefs and attitudes. The goal is to reveal other factors that may be affecting your health.
It stems from the belief that you can improve health from within. So, part of your care will be to learn ways to help bring about healing. This, in turn, may help prevent future problems.
The healing power of participation
Complementary healthcare works best when all who are involved in care play an active role. But don’t forget that you—not your healthcare providers—are in charge of your health. And with the help of a medical healthcare provider and a complementary healthcare provider, you can decide on the best ways for you to get and stay well.
The healing power of the body
Complementary healthcare providers are trained in giving treatments that can help release your body’s healing force. This force can bring balance and stability to your health. This is called homeostasis. The treatments used often come from nature. They may be plant- or mineral-based. Or they may involve a hands-on approach with touch or body adjustments.
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.