Alternative medicine

Complementary, alternative or comprehensive health: What do these terms mean?

We often see the terms 'complementary', 'alternative' and 'integral', but what do they mean?

This fact sheet analyzes them for a better understanding and also provides an overview of NCCIH's mission and role in this field of research.

Complementary or alternative methods.

Many people in the United States (more than 30 percent of adults and about 12 percent of children) use health care methods developed outside of traditional or conventional Western medicine. People describe these methods as 'alternative' or 'complementary' interchangeably. However, they are different concepts:

🡢 Si una práctica no convencional se utiliza junto con la medicina convencional, se considera “complementaria”.

🡢 If an unconventional practice is used to replace conventional medicine, it is considered an “alternative”.

True alternative medicine is not common. Most people use unconventional methods in conjunction with conventional treatments.

Integral Health

There are many definitions of “comprehensive” health care (sometimes known as “integrative” or “integrated”), but they all involve conventional and complementary methods in a coordinated way. Increased use of comprehensive methods for general health and wellness has been observed in healthcare settings in the United States.

Today, researchers explore the potential benefits of comprehensive health methods within different contexts. Examples include pain management for military personnel and war veterans, symptom relief for cancer patients and survivors, and programs that promote healthy behaviors.

🡢 Métodos integrales para el manejo del dolor en el personal militar y los veteranos de guerra.

Un problema común entre el personal militar en servicio activo y los veteranos de guerra es el dolor crónico. El NCCIH, el Departamento de Asuntos de Veteranos de los EE.UU. y otros organismos gubernamentales auspician estudios para averiguar si los métodos integrales ayudan en esta área. Por ejemplo, los estudios financiados por el NCCIH prueban los efectos de agregar la meditación consciente, la autohipnosis y otros métodos complementarios a los programas para el manejo del dolor en los veteranos de guerra. La meta es ayudar a los pacientes a sentirse y funcionar mejor, además de reducir su necesidad de consumir medicamentos para aliviar el dolor que pueden causar graves efectos secundarios.

Acupuncture
Acupuncture consists of inserting very fine needles into the skin at strategic points on the body. Acupuncture, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, is frequently used to treat pain. Its use is increasingly frequent to improve general well-being, for example, to manage stress.

Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force, known as 'chi' or 'qi,' which is believed to flow through channels (meridians) in the body. By inserting needles at specific points in these meridians, acupuncturists consider the energy flow to be rebalanced.

Conversely, many western acupuncturists view acupoints as places to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues. Some believe that this method stimulates the body's natural pain relievers.

Why it is done.
Acupuncture is mainly used to relieve discomfort associated with various diseases and conditions, including:

🡢 Chemotherapy-induced postoperative nausea and vomiting
🡢 Tooth pain
🡢 Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines
🡢 Labor pains
🡢 Low back pain
🡢 Neck pain
🡢 Osteoarthritis
🡢 Menstrual cramps
🡢 Respiratory disorders, such as allergic rhinitis

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AROMATHERAPY AND ESSENTIAL OILS.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants to improve the balance of the mind, body and spirit. Cancer patients use it to improve quality of life and reduce tension, anxiety, pain, nausea, and vomiting. 

 

Essential oils are the fragrance-containing part found in many plants. The fragrance is released when the plant is crushed or goes through a special process with steam.

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MEDITATION 

La meditación se ha practicado por miles de años. La meditación puede producir un estado de relajamiento profundo y una mente tranquila. Durante la meditación, concentras tu atención y eliminas el flujo de pensamientos confusos que pueden estar llenando tu mente y provocándote estrés. Este proceso puede resultar en un realce del bienestar físico y emocional.

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YOGA 

Yoga es una práctica que conecta el cuerpo, la respiración y la mente. Esta práctica utiliza posturas físicas, ejercicios de respiración y meditación para mejorar la salud general. Yoga puede mejorar el nivel general de su estado físico y mejorar su postura y su flexibilidad. También puede reducir su presión arterial y su frecuencia cardiaca, reducir el estrés, ayudarle a dormir mejor y ayudar a la digestión.

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HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Herbal medicine products are dietary supplements. They are sold as pills, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, or as fresh or dried plants. People take them to improve their health. Many believe that products labeled 'natural' are always safe and good for them. This is not necessarily true. Medicinal herbs do not go through the same control and tests as conventional medicines.

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Lista de hierbas y suplementos

 

 

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