alternative medicine

(redirected from Natural Cures)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to Natural Cures: Natural remedies

alternative medicine,

the treatment and prevention of disease by techniques that are regarded by modern Western medicine as scientifically unproven or unorthodox. The term alternative medicine can encompass a wide range of therapies, including chiropracticchiropractic
[Gr.,=doing by hand], medical practice based on the theory that all disease results from a disruption of the functions of the nerves. The principal source of interference is thought to be displacement (or subluxation) of vertebrae of the spine, although other areas
..... Click the link for more information.
, homeopathyhomeopathy
, system of medicine whose fundamental principle is the law of similars—that like is cured by like. It was first given practical application by Samuel Hahnemann of Leipzig, Germany, in the early 19th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
, naturopathynaturopathy
or naturopathic medicine,
branch of alternative medicine concerned with holistic and noninvasive methods of treating illness and maintaining health.
..... Click the link for more information.
, acupunctureacupuncture
, technique of traditional Chinese medicine, in which a number of very fine metal needles are inserted into the skin at specially designated points. For thousands of years acupuncture has been used, along with herbal medicine, for pain relief and treatment of various
..... Click the link for more information.
, herbal medicineherbal medicine,
use of natural plant substances (botanicals) to treat and prevent illness. The practice has existed since prehistoric times and flourishes today as the primary form of medicine for perhaps as much as 80% of the world's population.
..... Click the link for more information.
, meditation, biofeedbackbiofeedback,
method for learning to increase one's ability to control biological responses, such as blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate. Sophisticated instruments are often used to measure physiological responses and make them apparent to the patient, who then tries
..... Click the link for more information.
, massage therapy, and various "new age" therapies such as guided imagery and naturopathy. Although many alternative therapies have long been widely employed in the treatment of disease, the scientifically oriented modern medical establishment has typically been skeptical about, and sometimes strongly opposed to, their use. Despite this, Americans spend billions of dollars on alternative treatments each year. In 1993 the U.S. National Institutes of Health established the Office of Alternative Medicine to examine the merits of such techniques. See also holistic medicineholistic medicine,
system of health care based on a concept of the "whole" person as one whose body, mind, spirit, and emotions are in balance with the environment. Stressing personal responsibility for health, a holistic approach may include conventional medicine and various
..... Click the link for more information.

alternative medicine

therapeutic practices based on understandings of the human organism, the disease process and its treatment, which are different to those held by Western scientific medicine. Conceptualizing alternative medicine thus always implies some under standing of the principle features of orthodox 'S cientific’ treatment. These are usually held to be:
  1. a mechanical/materialistic understanding of the body and of disease;
  2. a doctrine of ‘specific etiology’, i.e. that all disease is caused by specific material pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, defective genes, etc;
  3. a vigorous interventionist therapeutic stance using surgery or chemical drugs to correct, oppose or reverse the disease process;
  4. patient passivity and compliance with the regimen dictated by an expert profession.

Proceeding in this way towards a ‘negative’ definition of alternative medicine, however, has its dangers as it suggests a unity within both fields which is in fact absent. If regular medicine is materialistic, therapeutically aggressive, etc. (and it sometimes, but not always, is), then it is too easy to assume that all alternative approaches subscribe to opposite principles: viz: a holistic understanding of the body and disease, involving an indissoluble unity of mind and body; a 'S ympathetic’ therapeutic stance, aimed at enhancing the body's own healing processes; a cooperative relationship between therapist and patient; and an active role for the patient in regaining health. While some systems of alternative medicine do exhibit these features (for example, homeopathy), others (such as chiropractic) do not.

Sociological work on alternative medicine is a recent development, and has tended to focus on four main areas:

  1. rather than accepting therapeutic principles at ‘face value’, interest has been shown in the social processes underlying the negotiation of the legitimacy of therapeutic principles, and of medical knowledge in general (thus the regular/alternative boundary is not fixed only by epistemological criteria, but is also historically fluid, and contingent on issues of professional power);
  2. issues of organization and professionalization;
  3. the resurgence of popular (and regular medical) interest in alternative medicine (involving a complex of reasons, all related in some way to a recognition of the damaging effects of science and technology – it is no accident that interest in green politics and green medicine have emerged more or less together);
  4. the increasing interaction between regular and alternative practitioners, and the incorporation of alternative therapy into regular practice (processes which have led to the use of the term ‘complementary therapy’ rather than ‘alternative therapy’).
References in periodicals archive ?
There is indeed an urgent need today to develop affordable and available natural cures (aside from coconut oil) to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease or slow down progress of the disease for several years.
Since I was a child I have heard people (mostly older folks) say, "There has never been an illness without a natural cure. We just have to find it." As I get older I realize how true this is.
The natural cures it provides can be used from head to toe.
Natural remedies such as multivitamins, vitamin C supplements, pro-biotics, echinacea, lomatium root and olive leaf extract are also recommended as natural cures which should be taken at the first sign of swine flu or any other illness.
Some promise intrigue (Natural Cures "They" Don't want You to Know About).
You know, this kind of persecution is just the kind of thing Kevin Trudeau, author of the bestseller Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, warns about.
"The Most Effective Natural Cures On Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What Treatments Work And Why" by board-certified nutritionist and weight loss authority Jonny Bowden is a superbly informative reference for non-specialist general readers with an interest in the use of vitamins, foods, supplements, and treatments applicable for more than seventy-five common illnesses and ailments.
This review is about his New York Times best seller: Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About.
The visible tip of the iceberg is Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, by Kevin Trudeau, a book purporting to provide natural cures which have been suppressed by governmental and corporate interests.
"Herceptin Hype: Big Pharma's new 'Miracle Cure' for breast cancer is inferior to free, natural cures."
Inside, the store shelves are filled with natural cures, herbs and vitamins.
This time he is pushing his book, Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You To Know About, The "They" of course refers to the FTC, the Food and Drug Administration, associations like the American Cancer Society, and of course, pharmaceutical companies, all of whom, according to Trudeau, want to undermine the health of the public for their own greedy motives.