Author(s): Stefan Mager
Alternative medicine includes a variety of healing practices that do not fall within the realm of conventional medicine. Many of these healing systems are based on historical and cultural traditions. The focus is on natural practices that aim to prevent disease or return the body to health with non-invasive methods. Alternative medicines attempt to heal the body as a whole rather than exclusively focus and treat the symptoms of a disease. A growing number of traditionally trained physicians practice integrative medicine today. The use of alternative medicine in developed countries is significant and increasing. Complementary therapies are often used in palliative care or by practitioners attempting to manage chronic pain in patients.