When it comes to health, illness and getting better, many individuals opt for alternative therapy. There are several different types of complementary treatment methods and reasons to take this route instead of traditional medicine. This is a personal choice, although it should be discussed with your doctor.

For more info on complementary treatment methods and alternative therapy, see below.

What is Alternative Therapy?

Alternative therapy is any type of treatment or healing that is not included in the traditional medicine group of treatments. Some alternative therapy examples consist of:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Homeopathic treatments
  • Faith healing
  • Massage therapy
  • Ayurveda
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Activity

These complementary treatments can be used in conjunction with traditional medication and actions such as surgery and chemotherapy. Not all doctors are willing to entertain the idea of different types of treatments, but there is a good argument for helping with the quality of life.

What Can Complementary Therapy Do For You?

Complementary and alternative therapy can help individuals with:

  • Improvement in a patient’s emotional well being
  • Relieve depression and anxiety
  • Expand their physical strength
  • Help manage fatigue and pain
  • Relax and cope with the stress of treatments and the illness itself

Alternative therapy or complementary treatments can be administered in many different ways. It is up to the patient, with the help of their physician, to decide what is best for them.

Complementary Treatments and Alternative Therapy Explained


This is one of the most common of the alternative therapies as it has been around as a complementary treatment for many different illnesses for many years.

Dating back to the ancient Chinese, acupuncture is done to balance a person’s “qi” or the “ying” and “yang” of a person’s center. The process uses needles as thin as a piece of human hair, to put pressure on various points in the body.

Acupuncture is said to have a calming effect on most individuals and helps with pain management more than any other symptom. It has also been proven to be good for headaches and migraines.

Some individuals report having less symptoms with the following:

  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Hot flashes
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight changes/appetite loss
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Lymphedema
  • Depression and anxiety

Chiropractic care

Although chiropractors have been around for several years, not that many individuals take advantage of what they can do for the body and its overall health.

A chiropractor concentrates on the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system and can help with much more than back pain.

Benefits of chiropractic care include:

  • Back/neck pain relief
  • Mental clarity
  • Bowel regularity
  • Joint pain and arthritis relief
  • Asthma treatment
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Help during pregnancy
  • Scoliosis relief
  • Surgery prevention
  • Improved organ function

Homeopathic treatments

This type of therapy is based on the theory that “like cures like”. This means that whatever has caused your illness, something similar, with the same side effects, should be administered in smaller doses to cure the illness.

One example is allergies. If you are allergic to something and it makes your nose run and your eyes water, then a little of something that gives you similar symptoms would be helpful.


Ayurvedic medicine is the oldest “whole-body” systems for healing the body, developed in India over 3500 years ago. This system for health relies on the balance between the spirit, the body and the mind. When the three work together, the individual will be at their optimum level of health.

This practice also believes that if your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe, where everything is connected, you are going to be at your best health. Although Ayurvedic medicine is geared towards prevention, there are some practices that help to alleviate illness and pain.

Massage therapy

This is also known as Deep Tissue Massage and sometimes referred to as Swedish massage. This therapy is about realigning the muscle connections through massage. It can sometimes be painful, depending on what type of aliment you are suffering from, but after a short period of time, you will feel much less tension and find relief in your sore muscles.

Massage therapy is good for illnesses like Fibromyalgia and muscular dystrophy (MD), although it is not recommended for everyone. A person should not get a massage that goes deep into the tissues more than once or twice a month. This is because the tissue and muscles need time to regenerate in addition to having toxins released from such a massage.


This is the easiest type of help with illnesses, anyone can come up with. And yet, it is one of the hardest to implement if you like sugar, processed foods, meats and general good foods.

A nutritionist can tell you which foods would be best to avoid and which ones to eat during your treatment. He or she can come up with a plan that would help you get better and remain well after your treatments have finished.

A plan for eating well needs to be one that you will stick to, and it can’t be too restrictive of the foods you really enjoy eating, as long as there are healthy alternatives. It also needs to be healthy and taste good, something that is often difficult for the everyday fast-food-eating person to comprehend.

You will also learn about healing herbs and what to take with what foods and when. This is important as many herbs and foods work in tandem to create a healthier body.

Physical Activity

This is not limited to exercise, but can include a certified physical therapist to assist in targeted movements. The physical therapist will come up with an individualized plan of movement and exercise that will assist you in your goal of feeling better and maintaining a healthy body.

Physical activity may include yoga, Tai Chi and other Eastern inspired exercises can also be incorporated into a movement plan to help an individual with certain illnesses and symptoms.

To be sure an alternative therapy or complementary treatment will work for what illness, you are suffering from, talk with your physician first.