Until recently, there has been a battle between proponents of alternative medicine and believers in conventional medicine. It seemed that to back
one was to deny the other. This is no longer the case. An increasingly knowledgeable public is aiming for health and wellness, a more general term that recognises that both conventional medicine and alternative medicine have something to offer. These two fields now create a whole new medical approach.

What is conventional medicine?

Conventional medicine is used to describe the services that treat the symptoms of a disease or illness with prescribed medications and surgeries. Conventional medicine treats the ailing part of the body but may not address the underlying causes of the illness or disease. This area of medicine is what is practiced in hospitals and most doctor’s offices in the Western world. Backed by the FDA and multiple scientific studies, conventional medicine is highly regulated for the benefit of the patient.

What is alternative medicine?

An alternative form of treatment to conventional medicine, alternative medicine attempts to treat the patient as a whole – the mind, spirit, and body – to prevent diseases and illnesses from occurring and creating a better overall quality of life rather than just a body free of symptoms. Because it acknowledges that the patient’s physical health is directly affected by state of mind and spiritual health, alternative medicine offers preventative
treatments that are often relaxing and non-invasive.

Can conventional medicine co-exist with alternative medicine?

Increasingly, more and more people would like to believe so and are introducing alternative therapies, such as massage therapy and energy balancing, into their daily lives. When sick, these people may still go back to their western allopathic medicine for speedy recovery.

In fact, “integrative medicine” is the term coined for which the scientific and objectivity of conventional medicine is complemented with the subjective, more personal dynamics of alternative medicine. It is a new movement that is driven by consumers, that is, patients who demand

higher standards of health; in short, total wellness. In addition to providing the best conventional care, integrative medicine focuses on preventive lifestyle measures. These lifestyle measures include diet, exercise, stress management, and emotional well-being. However, as it is still evolving, more needs to be investigated into precisely what “integrative medicine” stands for and what it advocates.

In the meantime, for anyone, it is important to understand the principles of each area of medicine. Only then, can one benefit from making a wise choice in terms of one’s health and wellness.

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