Conventional vs Complementary Medicine: Differences

Health is the foundation of a fulfilling and vibrant life. It encompasses physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and is vital for our overall quality of life. In today’s age, there are many approaches to medicine, treatment and ways of  looking after our health. 

In this blog, our team will compare two different approaches of healing: Conventional and Complementary Medicine.

What is Conventional and Complementary medicine?

Conventional Medicine is based on the principles of evidence-based medicine, which involves diagnosing and treating medical conditions using drugs, surgeries, and other interventions that have been rigorously tested through scientific research and clinical trials. Conventional medicine is typically administered by medical doctors and healthcare professionals and is often used to manage and treat a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses. 

Complementary Medicine refers to a diverse range of healthcare practices, treatments, and therapies that are used alongside or in conjunction with conventional Western medicine. These practices are often employed to complement or enhance the effectiveness of mainstream medical treatments. Complementary medicine includes approaches such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, chiropractic care, yoga, meditation, and various other holistic and alternative therapies. 

Methods that each of the approaches use

We know that conventional based medicine is fully backed by science, and it includes a range of treatment methods such as: pharmaceutical medications,

physical rehabilitation, psychotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery. 

However recently, there has been a growing interest in complementary therapies, due to the better understanding of herbs and their healing power, as well as the acknowledgment of the healing power of our bodies and subconscious mind.

Complementary medicine can be categorized into five main types:

Alternative Medical Systems: These encompass traditional systems such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Osteopathy, and Naturopathy.

Mind-Body Interventions: These practices include psychological procedures that promote mental well-being while also calming the body.

Biologically Based Treatments: This category involves the use of herbs and other natural substances for healing and wellness.

Manipulative and Body-Based Methods: Practices like Chiropractic care and massages fall under this category, which focuses on physical manipulation for therapeutic benefits.

Energy Therapies: Energy-based therapies like Polarity, Reiki, and Healing Touch aim to balance the body’s energy fields for improved health and well-being.

 

Comparing approaches in different diseases

Cancer

Comparing treatment approaches for cancer, we divide the two main categories:

Conventional Treatment: In conventional medicine, the primary treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and the possibility of transplants when required.

Alternative Treatment: Alternative approaches encompass various methods, such as detoxification using substances like EDTA for heavy metal removal, oxygenation therapy aimed at increasing tissue oxygen supply, and specific diets like the Gerson diet, emphasizing organic fruits and vegetables, or the Budwig protocol, which combines cottage cheese and flaxseed oil for enhanced blood oxygenation. Additionally, alternative therapies include hyperthermia, cryotherapy, and stem cell therapy. These alternative treatments are often used alongside, but not as substitutes for, conventional cancer treatments.

 

Chronic Illnesses

 Chronic illnesses encompass long-lasting health conditions that typically demand continuous medical monitoring and care. Conventional medicine employs a range of strategies to address chronic illnesses, including precise diagnosis, treatment planning, medication management, disease management, surgical interventions, rehabilitation, and chronic pain management.

On the other hand, alternative approaches to the treatment of chronic illnesses offer a diverse array of options that can complement or augment conventional medical care. These alternative methods encompass nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic care, meditation and mindfulness practices, yoga and tai chi, homeopathy, Ayurveda, energy healing, aromatherapy, and hypnotherapy. When considering these alternatives, it’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals to ensure safe and effective integration with conventional treatments.

 

So which one is the way to go?

Ultimately, the decision between alternative and conventional medicine should be made after careful consideration, research, and discussions with qualified healthcare providers. Each of these approaches has its pros and cons, and each of them have their consequences. The goal is to choose the approach or combination of approaches that best align with your needs, values, and the specific requirements of your health condition.

 

References:

Heal Navigator. (November 20, 2020). The Most Successful Alternative Cancer Treatments: The Most Successful Alternative Cancer Treatments (healnavigator.com)

Oxford College. The Science behind Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The Science behind Complementary and Alternative Medicine • Oxford Learning College (oxfordcollege.ac)

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