Alternative medicine is a term that describes medical treatments that are used instead of traditional (mainstream) therapies. Some people also refer to it as “integrative,” or “complementary” medicine. Some examples of alternative medicine are:
- Chiropractic Medicine
- Energy Therapies
- Herbal Medicine
Some methods of alternative medicine date back centuries, others were carefully developed in the last 100 years.
Yoga originated in northern India more than 5,000 years ago. Acupuncture dates back to 100BC China, where sharpened needles and bones were used to carry out the pain alleviating treatment. Some forms of alternative medicine were more recently introduced to the world, such as chiropractic medicine, which was developed in 1895 in the United States.
Since that time, techniques and instruments used have been modernised, the skills of practitioners honed, and understanding of the basis of each different form of alternative medicine has been researched and further developed to enhance efficacy.
Alternative medical treatments are found all over the world, however the most sought after options and treatment facilities are located in Thailand and India.
Other than the obvious health benefits, there are several reasons people travel to access these forms of treatment. Occasionally, the alternative medicine a person is seeking may not be available in their home country. It’s also common that the alternative therapy is available, but the version of the treatment has been adapted to Western norms and they are seeking a practitioner who will carry out a more pure version of the treatment.
Alternative medicine in Thailand is often a combination of alternative and Western therapies that are carried out in either hospitals, specialized treatment centres or wellness spas.
In India, alternative medicine is hugely popular and embraced by both natives and visitors. The approach in India’s most popular form of alternative medicine, Ayurveda, is based on the belief that every person is unique – there is no one-cure-fits-all approach.
There is a growing demand for the recently discovered anti-aging regenerative medicine, which is typically a combination of both Western technologies and alternative medicine. This type of treatment also focuses on the patient being a completely unique individual – it takes into account lifestyle, family medical history, genes and more. Mineral and hormone deficiencies are also tested for and taken into account when medicines, hormones and neutraceuticals are prescribed.
It’s important to always check how your health insurance covers alternative medicine, and travel for this type of healthcare