What is the real definition today of Alternative Medicine?
25 years ago it was TM.
20 years ago it was Chiropractors.
15 years ago Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga.
10 years ago it was Acupuncture.
5 years ago it was Chinese herbal medicine and Homeopathy and now? The best definition may just be all of the above plus: Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Spiritual Healing, Qi Gong and Tai Chi, massage, raw food diets and just about anything else you can imagine.
Today the different possible ways to find health and wellness are as creative and as they are unconventional. The U.S. Government funded National Institute of Health is spending millions of dollars every year funding studies on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, so they must believe the tides are shifting from our “conventional medicine”.
Why are the tides changing you ask? Alternative medicines focus on the whole person not just the disease symptoms. People are becoming mistrustful of pharmaceutical companies as reports surface on the inherent dangers and adverse effects of prescription drugs along with the increased cost. Thirty years since the war on cancer was declared, no cure is in site. People are turning their hope for cures and better health to Alternative Medicines where practitioners spend time with their patients and often include help with the emotional trauma of their disease. Something our conventional medicine can no longer afford to offer in a medical system based on insurance reimbursements and medicare funding.
As this tide changes we also find a return to our roots. Quite literally roots, barks, berries, leaves and all parts of nature are part of the new "alternative" health trends. We can now find just about any plant/herb in a bottle and on a store shelf. Health food stores are popping up even in rural America. Costco sells row upon row of health supplements and vitamins. Herbal medicine is come back in vogue and is the trend rather than the exception.
This new definition of what is alternative is changing as we speak. Although we may not have a clear definition of Alternative Medicine it is becoming anything but alternative.