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alternative medicine…a heterogeneous set of practices 'that are offered as an alternative to conventional medicine, for the preservation of health and the diagnosis and treatment of health-related problems; its practitioners are often called healers'; alternative health care practices constitute a vast array of treatments and ideologies, which may be well-known, exotic, mysterious, or even dangerous, and are based on no common or consistent philosophy; the practitioners range from being sincere, well-educated, and committed to their form of healing, to charlatans, deprecatingly known as 'quacks'. See Fringe medicine, Holistic medicine, Integrative medicine, Office of Alternative Medicine. Cf Unproven methods for cancer management.
Alternaive therapies, types of
- Alternative (formal) systems
- Acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy
- Body awareness
- Exercise and movement therapies, eg dance therapy, martial arts, yoga
- Manipulative therapies
- Chiropractic, Hellerwork, Rolfing®
- Mental therapies
- Humanistic psychology, hypnosis
- Natural remedies
- Diet, eg macrobiotics, naturopathy
- Sensory therapies
- Art, color, and music therapy
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.