Alternative Treatments and Therapies: Science or Snake Oil?

Medical science is the product of trial and error going back thousands of years. Countless remedies and procedures were tried in an effort to treat and cure various illnesses and injuries. The majority had little to no effect, while some did more harm than good. But over time, humanity developed various treatments and therapies that proved effective in helping people heal and recover.

While modern medicine has come a long way from the primitive methods of the past, the process of trial and error remains the same. We’re always exploring new options in an attempt to develop better ways to treat the medical maladies that impact everyone sooner or later.

With this in mind, alternative treatments and therapies should always be given the benefit of the doubt until they prove to be adverse. While there is no replacing the knowledge and expertise of licensed physicians with years of education and experience under their belts, and nobody should ever go forward with unproven treatments without first consulting their doctor, alternative medicine is not without its potential merits.

Let’s take a look at seven alternative treatments and therapies that may prove effective:


The practice of acupuncture goes back thousands of years. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. The belief is that these inserted needles will stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. While acupuncture is not recognized as a proven medical technique, many people claim the procedure helped cure them of chronic pain as well as alleviate the symptoms of depression.


As the name suggests, aromatherapy is the practice of using aromatics to improve one’s physical and psychological well-being. While there’s no evidence to suggest aromatherapy is effective at treating any specific disease, there’s no denying the influence that aromas can have on our mental state. Since there’s growing evidence that suggests our emotions can influence our physical health, the practice of aromatherapy with the use of essential oils and other aroma compounds is something everyone should consider to improve their health and wellness.

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Chiropractors are licensed professionals who utilize manual techniques to adjust the spine and improve the body’s musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic medicine is often used in an effort to treat chronic back pain, neck pain, migraines, and similar ailments. Many people are surprised to learn that chiropractors are not medical doctors, although most do hold a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. As such, chiropractic is considered a pseudoscience by many in the medical field. With that said, many chiropractic patients swear by its effectiveness.


One of the most widely known forms of alternative medicine, homeopathy involves treating various conditions by utilizing the apparent cause of the affliction. For example, someone suffering from chronic allergies may be given a concoction consisting of diluted pollen. Since the body’s immune system is strengthened through exposure, there’s something to be said about the basic concept behind homeopathy. However, it’s important to note that homeopathic medicine is not recognized by the medical community.


A cure for cancer remains the holy grail of modern medicine. While we’re not there yet, various alternative treatments are being explored, one of which is immunotherapy. Immunity Therapy Center, a cancer treatment center in Mexico, is leading the way in the use of immunotherapy as a way to get the body’s immune system to recognize cancer cells and destroy them. Of all the alternative cancer treatment options currently available, immunotherapy shows the greatest promise. With that said, more studies are needed before mainstream medicine considers immunotherapy an effective cancer treatment option.

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We’ve all heard about mothers who suddenly possess the strength to lift very heavy objects to save their children. It’s an example of “mind over matter.” While no amount of adrenaline or meditation can make someone fly or withstand gunfire, there’s something to be said about how the mind affects the body. By utilizing various mindfulness techniques, individuals can help their bodies heal as well as push themselves to perform remarkable feats of strength and endurance.


As the name suggests, naturopathy utilizes natural remedies and therapies. Since most forms of medicine are derived from nature and therapies often utilize the power of lifestyle changes, the concept of naturopathy is sound.

Medicine is a never-ending work in progress. Yesterday’s alternative therapies are tomorrow’s mainstream solutions. While you should always consult your doctor before going through with alternative medicine, the potential benefits of various forms of alternative medicine should always be considered.