Healing is a careful practice, defined by equally careful standards: this is the common belief. There can be no deviations. There can be no distinctions. All procedures are instead to be proven (repeated again and again). Public opinion is dominated by the known; and the masses demand their science to be understood. Variation is thought to be futile, with medicine instead to be accepted by all.
But acceptance by the majority doesn’t always guarantee success — and there are methods that fall outside the realm of the expected. Such methods are not always valued by the scientific community but they have gained respect among their patients; and they are known as alternative medicines.
Defined simply: alternative medicine is any form of healing that is not bound by conventional rules. Its theories are centered instead in cultural contexts — with practices passed down through generations, supporting natural remedies and holistic approaches. These approaches are not validated through testing. They’re instead proven through anecdotal evidence and specific cases (with individuals forced to admit that they’re not always able to succeed). They often feature such treatments as herbalism, acupuncture, breathing exercises, chiropractic techniques and more.
For many the notion of alternative medicine is considered improbable. They assume that it can offer no merit beyond placebo effects — with patients deceiving themselves into wellness, ignoring genuine concerns for emotional release. The truth, however, is far less simplistic. This form of healing has survived countless years and predates all modern techniques. Its foundations of natural remedies and botanical cures have generated much interest; and patients have sought it whenever traditional medicine has failed them.
It is not a certainty (none could deny this). There is no consistent proof to offer, no procedures that have succeeded every single time. Alternative theories are instead just that — alternatives. They may lack the accreditation of their counterparts but they do provide viable options to consider. And individuals must be willing to admit their value.
Medicine is changing — and patients must change with it.