In recent years, people have started to use many alternative healing methods all over the world.

In general, the term “alternative therapy” refers to any health treatment not standard in Western medical practice. When used alongside standard medical practices, alternative approaches are referred to as “complementary” medicine.

Beyond that, complementary and alternative therapies are difficult to define, largely because the field is so diverse. It encompasses diet and exercise changes, hypnosis, chiropractic adjustment, and poking needles into a person’s skin (aka acupuncture), among other treatments.

The benefits of alternative therapies are hotly contested. More research is needed to determine the efficacy of nearly all of these practices, but that hasn’t stopped people from checking them out.

In 2008 (the most recent valid data we could find),more than 38 percent of American adults used some form of alternative medicine, according to the NIH. Here are some of the practices that are changing the way Americans approach medical care.

Some of the practices involved in these healing procedures has helped people relive of their pain, mental stress and anxiety.

Some of the alternative healing methods

Some of the alternative healing methods are listed below.


This has become a very popular alternative healing method all over the world. The acupuncture healing method involves a series of procedures that helps in the simulation of certain points on the body. One of the procedures involved in acupuncture is penetrating the skin with thin needles under the supervision of the practitioner. Millions of people especially from the west use this alternative healing method. The acupuncture healing procedure is helpful for chronic pain and depression.

The acupuncture healing method involves a series of procedures that helps in the simulation of certain points on the body


Acupressure is similar in practice to acupuncture (see below), only no needles are involved. Practitioners use their hands, elbows, or feet to apply pressure to specific points along the body’s “meridians.”

According to the theory behind acupressure, meridians are channels that carry life energy (qi or ch’i) throughout the body. The reasoning holds that illness can occur when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance.

Acupressure is thought to relieve blockages so energy can flow freely again, restoring wellness. More research is needed, but a handful of studies have found positive results.

In 2013, researchers worked with a group of adolescents suffering from insomnia. They found that acupressure helped them fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.Trusted Source

Acupressure may also offer pain relief. In 2014, researchers did a review of existing studies and found that acupressure could relieve a range of issues, including pesky lower back pain, headaches, and even labor pain.Trusted Source

There may even be some mental health benefits as well. A 2015 review of 39 studies found that acupressure provided immediate relief for people experiencing anxiety.Trusted Source

Another study that same year found that acupressure 3 times per week for a month was able to assuage anxiety, depression, and stress for dialysis patients.


Aromatherapy uses essential oils — highly concentrated extracts from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants — to promote healing. It’s a practice that can be traced back to at least 5,000 years ago.

The oils can be inhaled using a diffuser, or diluted in a carrier oil and massaged into the skin. Some are used to treat inflammation or infections while others are used to promote relaxation and calm.

In clinical settings, researchers have focused on aromatherapy for anxiety, depression, pain relief, nausea, and insomnia. In a 2017 study, for example, aromatherapy with lavender was found to promote sleep and reduce anxiety for patients with heart disease.Trusted Source

In 2017, researchers rounded up a group of female nurses working night shifts, curious to see if aromatherapy massage would help their sleep. It turns out, after massage with sweet marjoram essential oil, and drinking a glass of warm water, their sleep quality improved.Trusted Source

If you’ve heard inhaling scents can help with stress, there may be something to that. Though more research is needed in this area, a 2013 study found that pregnant women who inhaled linalool (found in mint) and linalyl acetate (found in lavender) felt calmer after just 5 minutes.Trusted Source

Note: It’s important to consider others in the area when using aromatherapy. Some essential oils can be dangerous for pregnant women, children, or pets. Do not apply them directly to skin, and avoid prolonged exposure without ventilation.

Ayurvedic Healing Method

This healing method is commonly referred to as Ayurveda. The origin of this method in India and has been founded thousands of years ago. Several techniques are present in the ayurvedic healing method. The well-trained practitioners use the herbs, massages and also some specific diets in order to help the people in balancing the body, mind and also the spirit. In addition, this healing method also helps in the promotion of overall wellness of oneself.


This is a widely accepted alternative healing method in the medical community. It is often referred to as complementary medicine. This method focuses to a great extent on the musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders. It also helps in the pain in the arms, joints, legs, neck, back, and head. A very common procedure that is done by the chiropractors is the spinal manipulation which involved applying a limited controlled force to joints.


Homeopathy functions in much the same way as a vaccine: It’s based on the principle of treating “like with like,” meaning a substance that causes adverse reactions when taken in large doses can be used — in small amounts — to treat those same symptoms.

This concept is sometimes used in conventional medicine, as well. For example, Ritalin is a stimulant used to treat patients with ADHD.

Homeopaths gather extensive background information on patients before prescribing a highly diluted substance, usually in liquid or tablet form, to jump-start the body’s natural systems of healing. These treatments are called “remedies.”

There’s some clinical evidence that homeopathy is more effective than placebos for some things, like anxiety in mice. However, that same year, another study on humans showed that it was not effective for treatment of anxiety. The battle wages on.Trusted Source Trusted Source

Some remedies (such as arnica for bruising) show promise. But since remedies are individualized for each patient, it’s difficult to examine effectiveness. More research is needed.

Until we know more, it may not be worth messing around with the more serious stuff, like cancer or chronic conditions. In fact, the NIH says, “there is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective for any health condition.”


Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific areas on the feet, hands, or ears. The theory is that these points correspond to different body organs and systems. Pressing them is believed to positively affect these organs and a person’s overall health.Trusted Source

For example, applying pressure to a spot on the arch of the foot is believed to benefit bladder function. A person can use reflexology on themselves or enlist the help of a reflexologist.

People around the world use this therapy to complement conventional treatments for conditions including anxiety, cancer, diabetes, kidney function, and asthma.

Some studies have found that reflexology can improve depression and hospital anxiety in patients with cardiovascular disease, quell nausea and fatigue brought on by chemotherapy, and reduce stress in general.

If you’re going to try out reflexology, be sure to work with a professional you trust. If performed incorrectly, reflexology can cause pain and bruises.


Reiki is a form of energy healing based on the idea that a “life force” energy flows through everyone’s body. According to this philosophy, sickness and stress are indications that life force energy is low, while energy, health, and happiness signify a strong life force.

In a Reiki session, a practitioner seeks to transfer life energy to the client by placing their hands lightly on the client’s body or a slight distance away from the body. Reiki can also be performed long-distance.

The purpose is to promote relaxation, speed healing, reduce pain, and generally improve the client’s well-being. For the most part, there’s no regulation for Reiki practitioners.

A 2015 analysis found that Reiki may provide pain and anxiety relief for those with cancer, post-operative pain, and other ailments. It’s important to note that out of 49 articles examined, only 7 contained data the researchers considered legit, which means more studies are needed.Trusted Source

2017 studies echoed similar sentiments. A review of 13 studies found that Reiki is more effective than placebo for pain relief, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.

Benefits Of Using Alternative Treatments

Many people have only positive things to say about alternative medicine.  Below are some of the benefits of using it to treat the conditions mentioned.

Chronic Pain

Sometimes, conventional painkillers fail to work. Many people who suffer from chronic pain then turn to alternative remedies for relief. Also, there are individuals who do not have access to pain clinics. This is because their health insurance plan may not provide the necessary cover. They, therefore, turn to alternative pain medication.

Many people who suffer from chronic pain turn to alternative remedies for relief such as acupuncture


Alternative medicine used together with standard medication has been proven to be effective in relieving some cancer symptoms. In addition, they reduce some of the negative side effects caused by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

It Is Cost-Effective

For many individuals who suffer from terminal illnesses, alternative medicine costs less than conventional medicines and therapies. A few of them are not cheap, but for the most part, you will find herbal remedies on a budget. For instance, acupuncture treatments are not as expensive as the usual pain treatments.

Fewer Side Effects

It is rare to find conventional medication that does not have side effects. With herbal alternatives, an individual may experience minimal to no side effects. However, it depends on what you are suffering from.

It is important to only opt for alternative remedies that have been scientifically tested. Before taking any herbal medications, consult your health provider.

Great For Your Mental Health

As mentioned earlier, alternative medicine aims to treat the whole body. This includes:

  • The physical body
  • The mind
  • The spirit

It is therefore good for mental health. Some of the treatments that are great for the mind include:

  • Meditation
  • Massage therapy
  • Visual imagery

The therapies help you to relax and are useful in the treatment of depression as well as schizophrenia.


The bottom line is this: We believe in doing what works, as long as you’ve consulted with a doctor or practitioner you can rely on. You may need a combination of Western medicine and complementary therapies to heal.

Work with your doctor to figure out which alternative therapy will work for you. Also, do not attempt to use any that that has not been cleared for use by the relevant bodies. They may end up adding to your health problems.

As always, do your research and As always, do your research and listen to your body — no one knows it better than you do.