What Is Complementary Medicine?
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Complementary Medicine: New Way for Healthy Lifestyle

Published on Jan 30, 2023 and last reviewed on Feb 28, 2023   -  5 min read


Complementary medicine means the different treatments that can be adjunct to traditional western medicine. Read this article for more information.


Complementary medicine is one of the treatment approaches used in addition to traditional medical approaches like medications, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, as it “complements” these traditional medical approaches. Complementary medicine is also known by other names, such as alternative therapy, alternative medicine, integrative medicine, holistic therapy, and traditional medicine.

Examples of complementary medicine include -

What Are the Benefits of Complementary Medicine?

Complementary medicine focuses on promoting healing and good health. The benefits of complementary medicine include the following:

  • Provides pain relief.

  • Reduces depression and anxiety.

  • Acts as a stress reliever.

  • Reduces symptoms like discomfort, nausea, constipation, and headache.

  • Improves mood.

  • Promotes relaxation.

  • Promotes wound healing.

  • Promotes mental health and well-being.

  • Relieves muscle tension and muscle spasms.

  • Decreases fatigue.

  • Improves stamina.

  • Improves flexibility.

  • Improves circulation.

  • Improves nourishment.

  • Improves quality of sleep.

  • Decreases pain intensity.

  • Improve the quality of life.

  • Reduces side effects from medical procedures.

What Are the Different Types of Complementary Medicine Therapies?

1. Massage: Massage is a body-based practice that functions on the nerve endings and pressure points of the body to provide pain relief and promote healing and relaxation. A few of the forms of massage include -

  • Aromatherapy: It specifically uses essential oils like chamomile, lemongrass, lavender, Bergamot, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, sandalwood, Ylang ylang, jasmine, tea tree, and other ingredients which release good fragrances as an emotional healing component to their massage. This primarily acts on the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which is responsible for influencing hormones that positively affect mood, metabolism, stress level, and sexual desire.

  • Swedish Massage: This is a gentle full-body massage that uses kneading motion, long, flowing massage strokes in the direction of the heart, vibration, deep circular motions, tapping techniques, and passive joint movement techniques that help release muscle knots and muscle tension.

  • Hot Stone Massage: It is a type of therapeutic massage that includes explicitly heated stones in place of or in addition to massage with hands. It is helpful to relieve muscle pain and tension and provide complete relaxation.

  • Shiatsu: This is a Japanese massage technique that promotes emotional and physical calmness and relaxation.

  • Deep Tissue Massage: In this massage technique, the therapist will use intense, slow strokes and deep finger pressure, which helps relieve muscle tension from the deepest layers of various connective tissues and muscles.

  • Reflexology: In this technique, manual pressure is applied to the target points in various body parts, such as the foot, hand, or ear, corresponding to the affected organs or other body parts. It helps relieve symptoms such as pain, constipation, and nausea.

  • Abyanga: It is a traditional oil massage from the system of Ayurveda. It helps nourish the skin by resolving skin disorders and therapeutic effects like blood pressure control, activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, and stress relief.

  • Cranial Sacral Massage: This bodywork massage helps release pressure in the bones of the head, lower back, and spine. This massage helps improve cerebrospinal fluid flow in the central nervous system with th gentle manipulation of bones of the skull, spine, and pelvis.

  • Lymphatic Drainage Massage: This massagepromotes the circulation of lymph fluids through the body by removing toxins and improving circulation in various disorders such as fibromyalgia, lymphedema, fatigue, edema, and skin disorders.

  • Cupping: This type of massage therapy uses heated cups to create a vacuum on the skin, thus increasing blood flow to targeted areas and reducing inflammation.

2. Meditation: This is a type of mind-body technique. Meditation is a relaxation technique that focuses on mental health and well-being.

3. Yoga: Yoga is an ancient form of therapeutic practice that has its roots in India. It mainly teaches gentle exercises that focus on body postures and breathing techniques. It provides physical and spiritual benefits. The most significant forms of yoga are -

  • Hatha yoga.

  • Kundalini yoga.

  • Asthanga yoga.

  • Power yoga.

  • Vinyasa yoga.

  • Restorative yoga.

  • Prenatal yoga.

  • Aerial yoga.

4. Music Therapy: In this therapy, music is used to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of an individual. Music as a medicine functions by -

  • Promoting stimulation or relaxation.

  • Facilitating memory.

  • Developing auditory skills.

  • Enhancing mood and reducing anxiety.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific target points along the lines of energy. This system is used to treat various physical and mental conditions.

Benefits of Acupuncture Include:

It is used to relieve the discomfort associated with certain medical conditions like fibromyalgia, dental pain, chemotherapy-induced symptoms of nausea and fatigue, postoperative issues, aches of the neck and back, labor pain, body ache, and osteoarthritis.

What Is Reiki?

Reiki is a form of Japanese spiritual healing that is related to energy healing. It is believed that it works with the energy fields around the body and involves the transfer of universal energy from the palms of the certified practitioner to the client.

What Is the Effectiveness of Reiki?

Reiki is proven beneficial in improving the flow of energy around the body, promoting relaxation, relieving pain, quick healing, and reducing other symptoms of illness. Reiki is also believed to do distance healing. The techniques used in Reiki are -

  • Centering.

  • Clearing.

  • Beaming.

  • Extracting harmful energies.

  • Infusing.

  • Smoothing and raking the aura.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

It is a system of complementary medicine that is used for the treatment of phobias and other anxiety disorders. It is a therapeutic form in which hypnosis is used to create a trance-like state to achieve heightened focus and concentration.

What Is Herbal Medicine?

This alternative and integrative therapy use parts of a plant, such as its roots, leaves, berries, or flowers, that contain medicinal and healing properties to treat medical conditions like allergies, premenstrual syndrome, fatigue, fertility issues, and anxiety.


It is also known as alternative medicine. Complementary medicine aims to promote health and maintain well-being. It uses a physical and psychological treatment approach that focuses on preventing and curing specific diseases and medical conditions through certain practices that are proven to have positive effects on health when used in addition to the conventional medicine approach.

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Last reviewed at:
28 Feb 2023  -  5 min read




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