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What Are the Benefits of Complementary and Alternative Medicine?

Laura M. Sands
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The benefits of complementary and alternative medicine can be pain reduction, improved immunity against disease, improving energy levels and reducing stress. When complementary therapy, such as guided imagery or massage, is combined with other therapies, such as chemotherapy, the benefits may also include the reduction of uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. The psychological benefits of complementary and alternative medicine include patients feeling more in control over their health and future, as well as feeling reduced symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.

Individuals who have been stricken with disease and illness are often treated by traditional Western therapies in conjunction with using holistic health strategies in an effort to lessen or completely relieve certain physical and emotional symptoms. While many patients use therapies such as massage, acupuncture and hypnosis on their own, many doctors also recommend the use of complementary medicine in tandem with pharmaceutical approaches to healing. Increasingly, many are recognizing the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine in the support of good health.

One of the reasons that holistic therapies work well in certain cases is that these treatments tend to target better overall health by strengthening a person’s mind and emphasizing changes in lifestyle in addition to focusing on a particular ailment. By doing so, these therapies tend to help people deal with the emotional side effects of illness, which often include stress, depression, fear and anxiety. Using techniques such as improving dietary and exercising habits, combined with meditation and creative visualization, patients often experience a reduction in symptoms while increasing energy levels which may also stimulate physical healing.

The benefits of complementary medicine also include strengthening and improving the immune system. Often, this is accomplished by changes in diet and exercise, but may also be accomplished through treatments such as acupuncture or by using healing herbs. Although many doctors acknowledge the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine, most also advise against using these approaches to healing without being under the care and monitoring of a physician, as well as the supervision of a person trained and certified in alternative therapies.

Direct benefits of complementary and alternative medicine have also been realized through the lowering of blood pressure, blood glucose and blood cholesterol, as well as the relief of headaches and muscle tension. Patients suffering from diabetes and heart disease, in particular, sometimes benefit from therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure through the relief of these and other symptoms. In some instances, the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine even include a reversal in diagnosis for these illnesses.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Laura M. Sands
By Laura M. Sands
Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing to her work. With a background in social sciences and extensive online work experience, she crafts compelling copy and content across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a skilled contributor to any content creation team.
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Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands
Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing...
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