In this section of our website, we describe Integrative and Alternative medical systems from around the world. Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Medical Doctors, Midwifery, Naturopathic Medicine, Nursing, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

We offer a knowledge of content designed to educate and raise awareness of Integrative and Alternative Health. All our content is reviewed and implemented by our medical advisory board and is elaborated by professional medical writers and journalists.



Acupuncture (from Latin, acus (needle) and punctura (to puncture)) is a form of alternative or complementary medicine and a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture is a 5,000 year-old Chinese therapy.  Formerly known as Zhenjiu, it is based on the theory that dysfunction or illness is a result of barriers in the network of meridian pathways that extend throughout the body. These obstructions cause disparities in the flow of vital Qi energy.  Health is maintained when the opposite forces of Yin and Yang are in equilibrium and chi flows without disruption. These channels of energy do not exist in a physical form like the way blood travels through veins, even though some research suggests otherwise. They do, however, exist in a more elusive, vibrational mode.

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Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and remains one of the country’s traditional health care systems. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. India’s government and other institutes throughout the world support clinical and laboratory research on Ayurvedic medicine, within the context of the Eastern belief system. But Ayurvedic medicine isn’t widely studied as part of conventional (Western) medicine. This page provides a general overview of Ayurvedic medicine and suggests sources for additional information.

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Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine or Phytotherapy is the study of the use of extracts of natural origin as medicines or health-promoting agents. Herbal medicines differ from plant-derived medicines in standard pharmacology. Where standard pharmacology isolates an active compound from a given plant, phytotherapy aims to preserve the complexity of substances from a given plant with relatively less processing. Herbal Medicine is distinct from homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine and avoids mixing plant and synthetic bio-active substances. Traditional phytotherapy is a synonym for herbalism and regarded as an alternative medicine by much of Western medicine. Although the medicinal and biological effects of many plant constituents such as alkaloids (morphine, atropine etc.) have been proven through clinical studies, there is debate about the efficacy and the place of phytotherapy in medical therapies.

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Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is an alternative medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago. This fact sheet provides a general overview of homeopathy and suggests sources for additional information. There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition. Although people sometimes assume that all homeopathic remedies are highly diluted and therefore unlikely to cause harm, some products labeled as homeopathic can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients and therefore could cause side effects and drug interactions. Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, FDA does not evaluate the remedies for safety or effectiveness.

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Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century. People visit naturopathic practitioners for various health-related purposes, including primary care, overall well-being, and treatment of illnesses. In the United States, naturopathic medicine is practiced by naturopathic physicians, traditional naturopaths, and other health care providers who also offer naturopathic services.

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It is easy to confuse the terms dietitian and nutritionist. In many countries, the title nutritionist is not subject to professional regulation. Any person may call themselves a nutrition expert, whereas the title of dietitian can be used only by those who have met specified professional requirements. One way to distinguish the two is to remember all dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is an expert in areas of food and nutrition. RDNs are accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist has completed an undergraduate program in nutrition and a one year clinical internship program. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists must pass a national exam administered by the American Dietetic Association. Registered Dietitians must also maintain their registered status through continuing education and advanced degrees/certifications for areas of specialization. Examples of specializations include certification as a cardiac dietitian, nutritional support dietitian, sports nutrition, or a certification for diabetes education.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine

Eastern Medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine is a system of health care that has been constantly evolving over the last 3000 years. This health care system is a unique, holistic way of approaching healthcare that incorporates the universal concepts contained in the spiritual concepts of Daoism. The results of this practice are a sophisticated, well rounded, set of practices that not only can cure illness but also to promote health and maintain wellbeing. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a blanket term that includes many different modalities such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, diet, Tuina massage, meditation, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, among others. These seemingly disparate modalities share similar principles regarding the human body and its relation to the universe.

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