20 Alternative Therapies, Their Origin and Benefits


Alternative therapies are a diverse group of medicines and treatments that have not been part of conventional Western medicine. These therapies may be used instead of, or in addition to, traditional Western medicine

Alternative therapies can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, cancer, and heart disease. They have a long history in many cultures, including India, China, Japan, and Africa. In this blog article, we will discuss what an alternative therapy is.

What is Alternative Therapy?

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of alternative therapy. Generally speaking, though, alternative therapies are any healing practices that fall outside of mainstream medicine. This can include everything from acupuncture and aromatherapy to yoga and meditation. Alternative therapies are often used in conjunction with traditional medical treatments, but they can also be used as standalone healing modalities.

There is a growing body of research suggesting that alternative therapies can be effective in treating a wide range of conditions, from pain and anxiety to cancer and cardiovascular disease. While not all alternative therapies have been rigorously studied, there is evidence that many of them offer benefits for both mind and body. If you are considering trying an alternative therapy, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe for you and to determine whether it is likely to be effective for your particular condition.

What is an example of Alternative therapy?

Alternative therapies are treatments that are used in place of more traditional medical approaches.

There are many different types of alternative therapies, but some common examples include acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga.

These therapies can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, from pain relief to anxiety and stress management. While alternative therapies are not always backed by scientific evidence, many people find them to be effective for managing their health. As such, alternative therapies continue to grow in popularity as more people seek out ways to improve their well-being.

In this blog article we discuss many common types of alternative therapies that are popular now :

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a Chinese system of alternative therapy that uses fine needles to stimulate certain points on the body. The stimulation of these points may benefit sore throats, nausea, and vomiting following surgery, chronic headaches and osteoarthritis. Acupuncture has also been used in the treatment of high blood pressure, asthma, migraine headaches, infertility and addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Acupuncture originated in China more than 2,000 years ago as a form of healing after observing how animals could be cured by manipulating their pressure points. The practice spread from China to Japan during the 5th century BC and then later into Korea and Vietnam before reaching other parts of Asia including India where it remains popular today.

Beginning in China, it is based on the idea that ill health is due to blockage of ‘qi’, or vital energy.

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy used to treat various conditions. In acupuncture, hair-thin needles are inserted into specific points on the body called meridians. The insertion of these needles is said to unblock ‘qi’, or vital energy, which flows through your body along pathways called meridians. The idea behind acupuncture is that when this vital energy gets blocked in certain areas of your body, it can cause illness and pain. Acupuncture practitioners believe that inserting the needles at these points will help relieve this blockage and restore a balance in your body’s qi flow.

2. Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique is a psycho-physical therapy that aims to change postural habits and develop an awareness of how we move ourselves. It was developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) who noticed that his voice problems were caused by tension in his neck muscles. Subsequently, he started researching alterations to the way he moved which led him to discover how to release tension from his body.

He believed that there was an ideal balance between mind and body and he tried to restore this balance by improving posture, breathing and thinking patterns through exercises such as vocalization or hand movements

This psychophysical alternative therapy aims to change postural habits and develop awareness of how we move ourselves.

Studies suggest the technique may help back pain, problems with movement and posture, and improve performance in singing, acting, playing musical instruments and public speaking.

In addition to these benefits for physical ailments such as back pain or headaches (which often include muscle tension), Alexander Technique has also been shown to improve mental health issues like anxiety or depression due to its ability to relieve tension throughout the body by improving posture.

3. Aromatherapy

It was developed by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse (1881-1950), a French chemist researching essential oils who used lavender oil to treat a burn.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants to improve physical and emotional health. Essential oils are extracted from plants and are made up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When applied topically, inhaled, or taken internally as a tincture or capsule form, the VOCs are absorbed through the skin or lungs and enter your bloodstream.

The benefits of aromatherapy include relaxation; stress relief; pain relief; mood elevation; immune system enhancement; improved sleep quality; reduced acne breakouts and stress-related acne flare-ups (which may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties); increased energy levels after exercise sessions due to its invigorating scent which stimulates hormones such as adrenaline and dopamine (the happy brain chemicals).

This treatment derives its effects from plant extracts called essential oils which are absorbed into the bloodstream through massaging the skin or inhaling them. Essential oils are extracted by steam distillation, expression, or solvent extraction. They can then be used in aromatherapy and perfumes and cosmetics.

Essential oils have been used as a part of wellness practices for thousands of years. They are applied to the skin and inhaled through massage, baths, or vaporizers.

The most common types of essential oils used for aromatherapy are lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia), chamomile oil (Matricaria recutita), and bergamot orange oil (Citrus aurantium), ylang-ylang flower oil (Cananga odorata) and sandalwood oil (Santalum album).

4. Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine)

Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that originated in India around 3000 BC. It’s based on the idea that health is determined by the balance of the three doshas: Vata (air and ether), pitta (fire), and Kapha (water). In Ayurveda, illness occurs when these doshas become unbalanced. If a person has too much Vata, for example, they may experience anxiety or insomnia; if they have too much pitta they could develop inflammation or hot flashes, but if you have too much Kapha then you might gain weight easily and feel sluggish.

Ayurvedic practitioners will assess each patient’s dosha balance through physical exams—looking at things like color, complexion, eye health, and tongue coating—and then prescribe treatments ranging from dietary changes to exercise regimens to herbal remedies depending upon what needs addressing most urgently.

5. Chiropractic therapy

Chiropractic therapy is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the relationship between the body’s nervous system and the spine. Chiropractors believe that misalignment of the spine can affect the nervous system and cause disease.

Chiropractors will examine the spine to find areas where bones are out of place, causing pressure on nerves located in those areas. By manipulating these joints or tissues, chiropractors aim to reduce pain and improve function by relieving pressure on affected nerve roots as well as restoring mobility through stretching tightened muscles and tendons.

6. Massage Therapy

Massage is a manual technique to help relax the muscles and improve circulation. It can assist with a wide range of health problems, including lower back pain and headache. Massage therapy can also improve sleep and reduce stress. There are many types of massage like Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, and trigger point therapy. Massage therapy is often used as a complementary therapy to help relieve pain and improve function in patients with lower back pain.

7. Acupressure

Acupressure is a form of massage in which pressure is applied to specific points on the body. It is believed to be effective in treating pain and stress, but it’s also used as an alternative medicine technique for improving general health. Acupressure has been around for thousands of years, originating in China and India.

Acupressure has many benefits, including helping people feel less stressed and more relaxed overall. Additionally, it can help reduce headaches by increasing blood circulation around certain areas of the brain that are responsible for pain management. Finally, acupressure may help relieve nausea caused by motion sickness or pregnancy-related symptoms such as morning sickness; however, this benefit hasn’t been studied extensively yet so there isn’t enough evidence supporting its use in these situations yet (though some people have reported positive results).

8. Naturopathy

Naturopathy is a holistic approach to health and wellness. It emphasizes the use of natural methods for maintaining wellness, with a strong emphasis on the body’s ability to heal itself. The term naturopathy comes from the Greek words naturos (natural) and pathos (suffering or disease).

The practice of naturopathy was developed in Europe during the 19th century and was based upon traditional healing systems such as homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture. Naturopathic practitioners believe that disorders are caused by disruption or imbalance of vital forces within a person’s body or mind. They believe that people can regain their health by using non-invasive therapies including diet changes, lifestyle adjustments, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, and other modalities appropriate for each patient’s needs

9. Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.

The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words — Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power”, and Ki meaning life force energy. So Reiki means channeling ki energy through your body, mind, and spirit in order to promote healing. Reiki is used to improve the body’s natural ability to heal itself. It also enhances the immune system, relieves pain and stress, improves overall health and well-being, and can be used for many other purposes. balance your energy, improve your health, and increase your overall well-being.

10. Homeopathy

Homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like”. The principle of Similia similibus curentur (like cures like) is derived from the law of similarity and states that a substance that causes disease symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat an illness with similar symptoms in another person.

Another law used by homeopaths is the Law of Infinitesimals (dilution), which states that each successive dilution increases its potency (the term ‘potency’ refers to its ability to accelerate healing). This means that even though there may only be one molecule of the original substance left after each dilution step (according to believers), this small amount still retains all the properties of the initial substance—and therefore has similar effects on patients being treated with it!

11. Reflexology

Reflexology is based on the idea that there are reflex points on the feet, hands, and ears which correspond to different organs and systems in the body. It may help relieve pain and stress, as well as promote optimal health. Reflexology has been used to treat a wide range of conditions including asthma, diabetes, headaches, and infertility.

In addition to being used by itself for specific ailments or issues (such as insomnia), reflexology can also be combined with other complementary therapies such as massage therapy or acupuncture for enhanced treatment outcomes.

12. Balneotherapay

Balneotherapy, or balneotherapy, is a holistic treatment using water, steam, and mud to address a range of health problems. It’s based on the idea that the body is made up of four elements — earth, water, fire, and air — and that balance between them is important. Balneotherapy can be used on its own or in conjunction with other therapies such as massage or hydrotherapy (use of water).

Balneotherapy may also be referred to as spasmodic bathing. The word “balneum” means bathhouse in Latin; balneology refers to the study of baths and bathing customs. Balneotherapy uses these practices for medical purposes; spasmodic bathing focuses specifically on spa-related treatments for health problems; balneary refers specifically to public bathhouses where people go for relaxation

13. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a type of alternative therapy that uses pressure and movement on the body. It can be used for a wide range of conditions, including muscle pain and stiffness, stress management, improving blood flow, reducing anxiety and depression, and relieving headaches. Massage has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine approach to healing. Massage therapy is a form of physiotherapy that uses touch to relieve pain and promote wellness. It’s used to treat a variety of conditions, including sports injuries, headaches, arthritis, and more. Massage therapists manipulate soft tissue using their hands or by using tools such as massage lotions and oils. They work with your body’s natural healing process to improve range of motion, decrease stress on muscles and joints and increase blood flow.

14. Herbal Therapy

Herbal therapy is a practice that uses herbs to promote healing, relieve pain, and improve general well-being. Herbs are plants that have medicinal properties; many of them have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. Modern herbalists use herbal therapies to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety and depression, fatigue, headaches, and indigestion. Herbal medicine is the use of plants and plant extracts for medicinal purposes. It’s one of the most ancient forms of medicine in the world, dating back thousands of years. Herbal alternative therapy relies on the healing properties found in different herbs, flowers, roots, and other plant materials.

15. Yoga Therapy

Yoga is an ancient system of exercise, meditation, and spiritual practice. It’s a mental, physical, and spiritual discipline that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Yoga is one of the most widely practiced forms of exercise in the world today. However, it is much more than that. It’s a way of life that includes physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation and relaxation techniques. Today, yoga is used as a form of alternative medicine to reduce stress and promote well-being. This therapy uses the physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditations from yoga to help improve physical health by increasing flexibility and strength.

Yoga therapy is a form of complementary medicine that uses postures and breathing techniques from yoga to relieve stress and improve health and well-being. Yoga therapy is one of the many forms of alternative medicine

16. Faith healing

Faith Healing Therapy is the use of prayer or spiritual means to promote healing. It is a set of beliefs, practices, and rituals that aim to use spiritual powers or faith in a supernatural force to overcome an illness or other physical and mental conditions. Faith healers may claim that their methods are effective because the person being healed doesn’t have complete control over health, which makes it easier for others to exert influence over them.

Faith healing uses prayer, meditation, or other methods such as laying on of hands to bring about a spiritual connection between the healer and the patient.

17. Sound Healing

Sound therapists believe that different sounds can have therapeutic effects on a person’s body, mind, and spirit. It’s a form of alternative medicine that claims to be able to cure physical and mental ailments by using the human voice, musical instruments, or other devices such as crystal bowls.

This alternative therapy uses sounds to create a change in the body, mind, and spirit. It focuses on harmonizing the vibrations within the body to make it feel more relaxed. The idea behind this therapy is that when you’re stressed or anxious, your energy levels are low; therefore, by changing these vibrations you can improve your energy levels and overall well-being. Sound therapy uses the healing power of sound.

18. Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation and reduced blood pressure. It’s similar to meditation, but the difference lies in the fact that it can be used as a therapeutic tool for pain relief. Hypnosis therapy uses slow, rhythmic breathing techniques and guided imagery.

Hypnosis is an alternative therapy that has been used for centuries to help with a variety of issues, including pain management and stress relief. The specific origin of hypnosis is unknown, but it is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt.

During a hypnosis session, a person is typically in a state of deep relaxation. They may be asked to focus on certain thoughts or images, and they may also be given suggestions to help them relax or improve their mood.

Hypnosis is generally considered to be safe, and it can be an effective way to help people cope with various issues. However, it’s important to work with a qualified therapist who can ensure that the experience is positive and beneficial.

19. Colour Therapy

A color therapy session usually involves placing different colored lights on your body while you relax or meditate. Colour therapy, also known as chromotherapy, is an alternative therapy that uses colors to promote healing. The idea behind color therapy is that different colors can have different effects on the body and mind. For example, blue is said to be calming and soothing, while yellow is said to be energizing. There is no scientific evidence to support the claims made by color therapists, but many people believe that it can be effective.

The history of color therapy dates back thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine both used colors to treat various health conditions. In the early 20th century, a German doctor named Fritzmeier developed a system of using light and color for healing. Today, there are many different color therapy treatments available, including massage, light therapy, and acupuncture. While there is no scientific proof that color therapy is effective, many people believe in its power to heal.

20. Biofeedback

Biofeedback is an alternative therapy that uses feedback from bodily functions to help patients learn to control them. The feedback can come in the form of sounds, visuals, or other sensations. Biofeedback was first developed in the early 1970s as a way to treat conditions like migraines and hypertension. It has since been used to treat a variety of mental and physical conditions, including anxiety, stress, arthritis, chronic pain, and even incontinence. While biofeedback is not a cure-all, it can be an effective tool for helping patients take control of their own health.


Alternative therapies are becoming more and more popular, especially among the younger generation. They can offer an effective way to improve your health and wellbeing in ways that conventional medicine may not be able to do. While there is still much research needed to fully understand how these methods work, you should approach them with an open mind as there’s no harm in trying something new!

Looking for an alternative therapy practitioner in your area? Browse our directory here.

Disclaimer: The information and advice contained in our articles are intended for general informational purposes only. The content on our site does not provide any medical advice and only reflects the opinion of writers. You should always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health or wellbeing.

Author: Yogchakra

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