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Alternative Therapy

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More About Alternative Therapy

Alternative therapy or alternative medicine is a healing practice of using unconventional medicinal methods to cure certain illnesses or alleviate pain. In some instances, alternative therapy is often based on the cultural traditions of the indigenous people of a particular place. These may include herbs, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, chiropractic therapy, homeopathy, in addition to a range of other practices.


While many do not have scientific studies to prove their effectiveness, alternative therapies have increased in availability and are now generally accepted by the public. These therapies, often of eastern descent, are either alternative to traditional western methods or complementary to conventional treatments. In Australia, alternative therapies have gained a strong support given the current trend for alternative lifestyles.

The practitioners of alternative therapies in Australia are represented by the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) and are bound to provide the highest standards in preventive alternative medicine. The ANTA was founded in 1955 and represents approximately 5,900 practitioners in the field of alternative medicine.


The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the regulatory body for therapeutic goods under the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, has issued stringent guidelines and high standards for the safety of the general public when using alternative medicine. It demands the monitoring of dangerous chemicals such as pesticides and toxic metals present in herbal supplements and ensures that consumption of these goods is in a timely manner.

Advantages of alternative therapy

  • Alternative therapy promotes responsibility for health and can have fewer side effects when applied properly.
  • If appropriate for the patient's condition, alternative therapy can be effective as a primary or complementary treatment.
  • Alternative therapy can reduce stress and reduce the risks of certain diseases.
  • Alternative therapy such as acupuncture and herbal supplements are more affordable compared to modern treatments such as surgery and prescription drugs.

Disadvantages of alternative therapy

  • It may not be an immediate solution or treatment to a condition.
  • It often requires patience and discipline especially when applying for longer periods of time.
  • Some alternative therapies are not as effective as others as they will work better for some people over others. It can be advantageous to look through a few options before deciding to stick to one approach.
  • Health insurance generally do not cover all of the costs of alternative therapies such as acupuncture.


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