(2001) According to the alternative medicine homepage, alternative medicine could take the form of eccentric, untraditional, unconfirmed or complementary, assimilative and novel therapies. (Alternative medicine homepage, 2008). That said there are many different type of alternative medicine interventions from acupuncture, use of herbs, homeopathy, to the use of prayer (faith healing), music, laughter and sound, which is why there are numerous definitions of alternative medicine. While they may not be fully accepted as part of mainstream western medicine, they have nonetheless grown to play a considerable role in medicine. More so that in the US congress established the Office of Alternative Medicine. Growth is evident in the fact that the use of alternative medicines increased in 1997 by 8.3% from the figure in 1990 of 33.8%. The concerns into the use of alternative medicine lie in the fact that patients use them without first notifying their doctors and physicians. This has important ramifications. Think of the mishaps that may occur when the cocktail of drugs prescribed by the physicians, mixes with the herbs provided in alternative therapy. (Silverstein & Spiegel, 2001) Or a situation where the patients believe alternative therapy may work better than the prescribed medications.
According to Silverstein & Spiegel, the use of alternative medicine has ...
In the media, television and radio stations have also developed programmes around the concepts of alternative medicines and therapies. Newspapers may provide commentaries and pullouts on complementary therapies. And, one can find alternative practitioners and therapists listed in the telephone directors on how to reach them. It is not surprising that laughter clubs and groups can also be found where people meet and use laughter as a form of exercise. (2001)
Prayer. For as long as religion has been a part of human life, prayer has occupied a central role. Concomitantly, people have used prayer for thousands of years especially for purposes of healing. On average people have at one time or another prayed for their health. According to the National centre for complementary and alternative medicine, (NCCAM) prayer is part of the complementary and alternative medicine therapy. To the council, a link exists between prayer and health, based on evidence that certain religious practices are associated with better health and long life of their followers. Despite the fact that prayer has been linked with immune, cardiovascular and physiological benefits, it has not been scientifically proven yet. (Focus on complementary and alternative medicine, 2007)
Music. Nowadays music is not only something we listen to when we want to relax, it is also a form of alternative medicine, referred to as music therapy. It is used for instance by pregnant women to help them cope with the 'baby blues'. Music has been associated with alleviation of mood changes plus to relieve chronic pain and back pain. When used by pregnant women for some time music therapy has been