Comparison between Conventional and Alternative Medicine

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Vanderbilt University
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For a while, there has been a heated debate over the conventional and the alternative forms of medicine. Each of the forms has put forwards its claims on why it is the best form of medicine and at the same time tried to disapprove the other. Both forms of treatment are widely used across the globe, and people chose whichever they want to use based on their knowledge concerning that particular form as well as their beliefs (Harris, Cooper, Relton, & Thomas, 2012). There are various kinds of treatment in both the alternative and the conventional medicine, and each has advantages over the other based on their nature as well as based on other various factors like time and cost.

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Yoga vs. Surgery

Yoga is a form of traditional medicine that has been in practice since time memorial. Many advantages have been associated with yoga that is helpful to the body and mind of the person who is exercising it. First of all, yoga is very easy to start. It can be started any including in the house, and it also does require specialized or expensive equipment for it to be started. It can be practiced by one person in an open place or a group of individuals coming together and practicing at no expense at all. Health wise, yoga helps relieve stress; insomnia, anxiety, increase the number of sexual hormones. It also advances the cardiovascular health (Bussing, Michalsen, Khalsa, Telles, & Sherman, 2012). Contrary to yoga, surgery, a conventional kind of medicine is expensive regarding finances and time. It requires a specialized practitioner to perform surgery in a health institution, and this financial burden lies heavily on the patient or those in charge of the patient. Again, it takes a long time before a person can heal completely after surgery which on the other hand leaves ugly marks on the skin which may take many days to clear off the body. However, surgery is effectively more than yoga when it comes to treating chronic diseases like cancer, which do not require body exercises to cure.

Botanical Herbal Medicine vs. Drugs

Natural herbal medicine is the primary form of medicine that is administered in the alternative form of medicine. These herbs have been in use for quite a long time, and they are conducted by a specialized and qualified naturopath. The good thing with these herbs is that they treat the whole body and works at eliminating any kind and type of a disease in the body. They have reduced side effects to the body, have low cost and work well and more efficiently with persistent chronic diseases that do not respond well to other forms of medicine like conventional or traditional medicine (Alissa, 2014). However, these herbs have side effects which include poisoning from the drugs, medication interaction with other conventional drugs as well as the lack of instructions on the way the dosage should be used.

On the other hand, the traditional medicine uses prescribed drugs for the treatment of life-threatening diseases as well as treating injuries and illnesses that are acute. Some of these drugs have been known to be effective especially those that are extracted from herbs. However, people are currently shunning from using the prescribed drugs as they have been claimed to cause most of the deaths currently among the patients. These deaths are inclusive of the wrong miss-prescriptions that the doctors make to their patients and more so the severe side effects that the drugs cause to the people. Unlike the herbs, the prescribed drugs treat specific illnesses and not purposely eliminating and preventing diseases like it is in the alternative medicine.

Acupuncture vs. Radiotherapy

Acupuncture is a form of treatment that is used in the alternative kind of treatment. It aims at bringing a balance in the body energy. Acupuncture is a method that has been practiced over time to effectively improve the general health of a patient, treat, prevent and diagnose a disease early enough before it could cause adverse effects to a person. It is used to treat diseases like migraines as it is an effective method of relieving pain. Other diseases dealt with by this approach include emotional disorders like anxiety as well as digestive problems like vomiting (MacPherson, Vertosick, Foster, Lewith, Linde, Sherman, & Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration, 2016).

There are no side effects associated with this form of acupuncture, hence an advisable practice that should be used as it is mostly done once after a long time but the effectiveness is felt or a long time. On the other hand, radiotherapy is also used to treat diseases like cancer and blood disorders, but the problem is that is associated side effects. As much as it is helpful in destroying the cancerous cells, it destroys the healthy body cells in the process, and this weakens the person who is undergoing the treatment (Groenewald, Konstantinidis, & Damato, 2013). Radiotherapy is extremely expensive, and some patients end up giving up medication halfway as it is demanding regarding resources and time.


Both alternative and conventional forms of medicine have their particular role the play in ensuring the well-being of human bodies. However, fewer side effects have been identified in the alternative medicine; hence it would be advisable for the practitioners in the modern form of treatment to incorporate the alternative medicine methods in their practice. The aim of this integration is to yield maximum benefits from the alternative method and ensure that some of the side effects the conventional method has are well dealt with efficiently.


Alissa, E. M. (2014). Medicinal herbs and therapeutic drugs interactions. Therapeutic drug monitoring, 36(4), 413-422.

Bussing, A., Michalsen, A., Khalsa, S. B. S., Telles, S., & Sherman, K. J. (2012). Effects of yoga on mental and physical health: a short summary of reviews. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.

Groenewald, C., Konstantinidis, L., & Damato, B. (2013). Effects of radiotherapy on uveal melanomas and adjacent tissues. Eye, 27(2), 163-171.

Harris, P. E., Cooper, K. L., Relton, C., & Thomas, K. J. (2012). Prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by the general population: a systematic review and update. International journal of clinical practice, 66(10), 924-939.

MacPherson, H., Vertosick, E. A., Foster, N. E., Lewith, G., Linde, K., Sherman, K. J., ... & Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration. (2016). The persistence of the effects of acupuncture after a course of treatment: A meta-analysis of patients with chronic pain. Pain.

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