What Are the Different Types of Alternative Medicine for Pain?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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When traditional treatments such as pills and prescription medicine fail to work, some people choose to go with alternative medicine for pain. While there are some doubts about the scientific legitimacy of alternative medicine, it is still a viable and seemingly effective option for many people. In order to gain a better understanding of alternative medicine for pain, it's helpful to know what some of the most common types are. The various options generally available include magnet therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, reiki and aromatherapy.

Magnet therapy is an alternative medicine for pain that has gained substantial ground in recent years. The premise of magnet therapy is that it reduces pain by helping blood flow to the area of the body experiencing pain. While this form of treatment has been in existence for thousands of years in Asia, it has only recently grown in popularity throughout the rest of the world. In order to implement magnet therapy, an individual will typically place a magnetic strip around the problematic area. Many people prefer this method because it doesn't have the side effects that many prescription medicines have.


Acupuncture is a technique that was developed in ancient Chinese medicine and is also gaining popularity. This alternative medicine involves placing tiny, thin needles into a person's body in strategic locations, known as points. The idea is that the needles help regulate a person's energy, which ultimately alleviates pain. This practice is also preferred by many people because of the low risks and side effects.

Another option that many people are familiar with is hypnosis. The idea behind hypnosis is that stress and pain are interwoven, and reducing stress should in turn reduce pain. When implementing hypnosis, a hypnotherapist will use verbal suggestions that are intended to help a person overcome pain by changing how the mind interprets it.

Reiki is a type of alternative medicine for pain that utilizes touch therapy. To perform this therapy, a practitioner will place his hands on strategic regions of the body in order to balance the energy levels. Many cancer patients who experience pain choose this option instead of drugs and have found it to be quite beneficial. While this practice isn't generally accepted in western medicine, the use of reiki is gradually becoming more popular.

An additional option is aromatherapy. In this type of alternative medicine for pain, the patient inhales aromatic oils. These oils are thought to have a calming effect on the body, which in turn alleviates pain. While the legitimacy of this treatment remains unproven, some individuals have experienced significant pain relief from aromatherapy.


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