Alternative medicine vs. Self-healing medicine.

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Conventional medicine tried to isolate treatments that it thought were helpful in alternative medicine and gave them a new name - Functional medicine.

Bach flower vs. Acupuncture.

"It is easy to hate, and it is difficult to love. It is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve, while bad things are straightforward to get."

Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, politician, and philosopher. By Simran Khurana (Updated March 18, 2017)

Functional medicine only possesses clinically proven alternative therapies. (In practice, most functional medicine techniques have no proven clinical foundation; what about all the other alternative methods?)


What is Functional (Self-healing) Medicine?

  • Treating the claim as if functional medicine is preferable is difficult without precise definitions of alternative and functional medicine!
  • Functional medicine treats the disease's causes compared to conventional medicine, which treats the disease's symptoms. If you look for explanations for why it differs from alternative medicine, you will encounter difficulty because of the lack of definitions. (Philosophy of medicine)

Unlike conventional medicine, Self-healing functional medicine eliminates the causes of the disease, mental and physical, rather than its symptoms!


My broad suggested definition of Self-Healing Functional Natural Medicine:

"All types of methodologies, techniques of non-invasive medicine (using mainly herbal drugs & natural supplements) for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the body and mind, which can bring about a significant improvement (without considerable side effects) in the overall health of the patient on the long run."


What is Functional Medicine?

Alternative medicine > is broader than Self-healing functional medicine.

Link: List of forms of alternative medicine. (Wikipedia)

You can find a division of alternative medicine into several subcategories, but without guidelines, you will not find uniformity.

  • Experts estimated the annual global turnover of alternative medicine for 2015 at about 40 billion dollars, with very high growth rates.
  • Although this is a vast market, the available data is not up-to-date. There is also doubt about the data's reliability since no single regulator centralizes the information and transfers it to the public in an accessible manner.


My division of the entire field of alternative medicine into subcategories. (Body, Mind, and Spirit) 

First, I distinguish between diagnostic and treatment methods - the main categories.

I divide the treatment methods into 3 main subcategories:

  1. Detoxification. (nutritional and mechanical) Dietary supplements and herbal medicine to relieve symptoms. (Body - Often referred to as the physiological approach)
  2. The placebo effect - treatments dependent on profound belief. (Mind)
  3. Energy medicine. (with movement and without movement) (Spirit) 

I did not find it necessary to fill in tables for each category. I estimate that most readers know which category each treatment is associated with.


I introduced the definition of healthcare (Wikipedia) with an additional sentence (in purple). 

LinkHealthcare (Wikipedia) 

  • "Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health professionals in allied health fields deliver health care."
  • Health care is the maintenance or improvement of health with minimal use of drugs and invasive medicine while wisely using the close connection between the body, mind, and spirit through the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health professionals in allied health fields deliver health care.


Surprisingly, there is no clear definition of alternative and functional medicine.

Recommended link: Conventional Modern Medicine vs. Self-Healing (Alternative) Medicine.

The common ground for all alternative-functional treatments is the self-healing ability that we all possess.

  • In my opinion, conventional medicine and self-healing reflect each other. One treats the body, and the other connects the body, mind, and spirit.

Wikipedia definition of Alternative medicine:

  • "Alternative medicine describes any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine but lacks biological plausibility and is untested or untestable. In some cases, AM treatments are proven ineffective."

MedicineNet definition of Alternative medicine.

  • Alternative medicine is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care.

U.S. National Library of Medicine definition of Alternative medicine. (NLM)

  • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) or "complementary health approaches" are diverse medical and healthcare practices and products that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine.

There are many definitions, the common denominator of which is that alternative medicine is a medicine that is not included in conventional medicine. (This is a definition by way of negation.)

Are the lack of definitions of what is included in alternative medicine and the absence of appropriate supervision and control over them accidental? (I do not know the answer.)


What guiding principles enable treatments to be included with self-healing functional natural therapies?

  1. Treatments that eliminate the causes of the disease rather than its symptoms. While presenting the mechanism of action by which the method operates. (Including the placebo effect)
  2. Non-invasive techniques, without pharmaceutical drugs, use herbal remedies for limited periods.
  3. Significant symptoms improve for extended periods while enhancing objective indicators such as blood tests, urine, imaging, etc. Without considerable side effects.
  4. Therapies that comply with the general principles of Self-healing Functional Natural Medicine.

There is no leading and objective institution to fund research into the effectiveness of alternative-functional therapies.

  • Without adequate funding, there is no orderly and objective study of the effectiveness of alternative-functional therapy. And so it's hard to say which alternative therapies are effective over time and which aren't!

Doctors are uncomfortable admitting they need non-conventional medicine! The name functional medicine doesn't sound inferior!

  • I prefer to define functional medicine as self-healing medicine. 


What are the possible implications of the lack of proper supervision and control over alternative-functional medicine?

  • The lack of definitions contributes to inappropriate supervision and control over this growing field of alternative medicine that may attract entrepreneurs who exploit sick people's distress without obtaining reliable information.
  • Alternative treatments usually have fewer side effects than invasive drugs. The main problem may be losing valuable time to patients with serious illnesses.
  • Regular health insurance does not cover many alternative treatments; long-term treatments can create a significant financial burden.
  • Poor image of the field of alternative medicine. (Mainly among conventional doctors)


Unlike conventional medicine, Self-healing functional medicine eliminates the causes of the disease rather than its symptoms!


Frequently asked questions and answers:
What is the main difference between alternative medicine and functional medicine?
Functional medicine is the parts of alternative medicine that have a rational scientific mechanism of action and a proven ability to improve the condition of patients over time.
Why is there no licensing for the medical professions of alternative medicine for self-healing?
Licensing medical professions for self-healing will cause them to be officially recognized and make them essential, contrary to the interest of conventional medicine.
Why is it desirable to classify the methods of alternative medicine for self-healing into different categories?
For the public's convenience, a clear distinction must be made between diagnostic and treatment methods, which are divided into several subcategories. (Not necessarily according to the categories I classified)
Is the current situation where there are about 100 different alternative medicine techniques for self-healing desirable?
The ambiguous classification of many therapies under multiple titles is undesirable; they may mislead the public.
Is there currently a list of what is included in functional medicine and what constitutes non-functional alternative medicine?
There are currently no lists or attempts to make a diagnosis of what belongs to functional medicine and what belongs to non-functional alternative medicine. This requires extensive and costly research. (There are currently no incentives to fund such research)
Where did the name functional medicine come from, and what does it imply?
The name functional medicine was given by doctors who noticed that they needed therapies that belonged to the field of self-healing (alternative medicine). Still, they did not want to use the name alternative medicine, mainly because of its poor image.
Challenge Yourself, Your Knowledge and Intuition:
Test your self
Alternative Medicine vs. Self-healing Medicine.
1. I'm unsure what the difference is between self-healing and alternative medicine.
The terminology is a bit confusing. The names self-healing medicine, functional medicine, and alternative medicine are ostensibly synonymous, but their differences exist.
See my suggested, most suitable answer »
A more detailed explanation:
1. The most suitable answer is answer number 3.
Attempts have been made, specifically by physicians, to adapt some of the methods of alternative medicine, but only those that seem to have a scientific basis, with positive results in the field, under the heading functional medicine for self-healing. This means that many alternative medicine techniques are not included in this list, especially those that do not have a healing mechanism with a proven and rational scientific explanation.
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