Modern Medicine and Alternative Medicine—What’s the Difference?

It’s human nature to survive. That’s why we do everything we could to stay alive. And one of the factors that can greatly affect the quality of life is health. Hence, if our health is in danger, well, so is our life. And we know that sickness is the primary factor that endangers our health. If you are sick, you have two treatment options—modern medicine or alternative medicine. Which would you prefer? Knowing the difference will help you decide.

Modern Medicine

Imagine a sick person who needed medical help. After seeing his doctor, he headed to the nearest drug store and bought the prescribed medications. This standard of medical care is known as modern medicine. Modern medicine is usually practiced by medical doctors. The health care team, which consists of registered nurses, physical therapists, and psychologists, also practice modern medicine. The most common approach in this field is palliative care—to alleviate pain and treat the symptoms.

Pros. The advancement of modern medicine nowadays is at an increasing rate because of so many medical research and studies. New medications and treatments are being introduced in hospitals and clinics. These aid in the reduction of fatalities due to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, AIDS, and even cancer. Moreover, when it comes to emergencies, modern medicine is the most effective. 

Take for example an allergic reaction to a certain type of food. A worst case of allergy could be life-threatening, but thanks to modern medicine, a person’s life can be saved by just a single shot of antihistamine. Thus, we can say that the effects of modern medicine are faster compared to alternative medicine which requires long term use. Also, the medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which means it’s proven to be safe and effective. 

Cons. On the other hand, taking medications comes with a list of side effects—some even have adverse effects. Besides, doctor appointments, buying the prescribed drugs, and undergoing some laboratory tests will cost you time and money. Needless to say, modern medicine does not cure diseases. In most cases, it can only reduce pain or lessen the severity of the condition. 

Alternative Medicine

People all over the world are attracted to something that is “natural”. And that’s what alternative medicine is all about. It is a natural or traditional way of treatment. Acupuncture, chiropractic care, and herbal medicines are examples of alternative medicine. For some, going to the doctor is their last option. What has influenced this viewpoint? The advertisements and testimonies of people about alternative medicine everywhere.  

Pros. People who opt for alternative medicine spare themselves of painful injections and time-consuming laboratory tests. It’s more of a natural way of healing. Also, it is non-invasive—no surgeries, nor knives involved.

Cons. However, there are also risks in taking in something that isn’t prescribed by your physician. Some supplements may be effective and good for others. For some, however, it can be damaging. Since most of the alternative medicine products have not undergone a deeper study or medical research, some might contain minerals that are toxic to our body and might cause damage to body organs. 

Additionally, most of the alternative medicine has “No Approved Therapeutic Claims”, which indicates that the medications do not have a study that supports and proves its effectiveness. As mentioned earlier, this approach does not give quick results. Since it’s intended for the long term, it will also cost an amount of money.

After discussing the difference between modern medicine and alternative medicine, as well as their corresponding pros and cons, each individual will need to decide for himself—based on his own needs, circumstances, and preferences.