Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used instead of conventional (standard) ones. If you use an alternative treatment along with conventional medicine or therapy, it's considered complementary therapy.
There are many forms of alternative medicine.
For many people, acupuncture is an effective means of relieving pain. This may be particularly true for back pain and headache pain. Acupuncture may also help relieve pain due to:
How acupuncture relieves pain is not entirely clear.
Hypnosis is a focused state of concentration. Self-hypnosis (in which you repeat a positive statement over and over) or guided imagery (a technique to create relaxing images in your mind) may be simple but effective ways to reduce pain for many people.
Hypnosis is being considered for pain relief following surgery and during labor, as well as for pain due to:
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.