Alternative Treatment Systems

Traditional Chinese Medicine

- One of the oldest treatment systems in the world. It originated in China 3,000–4,000 years ago.
- Basic principles: Reality is a manifestation of the vital force "chi", and this force also flows through the human body. There are 365 acupuncture points on the 12 main and 8 secondary energy trajectories, or– meridians. The entire universe (including man) is under the influence of the opposing forces of yin and yang; a year has 5 seasons, there are 5 elements, 5 tastes and 5 emotions; the day is structured into zones during which the organs are either activated or dampened.
- Uses diagnostic methods (based on language, pulse, motoric ability, sensory perception. etc.)
- Medical procedures: nutrition, acupuncture, cupping, physical exercise and breathing exercises, massage. The purpose is to restore the correct flow of "chi", emphasis on preventive methods. (303)


- Traditional Indian medicine, 5,000 years old (the oldest preserved health system in the world), translates as "science of life and longevity".
- It is based on the principle that life is in accordance with its own constitution and natural laws. It has a holistic approach; does not repress symptoms but seeks and heals the root cause; health as a balance of energy. It recognizes differences in individuals and takes an individual approach to care.
- Procedures: personalized diets, nutrition, herbal medicines, procedures, yoga, aromatherapy, breathing exercises, meditation, massage, colour and stone therapy, emphasis on preventive methods and longevity. (304)


- Founded 1810 by German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843).
- Basic principle: treat like with like, i.e. the same substance that causes the symptoms of a disease are used to treat it. It typically uses very highly diluted medications (chemically free of any active substance molecule) based on the principle that intangible information is transferred from the active substance to the resulting drug. (305)
- Drugs are most commonly administered as granules, but other forms (ointments, etc.) are possible.
- The treatment is individual and bespoke (two people may be prescribed different medications for the same problem). (306)


- First developed in Europe, especially in Germany, during the 16th–17th century. Includes hydrotherapy, herbal therapy and other traditional practices. Modern naturopathy originated in North America in the first half of the 20th century. It was codified in 1986 in the US.
- Main principles: First and foremost – do not cause harm but heal using the healing power of nature. Heal the cause and the whole person. The doctor is also a teacher. Emphasizes disease prevention and health promotion.
- Naturopathic theories include the following principles: vitality, vitality theory, unity of disease, Hering’s Law of Cure, therapeutic procedures, elimination organs, naturopathic methods (detoxification, revitalization, stabilization and regeneration), toxicology theory, the naturopathic triad of health, humoral theory and complex systems theory. (307)

Anthroposophic Medicine

- Originated in the 1920s and is based on the spiritual-scientific direction known as Anthroposophy, founded by the German philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925).
- Anthroposophy (wisdom about man) understands disease within the context of man’s personal development. The disease is not caused by external factors (e.g. infections), but a person’s inability to cope with them. The therapist seeks the causes behind the imbalance not only in the body but also in the patient's relationship to life and fate; a holistic approach that respects the uniqueness of the patient
- Medicines: from mineral, plant and animal sources, sometimes homeopathic or conventional medicine.
- Procedures: passive procedures – massage, wiping or wrapping the body, baths, etc. - active procedures – art therapy (painting, scultping, music therapy), eurythmy, psychotherapy, speech therapy. (308)