There are a wide variety of healing methods that are not generally accepted by practitioners of conventional medicine. These are generally known as traditional medicine and alternative medicine. In developing countries the majority of the populations rely on traditional medicine for their health needs. In poor areas many cannot afford conventional medical treatments, while other people simply prefer traditional methods.

         Alternative forms of medicine are also thriving in wealthy countries. Among the most popular types of alternative treatment are acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, and herbal medicine. Some of these practices have been scientifically studied and proved beneficial for certain a condition, the effectiveness of certain methods, however, has not been adequately established.

         The increased popularity of alternative types of medicine has raised some safety concerns. In many countries such healing therapies are not regulated. This provides an environment where harmful self-medication, counterfeit products, and quackery can thrive. Although being well-intentioned, friends and relatives lacking sufficient training often become self-appointed practitioners. All of this has resulted in adverse reactions and other health hazards.

      In several countries where regulations are in place, alternative forms of therapies are gaining acceptance in the conventional medical community and are offered by medical doctors. Still, there seems to be no valid claim that these methods will ever bring about a world without sickness.   

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