Internal medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases in adults.
Though many of the conditions covered by this discipline affect internal organs like the heart, stomach, lungs and kidneys, internists do not have to use invasive methods to treat them. This is due to the fact that there are many non-invasive therapies that have been proven to cure ailments.
These non-invasive complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that can be used by internal medicine physicians can be divided into alternative medical systems, mind body therapies, manipulative therapies, energy therapies and biologically based therapies.
1. Alternative Medical Systems
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an alternative medical systems and it includes therapies like acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion and cupping.
Acupuncture has been proven effective for treating allergic rhinitis, biliary colic, tension headaches, low back pain, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and even nausea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
Ayurveda is another alternative medical system which originated from India and it includes therapies like yoga, meditation, massage and diet.
Studies suggest that yoga can lower blood pressure and relieve anxiety and depression. Certain yoga poses have also been shown to be effective for reducing low back pain.
2. Mind Body Therapies
Biofeedback is a type of mind body therapy which involves controlling body responses like blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension by using feedback obtained from monitoring devices.
Biofeedback has been proven to be effective for treating asthma, high blood pressure, epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Meditation is another mind body therapy that involves focusing the mind and controlling attention.
Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleep problems, blood pressure and stress. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia and psoriasis.
3. Manipulative Therapies
Massage is a manipulative therapy that involves moving the soft tissues manually in order to maintain their flexibility.
Studies suggest that massage can be used to reduce stress, insomnia, anxiety, constipation, depression, headaches, back pain and joint pains.
4. Energy Therapies
Reiki is a biofield energy therapy that entails the practitioner channeling spiritual energy through their hands to enhance healing. It is used for people with cancer to help reduce fatigue and anxiety.
Healing touch is another biofield energy therapy which entails the practitioner doing hand movements above the patient to clear and balance energy fields in and around their. It is used for people with cancer to help reduce stress and pain and anxiety.
Magnetic healing therapy is a bioelectromagnetic energy therapy that involves placing magnets on different parts of the body to unblock the flow of energy and enhance healing. It is used to relieve pain.
5. Biologically Based Therapies
Herbal medicine in one of the biologically based therapies and it involves the use of herbs and spices for their healing effects.
Studies have shown that the herb St. John’s wort is effective for treating mild to moderate depression. Ginger the spice, has been shown to be effective for the treatment of nausea.
Using dietary supplements is one of the biologically based therapies that is used for healing.
Studies have shown that 5-HTP (5 Hydroxytryptophan) can improve the symptoms of depression almost as effectively as prescription medications. 5HT has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia like pain and morning stiffness.
Aromatherapy is another of the biologically based therapies and it involves using essential oils for their healing effects.
A study found that neroli essential oil was effective for lowering blood pressure and reduing anxiety in people who were going to have a colonoscopy.