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An alternative medical system is an umbrella term for a number of practices beyond the scope of conventional medicine.

These alternative medical practices are built upon a complete system of ideas and practices. Although they may have evolved in Western or Eastern cultures, alternative medical practices are entire systems of health theory and practice developed separately from conventional medicine.

These may include aspects of Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, and osteopathy, as well as acupuncture, acupressure, and holistic medicine.

Typically, these systems would fall under the definitions of complementary and alternative medicine and may depend heavily upon herbal remedies or manipulative practices, although these would be complete systems of practice rather than isolated techniques.

Whole medical systems are complete systems that include a defined philosophy and explanation of disease, diagnosis, and therapy.




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