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alternative medicine

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  1. healthcare and treatment practices, including traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic, folk medicine, and naturopathy, that minimize or eschew the use of surgery and drugs.
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Origin of alternative medicine

1980–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for alternative medicine

alternative medicine

noun
  1. another name for complementary medicine See also holism (def. 2)
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

alternative medicine in Science

alternative medicine

[ôl-tûrnə-tĭv]
  1. A variety of therapeutic or preventive health-care practices that are not typically taught or practiced in traditional medical communities and offer treatments that differ from standard medical practice. Homeopathy, herbal medicine, and acupuncture are types of alternative medicine.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

alternative medicine in Culture

alternative medicine

Medical practice or therapy that uses methods that have not been associated with the traditional, standard care most generally taught and executed by AMA-certified medical schools.

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Note

Alternative medicine includes practices such as acupuncture, naturopathy, and chiropractic, as well as such therapies as chelation therapy, homeopathic remedies, and biofeedback. There has been an explosion of interest in alternative medicine in recent years.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.