Certain plants have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

There are many traditional or new age medical systems and therapies that are not a part of conventional Western medical practice. Some of these have only recently started to have government sponsored research funding, so objective evidence is now starting to accumulate from which it will be possible to make scientific evaluations of the efficacy and safety of Alternative Medicine methods. Research on acupuncture has shown that some patients can benefit for certain types of pain relief. Meditation has been used as therapy for some medical conditions, but controlled studies of efficacy have been few and far between. Yoga may provide medically beneficial effects for some patients and some clinical trials are being conducted. Qigong is a practice intended for healing. It is described as an exercise in meditation which can maintain good health by allowing qi to flow through the body. Qigong states that all illnesses are caused by a disruption in the flow of qi, a similar thought is found in acupunture.


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