Acupuncture and Chinese herbs collectively known as Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years, so why is it called alternative medicine? It truly is traditional medicine and many people call the two combined as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Personally, I think of Chinese medicine today as complimentary medicine because it often works so well in combination with Western medicine. Two great examples are invitro fertilization / IVF support or side effects of treatment for cancer…more on these later.
Sometimes, Chinese medicine works better than Western medicine and can even prevent the need of more invasive procedures common in Western medicine. For example, in many cases acupuncture can treat pain and eliminate the need for medication and sometimes even surgery! I frequently do acupuncture on people with back or neck pain or carpul tunnel syndrome and they almost always experience at least improvement and often reach levels of relief that’ve not had since their problem arose.