Complementary and alternative drugless therapies have been used for thousands of years for chronic pain treatment as well as everyday illnesses. “Alternative” means they are out of the mainstream and not always accepted by all conventional medical practitioners. “Complementary” refers to the fact that these treatments are added to other useful therapies. For example, Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India and has been used for more than 5,000 years in Eastern cultures. It is based on a theory that seeks to integrate and balance the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda means the science of life, and it seeks to create a balance that leads to contentment, health, and prevention of illness—in essence, a wellness program. Chronic pain is influenced by psychological and social factors in addition to biological aspects, and some of these ancient therapies emphasize the whole person in a holistic approach. Professionals are beginning to understand, prescribe, and use treatment regimens that were once considered out of the ordinary. Several of these are called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments. Some CAMs that will be discussed are acupuncture, exercise, aromatherapy, foods and nutrition, oxygen therapy, yoga, reiki, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy, music therapy, meditation, biofeedback, and chiropractic therapy. These natural forms of therapy are designed to help diminish pain and illness naturally and allow you to be more in control of your life. One of the more appealing factors of these types of treatments is that they are not independent of one another; they can be used together. One word of caution: Because some of these methods are controversial, it is important that you research and find a good practitioner who is competent and licensed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the therapy you want to try, as well as where the practitioner studied. It is also a good idea to ask someone who has worked with a practitioner you are considering using. Remember, this is your body and you are responsible for protecting it. This blog post is an excerpt from A Day Without Pain (Revised) by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).