It is not surprising that many centers of alternative medicine have opened throughout Costa Rica. Alternative medicine emphasizes whole-body care, addressing not just the physical body but also emotional and spiritual health. These new approaches to human health are grounded in multi-cultural disciplines brought to the country by expats seeking the essence of the pure life and enhanced by the natural beauty and resources found throughout the region.


Alternative medicine offers a holistic, integreated approach to healing and may include practices such as herbal medicines, physical activity, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. With more medical professionals beginning to suggest the use of alternative therapies in combination with conventional medical treatments, many more studies are being done to examine both the usefulness and safety of these non-traditional treatments.

Herbal medicines can be used for treating many different kinds of health ailments like diabetes, heart condition, skin problems, allergy and respiratory problems. Herbs can help one deal with the problem of obesity, and they also promote good health.

Costa Rica provides the perfect base for herbal medicine, as about 120 of the used herbs to treat for example malaria or heart disease are delivered from rainforest plants. Though herbal medicine has not been scientifically proven yet, it is becoming more and more popular, also in Costa Rica.

Individuals resorting to alternative medicines might end up incorporating healthy lifestyle by indulging in yoga, meditation, and other physical activities which are known to offer long-lasting health benefits. Individuals might indulge in these exercises for physical, mental and spiritual gains.

Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medication which is used to develop healthy muscles and strong bones. It can relieve you from lower back pain, headache and high blood pressure. There are pressure points selected in your body to manipulate the body structures for an effective cure.

Acupuncture is another form of alternative therapy which has gathered worldwide attention. Joint pain, depression, nicotine addiction can be successfully cured with the aid of acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture treatment is being used by many individuals across the world to deal with mental illnesses. The best part about acupuncture treatment is that it can be performed on individuals with low immunity as well. Osteoarthritis, stress, tennis elbow and insomnia are among the list of other ailments that can be cured with the aid of acupuncture treatment.

Many people turn to alternative medicine therapies for pain relief when traditional treatments fail to work. Alternative medicine also offers treatment options to individuals who do not have access to pain clinics under their health insurance plans. 

Alternative medicine therapies used together with conventional medical treatments can alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer, as well as lessen the negative side effects of conventional medical treatments. Chemotherapy, although effective in increasing the survival rate of many cancer patients, can produce unpleasant side effects. Some cancer patients are able to tolerate chemotherapy treatments better when using an alternative treatment such as acupuncture to control side effects like fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, night sweats and aching.


Alternative medicine therapies can be less expensive than conventional medical treatments. Although some alternative therapies are not cheap, many herbal remedies and other natural treatments still cost less than prescription medications and treatments. Acupuncture and chiropractic sessions can cost significantly less than conventional pain therapy treatments.

Side Effects

In most cases, effective alternative therapies have fewer or no side effects, in contrast to the frequent and sometimes severe effects of many prescription medications and other conventional medical treatments. But depending on what medical conditions a person has, even natural remedies and other alternative therapies can sometimes cause adverse side effects. Always talk to your doctor before using any types of alternative medicine.

Mental Health

Alternative medicine can be beneficial to a person’s overall well-being, as the approach focuses on healing the mind, body and spirit. Treatment methods can help a person to relax, reduce stress, relieve symptoms of depression, and release deeply repressed emotions. Other alternative approaches to mental health, such as diet and nutrition, animal-assisted therapies, and self-help groups can also be valuable resources.


Having a choice between quality traditional medical services and unique alternative therapies is just another facet of Costa Rica that is making it a destination for medical tourism and relocation for those who want to immerse themselves in what truly is the essence of Pura Vida. Come check it out!

For more information on holistic health and yoga retreats contact Natashia or email [email protected].


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