Alternative Medicine Doctors Maryland

Alternative medicine refers to the use of healing therapies that are not part of traditional medical treatments. At Shakthi, we offer several alternative medicine therapies like Acupuncture, Amethyst Bio-Mat treatments, and much more!

Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicines are used in place of conventional practices with the hopes that they provide the same healing effects as standard medical care.  

These non-traditional medicine practices do not find their origins in scientific methods, but rather in cultural practices that have been maintained for many years. Some identify alternative medicine as “Eastern Practices” that have been held for thousands of years. Others identify alternative medicine as metaphysical and spiritual practices that provide healing therapies.  

So, what does this mean for the average person? How do you identify what alternative therapy practices may prove beneficial? Learn more below.

More Helpful Resources:

What does Shakthi Mean?

Shakthi (Shuk-thee) means Strength, Empowerment, and Agent of Change.

Frequently Asked Questions

We value the importance of the relationship between the doctor and the patient. That is why Dr. Jyothi Rao has taken the time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions at Shakthi Health & Wellness. View our FAQ page here.

Alternative Medicine: A Quick Look at It & Its Advantages

Alternative medicine though often mentioned in the same breaths as integrative and complementary medicine is not quite the same thing. Though alternative medicine treatments are used in both of those last two types of therapies alternative medicine stands on its own as it has for centuries. 

The practices that fall under this umbrella have been being used for centuries and bring with them a whole wealth of unique advantages. Of course, the advantages depend on the alternative treatment used and how it is executed. 

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using an alternative treatment is that it is all-natural. This means that they work with your body’s natural systems and energies to help in the healing process. Because of this, they offer a less intrusive and are gentler on your system shaving fewer side effects.

Along with this very important advantage comes a wealth of others including:

  • Alternative medicine treats the whole body not just the symptoms of the illness or health concerns.
  • More personalized consultations that bud a stronger doctor-patient relationship.
  • Alternative medicine tends to be more about prevention than being reactive

These treatments as we said have not been scientifically proven but rather proven to work through constant execution and anecdotes on the results of these treatments for centuries. Though many of them have been the subjects of scientific studies. 

Alternative Medicine Therapies

Nearly half of all American adults have claimed to incorporate some form of alternative medicine therapies in their health care treatments. Some individuals choose to rely solely on alternative therapies while others incorporate alternative therapies with their standard medical treatments.

The majority of alternative health care therapies are not backed by scientific methods or research. Their effectiveness has not been proven by scientific standards, but by anecdotal research and practice.

Woman getting an acupuncture treatment in a spa

Alternative Therapy Examples

With growing popularity in the United States, alternative medical practices have taken root in today’s society. Many choose to use these practices to support their traditional care. And some use them independently. Here are some examples of common alternative health and medical practices: 


This practice falls under traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture therapy is an approach to “unblock and move” the body’s energy (also known as Qi) through the natural functioning systems. The goal is to ensure a balance and a harmonious flow of Qi through the circulatory, digestive, respiratory, and nervous systems.

The belief is that your medical ailments or health concerns are a direct complication of your Qi not flowing correctly through your body. Depending on where the “blockage” is, a licensed and experienced acupuncturist will determine the specific areas of your body that will be treated. Sterilized, thin needs are inserted into your skin on specific meridian points to stimulate your natural healing processes.  

Ayurvedic Medicine: 

A holistic therapy, Ayurvedic medicine relies on promoting good health and not treating disease. The belief is wellness is dictated by a balance between mind, body, and spirit. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine believe all aspects of the universe are connected and each person is composed of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

These elements operate as “doshas” and dictate the state of your health and must remain in balance for optimum health. An Ayurvedic practitioner will evaluate your primary dosha and develop a treatment plan with your unique physical and emotional needs in place. Not all Ayurvedic treatments are considered safe, and you should always consult with your licensed physician before incorporating Ayurveda therapy. 

Chiropractic Therapy: 

Trained and certified chiropractors focus on the spine and the body’s structure. They focus on interconnected functions and use different techniques to manipulate the spine so that they’re in proper alignment. Chiropractors strive to improve body function, so if you are experiencing back pain, they will maneuver your body to ease your pain, and heal naturally.

Herbal Medicine:

This therapeutic approach refers to the use of plants to treat diseases and enhance your body’s natural functions. Herbs are plants (or parts of plants) that may provide therapeutic effects for the people ingesting them. 

Herbal medicine can be taken in the form of teas, extracts, powders, fresh plants, and dried plants. Patients should be wary of products that are labeled as “natural” because that is not always the case, and the product may have no plant product within it.

Years of nutritional deficiencies like an excess of rich fats, complex carbohydrates, and sugars have led to many chronic diseases and complications. A dietary approach like incorporating herbal medicine and altering your food choices can significantly help. For example, if you are suffering from nausea or discomfort in your stomach, drinking ginger tea can provide you with relief. 

Apothecary of natural wellness and self-care. Herbs and medicine on white wooden background top view.

Energy Therapy: 

This treatment relies on the assumption that there is an energy field that exists within and surrounds the human body. Treatment is based upon this belief, and it is thought that by changing the energy you can encourage healing and wellness. 

Some believe these external energies from people or objects directly affect a person’s health. Magnetic field therapy uses electrical fields to treat musculoskeletal conditions. Reiki therapy incorporates placing the body over targeted areas of the body with tapping to promote healing. Therapeutic touch has the practitioner use their healing energy to identify and repair imbalances without actually touching the patient.

The goal of energy healing is to promote a harmonious flow of energy through the body. There is very little proof (if at all) that energy therapy provides healing, however, a “placebo effect” may be enough to encourage the natural healing systems of the body.  


What To Remember 

If you are interested in using alternative medicine to treat your condition or maintain your wellness it is critical that you are fully informed. It is always best to pursue these treatments under the guidance of a doctor and have a full picture of what the potential side effects could be.  

Unfortunately, many products may prey on an individual’s desire for specific health goals to be quickly gained (i.e. clear skin, chronic pain relief, weight loss, etc). Some herbal medicines may have negative interactions with traditional prescription medication you take. So, it is always important for your alternative health care to be managed with the supervision of your physician as well.

Non-traditional medicine has played a significant role for many years, across many cultures, and for a wide variety of things. But it is always important to realize that lack of scientific backing for these practices guarantees no results or concrete promises of wellness.

Alternative Medicine Treatments: 

Shakthi Health and Wellness Center offers several safe alternative medicine therapies for patients. “Tools” that Dr. Rao believes could provide benefits to incorporate within the integrative medicine approach, she offers, Reiki Therapy, Acupuncture, and Amethyst Bio-Mat treatments.  

Other Approaches: 

Dr. Rao offers other approaches to wellness for enhanced vitality for her patients. Patients will have access to nutrition recommendations and advice when training for physical activity. She can evaluate your eating habits and determine ideal ways to incorporate plant-based food to improve gut health.

Shakthi Health and Wellness Center also offers diagnostic testing to evaluate inflammation levels, hormone balances, and recommendations to reduce stress. Shakthi Health and Wellness Center offers patients PreventativeHolisticNatural and Functional Medicine approaches to enhance their vitality.  

Shakthi Health and Wellness Center also offers access to infrared sauna therapy. An infrared sauna uses infrared lamps that use electromagnetic radiation as opposed to traditional heating elements. This type of sauna penetrates more deeply than warm air, with better intensity at a lower temperature. Our infrared sauna improves sleep, promotes better circulation, and enhances recovery for sore muscles.

Alternative Medicine Maryland 

If you are interested in learning how Alternative Medicine therapies can help you or would like more information about holistic approaches to enhancing your health, CALL Shakthi Health and Wellness Center today! You will speak to one of our dedicated integrative medicine staff members who will set up your consultation with Dr. Jyothi Rao. 

Dr. Rao is a deeply experienced specialist who will effectively evaluate your symptoms and optimize your body’s vitality. Call (301) 703-5067 and speak to our integrative speciality care staff to schedule your appointment today! 

About Us

We believe in practicing medicine that focuses on whole body health. As alternative medicine doctors we focus our on root cause of your condition with comprehensive treatments that actually heal the body rather than just masking the symptoms of your illness. 

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Digital Guide

A comprehensive guide to our services, providers, and locations.

Patient Testimonials

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Susan Doyle

I started by seeing Dr. Sudhir Rao for my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome. I had an accident in July 2010 that caused nerve damage in my ankle. After treatments and surgery, it spread up the entire left side of my body. The only way to describe how you feel is by saying you’re a human pinball machine ? you just never know where the pain is going to be that minute. I had asked about acupuncture because someone had told me that it worked for them. I was at the point of trying anything to lessen the pain because it was getting worse every day.

Anonymous Patient

I am actually a relatively healthy 50-year-old woman. I try to eat well and exercise, but I (like many) felt the creep of age in the form a subtle pounds and decreasing energy. Dr. Rao helped point me in the direction of the correct detox program for me (Core Restore!) as well as the supplements I needed to boost my metabolism and increase my energy! I still need to eat what works for me and avoid the things that don't, and I still have to exercise every day, but my clothes fit better and I have more energy!!

- Shakthi Patients

Anna Smoot

I came to see Dr. Rao with symptoms of chronic fatigue, abdominal pains, depression, and weight gain. I had seen a couple other doctors and they had found that I had very high inflammation levels and over 15 food allergies/sensitivities. They wanted me to just take prescription drugs, but I wanted more than a quick fix. I wanted my health and my life back! When I scheduled the appointment, I was surprised how by helpful Kelly was on the phone. I didn’t know the details of my insurance coverage and Kelly offered to call my insurance for me. I’ve never had anyone at a doctor’s office do that before.

Debbie Helman

After visiting the Shakthi website and reading other patient testimonials, I was curious about the wide variety of treatments that were available. I have a very slow metabolism, was fatigued, had insomnia, back pain, and just didn’t feel as well as I wanted to in general. I had more allergic reactions and respiratory issues in the preceding months before coming to see Dr. Jyothi Rao. I had completed three courses of prednisone while under the treatment of my traditional doctor and was fed up with that cycle and was looking for another path.

- Debbie Helman

Linda J.

I was given the gift of Dr. Rao's integrative specialty care for Christmas in 2016. I didn?t take advantage of it until March of 2017. My mindset at the time was negative. I had heard about changing eating habits and I felt that I liked the foods I was eating and I was nearly 70, so why change now? After meeting with Dr. Rao and hearing her suggestions, I said I would take it one small step at a time and see what happens.

I was in the worst shape of my life

I was in the worst shape of my life with depression and anxiety. I had given up. Shakthi provided me with a manageable plan that included supplements, diet, and an exercise program that has transformed my body and given me a new outlook on life. Perhaps the most surprising outcome was learning how to be healthy and have a good relationship with my body. I am now more productive, energetic, and focused. The fog that had been clouding my thoughts has lifted.

- Shakthi Patient

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What To Expect

Alternative Medicine Doctors

Meet Our Team

Our team is composed of skilled medical professionals who are highly knowledgeable in the practice of alternative medicine therapies. We believe patients should have more than just one option for their health.  

Our Specialized Health Care model provides patients with in depth consults with each appointment without the restrictions of time limits and jumping through insurance hoops. Our alternative medicine doctors in Maryland, Dr. Jyothi Rao and Dr. Sudhir Rao, have the same medical training, licensing, and certifications any other physician would have working in other healthcare models 

Jyothi Rao


Dr. Jyothi Rao is the founder of Shakthi Health and Wellness Center. She has over 20 years of experience with integrative, holistic, alternative, and complementary approaches to medicine. Dr. Rao believes knowledge is empowerment and focusses her practice on whole body wellness, and disease prevention

Sudhir Rao


Dr. Sudhir Rao is a board certified doctor over 20 years of experience with traditional medicine and alternative medicines for chronic pain.  he developed a strong interest in Functional and Integrative Medicine to treat chronic illness after a personal experience with limitations in traditional medicine.

Contact Us

Our Locations

Our patient care coordinators are available to answer questions Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00pm.

Mt Airy

2702 Back Acre Circle

Mt. Airy, MD 21771


6816 Deerpath Rd Elkridge, MD 21075

Get In Touch!

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067



Fax #

(301) 703-8880

Fax #

(301) 703-8880

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