ⓘ Therapy. A therapy or medical treatment is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. As a rule, each therapy has indications ..


ⓘ Therapy

A therapy or medical treatment is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis.

As a rule, each therapy has indications and contraindications. There are many different types of therapy. Not all therapies are effective. Many therapies can produce unwanted adverse effects.

Treatment and therapy are generally considered synonyms. However, in the context of mental health, the term therapy may refer specifically to psychotherapy.


1. Semantic field

The words care, therapy, treatment, and intervention overlap in a semantic field, and thus they can be synonymous depending on context. Moving rightward through that order, the connotative level of holism decreases and the level of specificity to concrete instances increases. Thus, in health care contexts where its senses are always noncount, the word care tends to imply a broad idea of everything done to protect or improve someones health, although it sometimes implies a narrower idea. In contrast, the word intervention tends to be specific and concrete, and thus the word is often countable; for example, one instance of cardiac catheterization is one intervention performed, and coronary care noncount can require a series of interventions count. At the extreme, the piling on of such countable interventions amounts to interventionism, a flawed model of care lacking holistic circumspection - merely treating discrete problems in billable increments rather than maintaining health. Therapy and treatment, in the middle of the semantic field, can connote either the holism of care or the discreteness of intervention, with context conveying the intent in each use. Accordingly, they can be used in both noncount and count senses for example, therapy for chronic kidney disease can involve several dialysis treatments per week.

The words aceology and iamatology are obscure and obsolete synonyms referring to the study of therapies.

The English word therapy comes via Latin therapīa from Greek: θεραπεία and literally means "curing" or "healing".


2. Types of therapies

By therapy composition

Treatments can be classified according to the method of treatment:

By meditation

  • by mindfulness: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

By sleeping and waking

  • by waking: wake therapy
  • by deep sleep: deep sleep therapy

2.1. Types of therapies Levels of care

Levels of care classify health care into categories of chronology, priority, or intensity, as follows:

  • Hospice care is palliative care very near the end of life when cure is very unlikely. Its main goal is comfort, both physical and mental.
  • Palliative care is supportive care, most especially but not necessarily near the end of life.
  • Primary care is meant to be the main kind of care in general, and ideally a medical home that unifies care across referred providers.
  • Secondary care is care provided by medical specialists and other health professionals who generally do not have first contact with patients, for example, cardiologists, urologists and dermatologists. A patient reaches secondary care as a next step from primary care, typically by provider referral although sometimes by patient self-initiative.
  • Home care is care at home, including care from providers making house calls, care from caregivers such as family members, and patient self-care.
  • Follow-up care is additional care during or after convalescence. Aftercare is generally synonymous with follow-up care.
  • Intensive care, also called critical care, is care for extremely ill or injured patients. It thus requires high resource intensity, knowledge, and skill, as well as quick decision making.
  • Tertiary care is specialized consultative care, usually for inpatients and on referral from a primary or secondary health professional, in a facility that has personnel and facilities for advanced medical investigation and treatment, such as a tertiary referral hospital.
  • Ambulatory care is care provided on an outpatient basis. Typically patients can walk into and out of the clinic under their own power hence "ambulatory", usually on the same day.
  • End-of-life care is care near the end of ones life. It often includes the following
  • Emergency care handles medical emergencies and is a first point of contact or intake for less serious problems, which can be referred to other levels of care as appropriate.


2.2. Types of therapies By therapy composition

Treatments can be classified according to the method of treatment:


2.3. Types of therapies By matter

  • by medical devices: implantation
  • by drugs: pharmacotherapy, chemotherapy also, medical therapy often means specifically pharmacotherapy
  • cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • by specific biomolecular targets: targeted therapy
  • molecular chaperone therapy
  • by specific molecules: molecular therapy although most drugs are specific molecules, molecular medicine refers in particular to medicine relying on molecular biology
  • by chelation: chelation therapy
  • by platinum-containing drugs: platin therapy
  • by metals
  • by gold: chrysotherapy aurotherapy
  • by heavy metals
  • by specific chemical elements
  • by copper: copper supplementation
  • by potassium: potassium supplementation
  • by magnesium: magnesium supplementation
  • by lithium: lithium therapy
  • by chromium: chromium supplementation; phonemic neurological hypochromium therapy
  • by biometals
  • transdermal continuous oxygen therapy
  • by nonmetals
  • by diatomic oxygen: oxygen therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy hyperbaric medicine
  • by fluoride: fluoride therapy
  • by triatomic oxygen ozone: ozone therapy
  • by other gases: medical gas therapy
  • aquatic therapy
  • by water
  • oral rehydration therapy
  • hydrotherapy
  • rehydration therapy
  • water cure therapy
  • by biological materials, including their synthetic equivalents: biotherapy
  • by bacteriophages: phage therapy
  • by viruses: virotherapy
  • by whole organisms
  • by animal interaction: see animal interaction section
  • by constituents or products of organisms
  • by plant parts or extracts but many drugs are derived from plants, even when the term phytotherapy is not used
  • traditional prescientific type: herbalism
  • scientific type: phytotherapy
  • by animal parts: quackery involving shark fins, tiger parts, and so on, often driving threat or endangerment of species
  • gene therapy for color blindness
  • gene therapy in Parkinsons disease
  • gene therapy for osteoarthritis
  • gene therapy for epilepsy
  • by genes: gene therapy
  • gene therapy of the human retina
  • hormone replacement therapy
  • by epigenetics: epigenetic therapy
  • by hormones: hormone therapy
  • by enzymes: enzyme replacement therapy
  • androgen replacement therapy
  • hormone replacement therapy transgender
  • estrogen replacement therapy
  • hormone replacement therapy menopause
  • by proteins: protein therapy but many drugs are proteins despite not being called protein therapy
  • hormone replacement therapy male-to-female
  • hormonal therapy oncology
  • hormone replacement therapy female-to-male
  • antihormone therapy
  • androgen deprivation therapy
  • by stem cells: stem cell therapy
  • by immune cells: see immune system products below
  • by whole cells: cell therapy cytotherapy
  • T-cell vaccination
  • autologous immune enhancement therapy
  • by immune cells
  • TK cell therapy
  • by immune system products: immunotherapy, host modulatory therapy
  • cell transfer therapy
  • by immunoglobulins: immunoglobulin therapy
  • by monoclonal antibodies: monoclonal antibody therapy
  • by whole serum: serotherapy, including antiserum therapy
  • by humoral immune factors: antibody therapy
  • by food and dietary choices
  • medical nutrition therapy
  • by urine: urine therapy some scientific forms; many prescientific or pseudoscientific forms
  • grape therapy quackery
  • negative air ionization therapy
  • by artificial dry salt air
  • by salts but many drugs are the salts of organic acids, even when drug therapy is not called by names reflecting that
  • low-humidity forms of speleotherapy
  • by salts in the air
  • by natural dry salt air: "taking the cure" in desert locales especially common in prescientific medicine; for example, one 19th-century way to treat tuberculosis
  • by artificial moist salt air: water vapor forms of speleotherapy
  • by natural moist salt air: seaside cure especially common in prescientific medicine
  • by moist salt air
  • by mineral water: spa cure "taking the waters" especially common in prescientific medicine
  • by seawater: seaside cure especially common in prescientific medicine
  • by salts in the water
  • by aroma: aromatherapy
  • by occlusion with duct tape: duct tape occlusion therapy
  • by other materials with mechanism of action unknown

2.4. Types of therapies By energy

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • by electric energy as electric current: electrotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy
  • by magnetic energy
  • magnetic resonance therapy
  • magnet therapy
  • pulsed electromagnetic field therapy
  • ultraviolet light therapy
  • by electromagnetic radiation EMR
  • by light: light therapy phototherapy
  • PUVA therapy
  • photodynamic therapy
  • photothermal therapy
  • cytoluminescent therapy
  • by darkness: dark therapy
  • blood irradiation therapy
  • by lasers: laser therapy
  • low level laser therapy
  • cobalt therapy
  • Gamma Knife radiosurgery
  • stereotactic radiation therapy
  • by gamma rays: radiosurgery
  • by radiation generally: radiation therapy radiotherapy
  • intraoperative electron radiation therapy
  • particle therapy
  • Auger therapy
  • by EMR particles
  • electron therapy
  • proton therapy
  • intraoperative radiation therapy
  • fast neutron therapy
  • neutron therapy
  • neutron capture therapy of cancer
  • by nuclear medicine
  • by brachytherapy
  • by radioisotopes emitting EMR
  • quackery type: electromagnetic therapy alternative medicine
  • by mechanical: manual therapy as massotherapy and therapy by exercise as in physiotherapy and exercise therapy
  • inversion therapy
  • by sound
  • by ultrasound
  • extracorporeal shockwave therapy
  • ultrasonic lithotripsy
  • extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy
  • sonodynamic therapy
  • neurologic music therapy
  • by music: music therapy
  • by temperature
  • by heat: heat therapy thermotherapy
  • by moderately elevated ambient temperatures: hyperthermia therapy
  • by dry warm surroundings: Waon therapy
  • by dry or humid warm surroundings: sauna, including infrared sauna, for sweat therapy
  • by ambient cold: hypothermia therapy for neonatal encephalopathy
  • by ice and compression: cold compression therapy
  • by extreme cold to specific tissue volumes: cryotherapy
  • by cold
  • by hot and cold alternation: contrast bath therapy


2.5. Types of therapies By procedure and human interaction

  • by counseling, such as psychotherapy see also: list of psychotherapies
  • by group psychotherapy
  • Surgery
  • systemic therapy
  • by behaviour therapy
  • by cognitive therapy
  • by cognitive behavioral therapy
  • by dialectical behavior therapy
  • by cognitive emotional behavioral therapy
  • by cognitive rehabilitation therapy
  • by psychoeducation
  • by education
  • by information therapy
  • by family therapy
  • by lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding unhealthy food or maintaining a predictable sleep schedule
  • by physical therapy/occupational therapy, vision therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic or acupuncture
  • by coaching

2.6. Types of therapies By animal interaction

  • by horses: equine therapy, hippotherapy
  • by pets, assistance animals, or working animals: animal-assisted therapy
  • by dogs: pet therapy with therapy dogs, including grief therapy dogs
  • by cats: pet therapy with therapy cats
  • by leeches: leech therapy
  • by internal worms: helminthic therapy
  • by fish: ichthyotherapy wading with fish, aquarium therapy watching fish
  • by worms
  • by maggots: maggot therapy
  • by immersion: animal bath

2.7. Types of therapies By meditation

  • by mindfulness: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

2.8. Types of therapies By creativity

  • by writing: writing therapy
  • journal therapy
  • by expression: expressive therapy
  • by play: play therapy
  • sensory art therapy
  • comic book therapy
  • by art: art therapy
  • by drama: drama therapy
  • by music: music therapy
  • by recreation: recreational therapy
  • by dance: dance therapy
  • by gardening: horticultural therapy

2.9. Types of therapies By sleeping and waking

  • by waking: wake therapy
  • by deep sleep: deep sleep therapy
  • A therapy dog is a dog that is trained to provide affection, comfort and support to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, libraries
  • Play therapy is a method of meeting and responding to the mental health needs of children and is extensively acknowledged by experts as an effective and
  • Music therapy is an evidence - based clinical use of musical interventions to improve clients quality of life. Music therapists use music and its many
  • Occupational therapy OT is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals
  • Primal therapy is a trauma - based psychotherapy created by Arthur Janov, who argues that neurosis is caused by the repressed pain of childhood trauma.
  • Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual
  • Radiation therapy or radiotherapy, often abbreviated RT, RTx, or XRT, is a therapy using ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control
  • Physical therapy PT also known as physiotherapy, is one of the allied health professions that, by using evidence - based kinesiology, electrotherapy
  • Attachment therapy also called the Evergreen model holding time rage - reduction compression therapy rebirthing corrective attachment therapy and