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
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
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