HCA / 210
November 25, 2012
The healthcare innovation of CAM or complementary and alternative medicines is a very broad and constantly changing field. The practice of complementary and alternative medicine is made up of groups of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Often times complementary medicines are used together with conventional medicine, but there are times when alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.
When understanding the practice of CAM, there are two parts. There is complementary medicines and alternative medicines. The term "complementary medicine" refers to the using of CAM being used with conventional medicine. An example of this would be would be a doctor having his or her patient using acupuncture along with a prescribed medicine to help with pain management. The term "alternative medicine" refers to the use of CAM in the position of a conventional medicine. An example of this would be a patient using a using massage therapy in the place of prescribed oral medications that have could serious side effects to a patient.
With the practice of complementary and alternative medicines, the different sections of the practice are often divided into groups by the types of particular practices. The different categories are natural products, mind and body medicine, and manipulative and body- based practices ("National Center For Complementary And Alternative Medicine", n.d.).
The category of natural products includes the taking of herbal medicines, vitamins, and minerals. A current example would be fish oil products taken by a person to obtain the vitamin Omega 3. According to a 2007 study from the National Institute of Health, the most commonly used product by adults was fish oil.
The category of mind and body medicine focuses on the interactions among the brain,
mind, body, and behavior with the purpose to use the mind to affect physical functioning and promote health. Some examples of the mind and body medicine are mediation, yoga, and acupuncture. Mediation helps to increase calmness and relaxation as well as improving psychological balance. Yoga works toward promoting better posture and breathing techniques. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points of the body either by hand or electrical stimulation.
The last category of CAM is manipulative and body- based practices. This category focuses on the structures and systems of the body, including the bones and joints, soft tissues, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Examples of this category would be spinal manipulation used by either a chiropractor, osteopathic doctors, or naturopathic doctors. The goal of spinal manipulation is to treat pain and improve the physical functioning of a patient.
According to the article "Exploring the Alternatives" (2008), patients are beginning to seek out complementary and alternative medicines in their medical treatments. The reasoning that more of today's patients seek out this type of treatment choice is due to what Dr. Josephine P. Briggs refers to as depersonalization within the conventional medical system (Exploring the Alternatives, 2008). Dr. Briggs feelings towards the cause of the seeking out of CAM is due to patients wanting a more personalized approach to their treatment.
Some of the benefits the patients that choose CAM practices can receive are not only more personalized for a patient. They are also able the health and wellness of a patient by using the tools of conventional medicine when appropriate and any possible natural or holistic alternative when needed. Due to this approach, CAM practices offer five patient benefits in a variety of ways. They are the physician...