October 18, 2010
CAM Therapeutic Modalities The following paper will define alternative medicine, complementary medicine, and integrative medicine. It will describe how conventional medicine plays a role in these three terms. In addition, it will review the philosophy of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and how it is different from conventional Western medicine and a description of the five domains of therapy. Finally, it will show how CAM treatment modality Ayurveda is used as an alternative therapy and a complementary therapy for obesity.
Alternative, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine Alternative, complementary and integrative medicine uses CAM in a variety of ways, which is why these terms differ. According to National Institutes of Health (2010): “Alternative medicine” refers to use of CAM in place of conventional medicine. “Complementary medicine” refers to use of CAM together with conventional medicine, such as using acupuncture in addition to usual care to help lessen pain. Most use of CAM by Americans is complementary. “Integrative medicine” (also called integrated medicine) refers to a practice that combines both conventional and CAM treatments for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness (Defining CAM, para. 2).
The Role of Conventional Medicine According to National Institutes of Health (2010), Conventional medicine (also called Western or allopathic medicine) is medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) and D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses (Defining CAM, para. 1). Alternative medicine is any healing therapy that does not coincide or is not effective with conventional medicine. Alternative medicine is not based on scientific data; rather it focuses on the cultural or historic principles of healing.