Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Topics: Alternative medicine, Medicine, Acupuncture Pages: 3 (913 words) Published: August 30, 2010
Complementary and Alternative Medicines
Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are medicines that are not considered conventional medicine. Conventional Medicine is also known as Western Medicine and is often practice by medical professional like medical doctors, nurses and therapist. The boundaries between CAM and conventional medicine are not fixed, and because CAM has recently become more accepted, the treatment combination of CAM and conventional medicine increased and the boundaries between the two faded even further. The increased interest in CAM can be due to a new awareness and the need of individuals to take control of their health. CAM allows more flexibility with treatments and rely the control back to patient. New researchers surface often and while some treatment still do not have scientifically background to support their claims, others have proven effective into treatment of some diseases or health conditions. To better understand CAM, is important to know what is considered CAM and what it entitles. The term complementary medicine refers to the use of CAM and conventional medicine together, one complementing the other. The term alternative medicine refers to the use of CAM instead of conventional medicine. The term integrative medicine or integrated medicine refers to the practice of combining both CAM and conventional medicine. NCCAM has classified complementary and alternative therapies into five different categories, or domains: Whole Medical Systems, Mind-Body Medicine, Biologically Based Practices, Manipulative and Body-Based Practices and Energy Medicine. These domains are based on the use of different treatments, techniques, and beliefs. Some treatments can also involve more than one category. Whole Medical Systems

According to the NCCAM classification, Alternative medical systems are named for those forms of alternative medicine that are built upon a complete system of ideas and practice. The whole medical system...


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NCCAM. (2010). What Is Complementary and Alternative Medicine? Retrieved August 8, 2010 from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam/
NCCAM. (2010). Whole Medical Systems: An Overview. Retrieved August 8, 2010 from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam/wholemedical/
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