Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a term for medical product and practice that are not part of standard medical care. There is a difference between these two therapies. They are the popular name for health care practices that traditionally have not been part of conventional medicine.

A complementary therapy – alongside your conventional medical treatment. Complementary therapy is a group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with conventional medicine.

An Alternative therapy – Medical treatment that is used instead of your traditional therapies. Alternative medicine is different from complementary medicine which is used alongside with the standard treatment and not to replace, standard medical practices. For example: For a cancer patient a special diet is used instead of undergoing cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy that has been recommended by a physician.

The term alternative medicine is now known as integrative medicine. Alternative medicine or integrative medicine can help people with cancer, persistent pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. some common practice includes:

  • Ayurveda.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Animal-assisted therapy.
  • Aromatherapy.
  • Dietary supplements.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Music therapy.
  • Meditation.

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The alternative treatment is no substitute for conventional medical care. They should use alongside with standard medical treatment. Certain therapies and medicines are not recommended to all people. SO, it is important to talk with your doctor before trying something new.

What are complementary and alternative medicine therapies?

Traditional alternative medicines: This includes mainstream therapies and mostly accepted therapies. These therapies are been practice from centuries from worldwide. It may include:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Ayurveda.
  • Homeopathy.
  • Homeopathy.
  • Chinese medicine.


Body – Since the early days of medical care touch has been used as medicine. Healing by touch is bases on one idea that illness or injury can affect the other part of the body.

  • Massage.
  • Body movement therapies.
  • Tai chi.
  • Yoga.

Diet and herbs – Nutritional excess and deficiency have become problems in today’s society for both leading to certain chronic diseases. Many dietary and herbal approaches attempt to balance the diet and nutritional well-being.

  • Dietary supplements.
  • Herbal medicine.
  • Nutrition/diet.

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External energy – Some belief in external energy sources which directly affects the person health. such as:

  • Electromagnetic therapy.
  • Reiki.
  • Qigong.


Mind – Even conventional medicine recognizes the power of the connection between mind and body. The research found that a person heals better if you have good emotional and mental health.

  • Meditation.
  • Biofeedback.
  • Hypnosis.

The question to ask your doctor when considering complementary or alternative medicine therapies:

1. What benefits can be expected by this therapy?

2. What are the side effects of this therapy?

3. What is the risk associated with the therapy?

4. Will the therapy interfere with conventional treatment?

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Choosing a CAM practitioner

  • If you are seeking a CAM practitioner, talk to your primary healthcare provider about the therapy. ask them to wither they have nay recommendation for CAM practitioner.
  • Make a list of CAM practitioner gather all the information about your therapy. Ask the therapist about their experience and credentials. And from where they had received their training.
  • Ones you select the practitioner makes the list of your questions you want to ask them at first meeting.
  • You should be prepared with the answers for your medical history, injuries, surgeries, major illnesses, prescription medicines, vitamins, and other supplements you may take.