Complementary and alternative medicine is also referred to as CAM.
CAM is a term used by the conventional medical practitioners to designate treatments that are not considered as conventional or mainstream.
The system of complementary and alternative medicine includes any treatment or system of medicine that is not proven by rigorous scientific tests.
Actually CAM consists of both complementary and alternative medicine systems and treatments. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments are also be used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment to extend and complement those therapies.
For instance, hypnosis helps you in controlling pain after surgery is a complementary treatment.
Sometimes alternative therapy uses alternate therapy instead of a conventional medical treatment for illness. For instance, gluten and casein free diet helps to control the symptoms of autism or ADHD rather than using medication.
Integrative medicine is also a part of complementary and alternative medicine. Most of the doctors are integrating some specific CAM therapies into their conventional practices.
It can only be done if there is any scientific evidence that proves the treatment is safe and effective. For instance, integrative medicine that has become conventional practice can be used as a treatment for asthma.
As the time goes on, most of the complementary and alternative medicine therapies will find their way into integrative medicine. From there it moves into the conventional practice as clinical evidence mounts and shows their effectiveness.
Some of the complementary and alternative medicine therapies that can be accepted by conventional medicine include:
Acupuncture – Used for the pain relief and nausea after surgery or chemotherapy
Aromatherapy – Can be used for promoting healing and relaxation in postoperative patients
Chiropractic – To treat a number of muscular-skeletal disorders
Energy Healing – Methods such as tai chi can be prescribed for you to treat arthritis, joint problems and multiple sclerosis. It helps with balance, strength and fitness.
Herbal treatments – Herbal medications like black cohosh can be used for the treatment of hormone depletion in menopause.
Holistic health techniques – These can be used in regular practice as doctors become more aware of the interconnectedness of the body’s systems
Hypnosis– Used for pain reduction (Hypnosis Information)
Massage techniques – Used to treat arthritis
Traditional Chinese medicine – Can be used in conjunction with conventional therapy for chronic illness
Vitamins – Used in the treatment of depression
There are hundreds of complementary and alternative medicine systems that you can find. Some of them are for the use of a single herb in treating a single condition, while some others comprise an entire new lifestyle.
Some methods are proven to work to a limited extent; some have been shown promising results in preliminary research. Some therapies are useless but harmless also. Some can do a great deal of damage to your health condition.
If you are decided to take complementary and alternative medicine treatment, the very first thing you have to do is take enough time to research about the method.
Do as much research as possible on that particular complementary and alternative medicine therapy and look for safety and effectiveness before starting any new health regimen. Be sure to inform your health care provider.