Complementary and alternative medicine, also shortened to CAM, is a term for medical products and practices that aren’t usually part of standard medical care. It’s used to help cope with side effects of one’s illness or any medication and treatments they take. Moreover, this type of medicine helps comfort patients and eases worries and stress related to their health. It’s also used to try treating or curing diseases.
This can be paired with traditional medicine and the taking of supplements from brands like Integrative Therapeutics from Supplement First. But what exactly is complementary and integrative medicine? We relay the different types of medicinal approaches, including CAM, so continue reading!
- Integrative Medicine
This is an approach to medical care combining conventional medicine with certain CAM practices proven safe and effective through science.
Integrative medicine focuses on a patient’s preferences, attempting to address one’s mental, physical, and spiritual health.
- Conventional Medicine
This is a system where health professionals holding an MD or DO degree will treat diseases and symptoms through drugs, radiation, or surgery. This is not a type of CAM but would be combined with alternative medicine to help with healing. Other names for it include bio medicine, allopathic medicine, mainstream, Western, and orthodox medicine.
This approach is practiced by other health professionals like pharmacists, physician assistants, therapists, and nurses.
- Standard Medical Care
Under these are treatments accepted by medical experts as appropriate treatment for certain diseases. Such treatments are widely used by healthcare professionals and are also known as standard of care, standard therapy, and best practice.
- Complementary Medicine
This is used alongside standard medical treatment but isn’t considered standard treatment on its own.
One good example of complementary medicine is acupuncture, which may help lessen side effects of cancer treatment.
- Alternative Medicine
This is used instead of standard medical treatment. For instance, a patient will use a special diet to treat cancer rather than take cancer drugs prescribed by a medical professional.
Under CAM are the following kinds of treatments and therapies. However, note that some of these therapies still require further research to prove they are helpful in treating certain conditions and symptoms.
– Mind-Body Therapies: These combine breathing, body movements, and mental focus to relax the mind and body, like meditation, yoga, tai chi, imagery, and other creative outlets.
– Biologically-Based Practices: This utilizes things found in nature, like the consumption of special foods and diets, botanicals, or dietary supplements from stores like Supplement First.
– Manipulative and Body-Based Practices: These practices work with one or more parts of the body, like chiropractic care, massage therapies, or reflexology.
– Energy Healing: This is based on a belief that vital energy flows through one’s body. The goal is to balance a patient’s energy flow through approaches like reiki and therapeutic touch.
Wrapping It Up
Now that you know more about complementary and integrative medicine, consult your doctor about your options.