Complementary and Alternative medical Treatment
Pinning down what constitutes the field of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) is complicated by the constantly shifting nature of the field; therapies evolve and change over time, and some become incorporated into mainstream medicine. The integration of what has once been considered alternative or complementary can be seen in the adoption of practices such as chiropractic or acupuncture therapies as the efficacy of the treatments becomes better documented and supported via study. A good working definition for alternative therapies would be that the methods are often taught in medical schools while not seeing widespread use in conventional treatment regimens.
What are the primary divisions of complementary or alternative medicine therapies?
The NCCIH splits CAM therapies into five general categories as follows:
- a. Alternative medicine systems
- b. Mind-body interventions
- c. Biologically based techniques
- d. Manipulative and body-based methods
- e. Energy therapies