Welcome to Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Complementary Medicine is used in addition to conventional medicine
Alternative refers to using a non-mainstream approach in place of conventional medicine.
Most of us have used complementary medicines such as vitamins.
Some common minerals include calcium, zinc, and iron
Your body uses vitamins for a variety of biological processes, including growth, digestion, and nerve function
Different minerals are required in different amounts but they are all essential. Some are probably familiar to you.
Herbal medicine (or "herbalism") is the study and use of medicinal properties of plants
You may already have some of these herbs in your home
Mind-body techniques strengthen the communication between your mind and your body
includes many different techniques in which practitioners manually manipulate the soft tissues of the body.
Meditation is seen by several researchers as one of the most effective forms of stress reduction
The intent of acupuncture therapy is to promote health and alleviate pain and suffering.
A majority of individuals have religious beliefs, and many people rely on their religion or spirituality in difficult times
It may help you feel more in control of your emotions and thought processes, which may improve your attitude, health, and sense of well-being
Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
studies have suggested that it may be useful for controlling pain and nausea/vomiting in various settings and may reduce vomiting that can develop before starting chemotherapy
The benefits of Tai chi are increased energy and stamina, decreased stress and anxiety, enhance the immune system, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and enhance the quality of sleep
Tai Chi 3:47 video presentation
According to the 2007 NHIS, several mind and body practices ranked among the top complementary health approaches used by adults.
Take charge of your health by being an informed consumer
Consider the following tips before buying a dietary supplement
FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering "conventional" foods and drug products. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA):
Test your knowledge
COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE
Complementary and alternative medicine
(CAM) is defined by the National Center for
Complementary and Alternative Medicine as
"a group of diverse medical and healthcare
systems, practices, and products that are not
presently considered to be part of conventional
What is complementary medicine?
Complementary medicine is a treatment,
practice, or product that is used alongside
conventional medical treatment. It is not meant
to replace conventional r treatment but is
available to alleviate side effects or improve a
patient's sense of well- being.
Alternative medicine or alternative therapy is
the stream of medicine that exists
independently, beyond the domain of
conventional medicine. These therapies are
called alternative because they may not always
be effective or not proved 100% successful.
Many of the alternative therapy practices are
based on historical or cultural traditions.
Vitamins are essential nutrients that contribute
to a healthy life
There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely
needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B
vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin,
pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin
B-12 and foliate).
The minerals in our diet are essential for a variety
of bodily functions. They are important for
building strong bones and teeth, blood, skin, hair,
nerve function, muscle and for metabolic processes
such as those that turn the food we eat into energy.
This means that minerals are needed for the body
to work properly, for growth and development,
and overall, for maintaining normal health.
Sodium | Chloride | Potassium | Calcium |
Phosphorus | Iron | Magnesium | Sulphur |
Zinc | Chromium | Cobalt | Copper | Fluoride |
Iodine | Manganese | Molybdenum | Selenium
An herb is a plant or plant part used for its scent,
flavor, or therapeutic properties. Herbal medicines are
one type of dietary Supplement. They are sold as
tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or
dried plants. People use herbal medicines to try to
maintain or improve their health
A botanical is a plant or plant part valued for its
medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or
scent. Herbs are a subset of botanicals. Products made
from botanicals that are used to maintain or improve
health may be called herbal products, botanical
products, or phytomedicines.
Turmeric: Ease arthritis
Cinnamon: Lower blood sugar
Rosemary: Avoid carcinogens
Ginger: Avert nausea
Holy Basil: Combat stress
St. John's Wort: Soothe your
Garlic: Lower cancer risk
Green tea: aid in weight loss
Echinacea: strengthen immune
Ginseng: elevating energy
Visual or guided imagery
People use massage for a variety of
health-related purposes, including
to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports
injuries, reduce stress, increase
relaxation, address anxiety and
depression, and aid general
meditation is a state of deep peace
that occurs when the mind is calm
Meditation for 15 minutes 2 times
per day have shown to have
Acupuncture is a technique in
which practitioners stimulate
specific points on the body—most
often by inserting thin needles
through the skin
You may try acupuncture for
symptomatic relief of a variety of
diseases and conditions, including:
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and
Low back pain
Researchers found that spirituality,
when combined with conventional
medicine, was an important
component in the healing process
and was of benefit not only to the
patient but also to caregivers and
Visual or guided imagery is a technique that
encourages the patient to relax by focusing on
calming thoughts or experiences.
Guided imagery has many uses. You can use it to
promote relaxation, which can lower blood
pressure and reduce other problems related to
stress. You can also use it to help reach goals (such
as losing weight or quitting smoking), manage
pain, and promote healing. Using guided imagery
can even help you to prepare for an athletic event
or for public speaking.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower
stress in the body. This is because when you
breathe deeply it sends a message to your brain
to calm down and relax. The brain then sends
this message to your body. Those things that
happen when you are stressed, such as
increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high
blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe
deeply to relax
Hypnotherapy — Hypnosis is a
state of altered consciousness that
allows you to focus away from
your pain, anxiety, or nausea. You
are not sleeping while hypnotized
but are actually in a state of
heightened imagination, similar to
daydreaming. An expert can
hypnotize an individual, or you can
learn self-hypnosis techniques.
Hypnosis is safe and has few side
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese
tradition of self-defense that is
practiced as a form of exercise. Tai
chi includes a series of movements
that are executed in a slow, focused
method along with deep breathing.
There are specific styles of Tai chi
that focus in on health maintenance
Find out and consider what scientific studies have been done on the safety and
effectiveness of the complementary product or practice that interests you. Discuss the
information with your doctor before making a decision.
If you are considering a therapy provided by a complementary medicine practitioner,
such as acupuncture. choose the practitioner as carefully as you would choose a
conventional health care provider.
If you are considering a dietary supplement A product that contains vitamins,
minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients
intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special
labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs. ,
such as an herbal product, find out about any potential side effects or interactions
with medications you may be taking.
Complementary products or practices that have not been proven safe and effective
should never be used as a replacement for conventional medical treatment or as a
reason to postpone seeing a health care provider about any health problem.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary approaches you use.
Think twice about chasing the latest headline. Sound health advice is
generally based on research over time, not a single study touted by
the media. Be wary of results claiming a "quick fix" that departs from
scientific research and established dietary guidance.
More may not be better. Some products can be harmful when
consumed in high amounts, for a long time, or in combination with
certain other substances.
Learn to spot false claims. If something sounds too good to be true, it
probably is. Examples of false claims on product labels include:
Quick and effective "cure-all"
Can treat or cure disease
"Totally safe," "all natural," and has "definitely no side effects"
Other red flags include claims about limited availability, offers of "no-
risk, money-back guarantees," and requirements for advance
The manufacturer of a dietary supplement or
dietary ingredient is responsible for ensuring
that the product is safe before it is marketed.
FDA is responsible for taking action against
any unsafe dietary supplement product after it
reaches the market.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). National Center for Complementary and
Alternative Medicine. Retrieved from http://nccam.nih.gov
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2013). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com
Ernst, MD, PhD, E. (2013). Uptodate. Retrieved from http://www.uptodate.com
WebMD. (2013). WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com
National Institue of Health. (2013). Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved from http://ods.od.nih.gov
Kalish, N. (2013). Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.prevention.com
The Johns Hopkins University. (2013). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved from
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). U.S Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved