Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Complimentary, Integrative, Alternative Medicine
Paige Hendrickson, Porter Hills
Nurse Care Manager and Certified Wellness Coach-Mayo Clinic
Watch the WZZM Senior Wellness segment on this topic.
Types of Alternative Medicine include:
Many different areas make up the practice of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In addition, many parts of one field may overlap with the parts of another field. For example, acupuncture is also used in conventional medicine. In the U.S., CAM is used by about 2 in 5 adults and about 1 in 10 children. Below are some examples of CAM.
Traditional alternative medicine.
This field includes the more mainstream and accepted forms of therapy such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and Oriental practices. These therapies have been used for centuries around the world. Traditional alternative medicine may include:
Touch has been used in medicine since the early days of medical care. Healing by touch is based on the idea that illness or injury in one area of the body can affect all parts of the body. By using manual manipulation, other parts can be brought back to optimum health. Then the body can fully focus on healing at the site of injury or illness. Body techniques are often combined with those of the mind. Examples of body therapies include:
Chiropractic and osteopathic medicine
Body movement therapies
Diet and herbs
Over the centuries, people have gone from a simple diet of meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains to a diet that often has foods rich in fats, oils, and complex carbohydrates. Having too much or too little nutrition has become problems in today’s society. Either can lead to certain chronic diseases. Many dietary and herbal approaches attempt to balance the body’s nutritional well-being. Dietary and herbal approaches may include:
Nutrition or diet
Some people believe external energies from objects or other sources directly affect a person’s health. An example of external energy therapy is:
Even standard or conventional medicine recognizes the power of the connection between mind and body. Studies have found that people heal better if they have balanced emotional and mental health. Therapies using the mind may include:
Some people believe the senses of touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste can affect overall health. Examples of these therapies include:
Art, dance, and music
Visualization and guided imagery
Enter integrative medicine.
The principles of integrative medicine include:
- A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process.
- Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate body’s innate healing response.
- Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit, and body.
- A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
- Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms.
- Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible.
- Use of broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease.
- Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development.