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Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Chapter 18. What is CAM?. Complementary Medicine : forms of treatment that is used together with conventional medicine Alternative Medicine : treatment used in place of conventional medicine. Conventional Medicine.

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What is cam
What is CAM?

  • Complementary Medicine: forms of treatment that is used together with conventional medicine

  • Alternative Medicine: treatment used in place of conventional medicine


Conventional medicine
Conventional Medicine

  • Practiced by medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.)

  • Allied health professionals (psychologists, registered nurses, physical therapists)


Alternative medicines
Alternative Medicines

  • Serves as an alternative to conventional medicine

  • Users perceive CAM as a more natural and more holistic approach to healing

  • Users may find conventional medicine too invasive, too high tech, or toxic


4 domains of complementary and alternative medicine
4 Domains of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

  • 1. Manipulative and body-based practices:

    • Manipulation or movement of body parts

    • Chiropractic medicine

      • Based on idea: Life-giving energy flows through spine via nervous system

      • If spine is misaligned, the force is disrupted

      • Proper alignment of the spine


Energy medicine
Energy Medicine

  • Focus on energy fields within the body (biofields) or electromagnetic fields

  • Qi gong (Chinese): movements/exercises to enhance flow of energy (qi)

  • Reiki (Japanese): channeling spiritual energy to heal the physical body

  • Therapeutic touch: healing force with passing the hands over the body


Additional energy therapies
Additional Energy Therapies:

Derivatives of energy therapies include:

  • Acupuncture and Acupressure

    • Acupuncture: insertion of needles to affect the energy flow within body

    • Acupressure: application of pressure to pressure points to balance energy


3 mind body medicine
3. Mind-Body Medicine

  • Techniques designed to enhance the mind’s ability to affect bodily function and symptoms:

    • Meditation

    • Yoga

    • Tai Chi

    • Music & Art therapy

    • Prayer


4 biologically based practices
4. Biologically Based Practices

  • Treatments using substances found in nature:

    • Herbs, special diets, & vitamins

      • Ginko biloba - treat depression, enhance memory

      • St. John’s Wort - mood enhancer, sleep enhancer, supports immune function

      • Echinacea - stimulate immune system, treat symptoms of cold and flu

      • Green tea - antioxidant that combats cell-damaging free radicals

      • Functional foods - oat fiber and soy protein (lowers LDL), yogurt (good bacteria that fights off infections), garlic (lowers cholesterol)


National center for complementary and alternative medicine
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

  • (NCCAM) provides information by the government and general recommendations on CAM

  • Most CAM not regulated, not approved by FDA

  • Learn about proper dosage

  • Tell your doctor what CAM you are utilizing (some herbs may affect other medications)


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