An Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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An Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to a range of healthcare therapies not covered by conventional medical treatment. Examples include acupuncture, dietary supplements, massage therapy, hypnosis and meditation.

Complementary and alternative medicines are generally not used as a replacement for standard medical treatment; rather, they serve to enhance general wellbeing or help the individual manage their illness better. A number of different complementary therapies have been tested in small-scale controlled trials with positive results, including massage therapy and aromatherapy.

Research into CAM is still at an early stage, making some results difficult to interpret. Especially those based on individual choice which require more interpretation than randomized control trials (RCTs).

Some people may find the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine more helpful than conventional treatment, however it’s essential to speak with your doctor first before trying any new therapies. Furthermore, make sure the complementary therapist you select has all necessary qualifications and licenses to practice.

The CAM industry is overseen and regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. This agency ensures a product’s safety and effectiveness are supported by research. It also monitors product supply chains, rating companies based on how well they’re doing.

Complementary and alternative medicines fall into two categories: registered and listed. While listed medicines tend to be safer, they still don’t go through rigorous efficacy testing before being sold. If a complementary and alternative medicine doesn’t meet certain criteria for effectiveness, it could be taken off the market.

It can be challenging to distinguish between complementary and alternative medicine, as there are so many different things people can try that may make them feel more at ease with their condition or cope better with treatment. Some are interested in trying something new; others want to improve their health and wellbeing; still others seek an alternative solution to traditional medical treatments which haven’t worked as well for them.

In the UK, it’s advised that you consult your doctor before beginning any complementary and alternative therapies. They can determine if these treatments are safe and effective for you as well as alert you if there are any issues with other medicines you’re taking.

Ask your GP or cancer doctor to discuss complementary and alternative therapies with you and determine if they might be beneficial for you. Additionally, inquire with your health insurance provider to see if they cover any of these services.

The term “complementary” comes from the Latin word complementum, meaning “adjacent”. In mathematics, two acute angles that are adjacent to one another are said to be complementary.

This term also applies to the two angles of a triangle, which are said to be complementary if their total angles add up to 90 degrees.

Some of the most popular approaches to health and wellbeing are considered complementary, such as acupuncture, dietary supplements, massage, yoga, meditation and hypnosis. These treatments can be used either alone or combined with conventional medicines. There’s evidence that some CAM therapies may reduce side effects from conventional medications but more research needs to be done in order to understand how they work for different individuals with various conditions.

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