Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) has a significant effect on healthcare. CAM encompasses several broad categories; the alternative medical system, mind-body interventions, manipulative based models and biological based therapies. Table 1 lists specific examples of each category. National healthcare and pharmaceutical options can be cost prohibited for many Americans, CAM offers an affordable option for many patients. While pharmaceutical ingredients have their value, we should not overlook the well-documented, non-toxic, healing properties of biologically based therapies. CAM may be used for various health conditions and disease processes including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, nausea, inflammation, insulin and immunity support, mood disorders, and even cancer, just to name a few. Therefore, healthcare providers should be cognizant of the use, efficiency, adverse reactions, and scientific evidence surrounding CAM. Our goal as healthcare providers is to offer safe, effective treatment and accurate information to our patients.5

Table 1. CAM Categories.5
CAM by Category Examples
Alternative Medical System Homeopathic Medicine
Naturopathic Medicine
Mind-body Interventions Relaxation, Meditation, Hypnosis, Imagery
Biologically Based Therapies Herbs, Spices, Food
Manipulative Based Models Chiropractic, Massage