Although not a typical treatment option, we encourage our patients to consider whether complementary medicine is a viable alternative. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defines complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as those medical care systems, practices, and products that aren’t “conventional.”
Medical professionals find that complementary medicine treatments are effective when paired with traditional healthcare. Among the leading complementary medicine options are:
Whole Medical Systems – With their origins outside traditional medical practices, homeopathic and naturopathic medicines stimulate the body's own healing abilities through the application and/or ingestion of small doses of highly diluted substances and through dietary and lifestyle changes.
Mind-Body Medicine – These therapeutic alternatives involve the mind’s ability to affect the body’s health and function and consist of patient support groups, meditation, prayer, mental healing, and creative therapies including art, music, and dance.
Biologically Based Practices – Practices such as aromatherapy include the use of natural substances, like supplements, herbs, and nutrients found in foods.
Manipulative and Body-Based Practices – Such alternatives include yoga and joint manipulation.
Energy Therapies – Such practices involve energy fields that surround and penetrate the body. For example, Qi Gong, a Chinese medicine involving healthy blood flow, blends movement, meditation, and controlled breathing. Similarly, Reiki therapy incorporates the transfer of universal energy for healing through hand placement.
Bioelectromagnetic-Based Therapies – This form of complementary medicine involves the use of electromagnetic fields and includes pulsed fields, magnetic fields, and alternating-current or direct-current fields.