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What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)?

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Most people that have heard of complementary and alternative medicine most likely believe that they are the same form of medicine. Although they are grouped together under the term “CAM” (complementary and alternative medicine), they actually do have their differences.

How is CAM different than conventional medicine?

Conventional medicine includes the use of drugs, surgery, and treatment to cure the illness and its symptoms. Conventional medicine is also called allopathic medicine, Western medicine, orthodox medicine, and biomedicine.

In conventional medicine, doctors and other healthcare professionals look after the patient and treat his disease and symptoms. If you go to a doctor, the first prescription you receive is of conventional medicine.

What is alternative medicine?

Alternative medicine is the type of treatment that is used in place of traditional medicine. It is also known as complementary and integrative medicine. Nowadays, alternative medicine and conventional medicine go hand-in-hand for best results and proper patient safety.

Functional medicine is a form of alternative medicine that takes over the fact that the root cause of the problem must be focused rather than just focusing on the disease. It is the same reason why alternative medicine uses many approaches to consider the whole body. The proponents of this field of medicine believe that working on the root cause of disease helps in treating the problem more effectively.

Types of CAM

Different types of CAM are used to relieve the symptoms of the patient and help them to improve. Here are the different types of CAM therapies that are usually used to treat the symptoms and disease.

  • Complementary  Medicine

Complementary medicine is the most popular and accepted form of treatment that includes homeopathy, acupuncture, Ayurveda, naturopathy, and Oriental medicine. Complementary medicine is in practice for a long time and has shown some great results. Today, complementary medicine is used along with conventional medicine for excellent results.

  • Therapeutic touch

The idea behind touch treatment is that illness in one part of the body has significant effects on other parts of the body. It is one of the ancient forms of treatment that has shown some positive results. In this treatment, the focus is to bring back the optimum health of the other parts of the body so that the body can fully heal from the disease or injury. In this medicine, body treatment is combined with a mind for the best results. Some examples of this therapy includes yoga, massage, body movement, Osteopathic medicine, and Tai Chi.

  • Chiropractic Therapy

Chiropractic therapy is a natural curative procedure without any medication. This therapy is preferred by individuals seeking alternative care for chronic and acute ailments. Chiropractic therapy is much more than healing a specific condition. Chiropractic therapy has shown significant efficacy in treating various health complications. Chiropractic therapy of the spine may help to improve chronic pain.

  • Nutritional Control

The normal diet of humans has changed from focusing on the ingredients to focusing on the nutrients. Today, people prefer diets that are rich in fats, protein, carbs. Alternative medicine believes in the notion of putting efforts in improving the nutritional diet of the person, so the body is not deficient in any nutrient. Diet must be controlled in a way that it remains balanced.

Herbal supplements and dietary supplements are considered to be one of the best ways to control deficiencies and excess of anything in the body. Natural medicine imposes fewer side-effects on the body and has proven to reduce the symptoms of the disease.

  • Energy Medicine

Another form of alternative medicine is by using external energies taken directly from different sources and objects to give the ill person a boost of energy. It is another oldest form of alternative medicine that is used alongside Western medicine to cure the disease. Qigong, Electromagnetic therapy, and Reiki are some examples of external energies used to treat patients. Professionals must do these treatments.

  • Mind & Body Therapies

Holistic medicine is a form of complementary and alternative medicine that takes into consideration the whole human body, including his mind and emotions. The primary aim of this medicine is to restore the optimum health of the person and relieving him from the side-effects of the illness on his soul and mind. A holistic doctor considers the potential causes of the disease and tries to heal them through several means. Although medication is also involved in this treatment, it is not the sole approach to this field of medicine. Lifestyle modifications play an important role in this treatment approach.

How be CAM an effective treatment?

CAM focuses on the whole human body with many of its treatments focusing on the total health instead of only focusing on the treatment. CAM has fewer negative effects as compared to Western medicine because the CAM approaches involve the least medications and no surgeries.

Solely, CAM treatment might not prove to be much effective, but when combined with conventional medicine – This treatment approach can do wonders for the ill person.

There are many reasons why patients take help from CAM treatment, among which number one is the increase in the number of debilitating diseases that has no cure in conventional medicine. CAM does help in relieving the symptoms in the patient. CAM is found to be supportive for cancer patients and HIV AIDS.

Many research studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of CAM treatments. Many have found that acupuncture is the best way to cure pain in any part of the body.

Most medicines in the CAM are made with plants so that they have at least side-effects. Apart from it, these treatments are easily accessible and affordable for everyone. No matter if you are living in Africa or any part of the world, you can get easy access to CAM treatment.

In short, it is the basic idea behind CAM that makes it so effective. Often illness or pain leaves a significant mark on our mental health, which is not easy to cover unless a proper care plan is followed. CAM helps patients to unburden themselves from the pain’s take on them and improve their overall health.

A CAM treatment combined with allopathy gives the best possible results.


Why should you consider it?

CAM treatments help patients in a million ways. Here are the top reasons why you should consider this treatment.

-It is an alternative way to find a cure for many patients. Often people rely on these treatments to see if they can provide the cure instead of conventional medicine. It is specifically special treatment for people who found no cure in conventional medicine.

It helps you stay in control. As mentioned above, CAM help patients to focus on their spiritual health along with physical health. This approach strengthens their mental health, thus giving them more power to control how they think and behave.

-It helps in reducing the pain/side-effects/symptoms, which is the very reason why many people use CAM along with Western medicine. Complementary therapies can help patients to overcome the side-effects of certain diseases. For instance, acupuncture can help in relieving pain after surgery.

-It boosts your immune system. Certain therapies are found to have specific positive effects on the immune system of the person that helps in improving the overall health, along with treating significant illnesses.

-It brings you to acceptance, so you can stay more focused on becoming better rather than worrying about the illness. It helps you be the boss of your mind and remain relieved, so your mental health does not further affect your physical health.

Both complementary and alternative medicine are excellent approaches to improve health and deal with a medical illness. If properly prescribed, both treatments can pose many positive effects on the person.

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