What is Alternative Therapy?
Alternative therapy (or alternative medication) is an unconventional approach to healing. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) are often discussed together, but in reality are two different therapeutic approaches:
- Complementary medicine – any form of therapy used in combination with other alternative treatments or standard / conventional medicine. Complementary therapy usually serves to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Alternative medicine – is used alone, without recommended standard treatment.
Some people use complementary treatments to relieve symptoms or side effects during standard / conventional treatment (such as pain relief during cancer treatment) standard medical / refers to conventional medical treatments you have been scientifically evaluated and considered safe and effective. The standard / conventional treatments have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
People may decide to pursue complementary or alternative medicine. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any treatment regimen, as these treatments have not been scientifically tested or proven.
What are the Different Types of CAM?
Many different fields make up the practice of complementary and alternative medicine. In addition, many components of a field may overlap with other field components (i.e., acupuncture).