Understanding Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)

The terms Complementary and alternative medicine are often used interchangeably. The boundaries between them are not always sharp or fixed. Complementary and alternative medicine covers a variety of different meanings:

• a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period.

• such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well being.

• complementary and alternative medicine therapies are defined as those therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional allopathic medical practice.

They may lack biomedical or ‘scientific’ explanations but as they become better researched some, such as physical therapy, homeopathy, diet, and acupuncture have become widely accepted.

• those medical interventions not taught at medical schools or not available at hospitals.

Therapies are termed as complementary when used in addition to conventional treatments and as alternative when used instead of conventional treatment. Homeopathy is therefore both a complementary and alternative medicine depending on the approach being used.

If you are interested in exploring or studying homeopathy or attending our student clinics then contact Ellen Kramer MCPH, ARH, Course Director of The College of Practical Homeopathy • www.collegeofpracticalhomeopathy.com. • Tel: 0208 445 6123 or • email Tessa for help, queries or questions.

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