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The Science behind Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Pricking skin with needles during treatment

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is quite popular among patients who prefer non-conventional techniques over standard medicine. But the procedures involved in CAM also have their roots in scientific methods. Here’s a guide to the science behind complementary and alternative medicine.

What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)?

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to medical products and practices which are not a part of standard medical care. They include techniques like massage, acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurveda, oriental medicine, and more. These methods and medicines claim to rely more on natural techniques and ingredients to get rid of pain and cure illnesses.

Patients normally use CAM to treat a variety of diseases ranging from musculoskeletal pain to even cancer. They help get rid of side effects caused by diseases and relieve stress, making the body feel healthier and more energetic.

Making herbal medicine

Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

CAM is divided into various categories based on their origins, treatment type, and techniques used. NCCAM divides CAM modalities into five categories.

Alternative Medical Systems

These alternative medical systems may have evolved from Western or non-Western cultures and are built upon a system of complete ideas and practice. They include methods like chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathic medicine, Ayurveda, and more.

Mind-Body Interventions

Mind-body interventions focus on using imagery and biofeedback to calm the mind and relax the body in the process too. It usually makes use of techniques like meditation, yoga, tai chi, hypnosis, etc.

Biologically Based Treatments

These treatments use substances found in nature like herbs, food, etc., to provide strength and balance the body. Some examples include light therapy, sound therapy, and magnetic therapy.

Manipulative and Body-Based Methods

They are also known as manual healing or physical touch methods. It is a type of therapy that involves a therapist moving or manipulating parts of the body. It includes techniques like physiotherapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic.

Energy Therapies

The science behind energy therapy is that vital energy flows within our body, and energy therapy can help balance that energy flow. It is said to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and improve the patient’s well-being. Polarity, reiki, healing touch, and therapeutic touch are some common examples of energy therapies.

Learn More About Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Now that you’re aware of what CAM is, consider taking an online course on it.

Oxford Learning College is an e-learning college for students in the UK. We offer online diploma courses in healthcare management. You can get an accredited diploma online in aromatherapy, emotional freedom technique (EFT), herbal medicine, flower remedies, nutritional therapy, and more.We also offer short level 3 courses in healthcare management.

If you’re interested in taking level 2, 3, 4, or 5 diploma courses online, contact us here.