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Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Home

An overview of complementary and integrative medicine including history, branches of practice, professionals, and research methods.

Welcome

This guide is designed to provide an overview of complementary and alternative medicine. It provides information and guidance on:

A monk practicing meditation

Public Domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons

What is Complementary Medicine? 

 

Simply put, complementary medicine and therapies are health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine. 

 

There are three terms that are often used interchangeably but that should be identified separately: complementary, alternative, and integrative. 

  • Alternative: a non-mainstream practice that is used in place of conventional medicine
  • Complementary: a non-mainstream practice that is used together with conventional medicine
  • Integrative: bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way

Today, the use of alternative medicine is uncommon. Most people use these approaches in tandem with conventional treatments. 

David Nolfi's picture
David Nolfi
Contact:
412.396.4931

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