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Acknowledgments: The authors thank Robb Scholten and Maria Van Rompay for research assistance and June Cobb and Marcia Rich for editorial suggestions.
Grant Support: In part by educational grants from the National Institutes of Health (U24 AR43441), John E.
The first of two essays in this issue demonstrated that the United States has had a rich history of medical pluralism. Anyone can submit a comment any time after publication, but only those submitted within 4 weeks of an article’s publication will be considered for print publication. Complementary and alternative medicine is a term that describes the practices and medical products that are not a part of conventional treatment and are used other than standard means of treatment and care. Alternative medicines means those methods of treatment that are being used instead of standard ones while complementary medicines includes nonstandard means of treatment which can be used along with standard ones. Complementary medicines are used along with conventional treatment to enhance the effect of treatment. Biologically based practices that are used in CAM uses natural herbs,vitamins,foods,dietary supplements, herbal products etc.For example use of shark cartilage to treat cancer is not yet scientifically proved.


According to practitioners of CAM, it is believed that there is an invisible energy flow within our body and when this energy flow is blocked a person becomes sick.The aim is to unblock this energy flow via magnet therapy, reiki, therapeutic touch and qi gong. I just couldnt leave your website before saying that I really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors… Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post! Fetzer Institute, the Waletzky Charitable Trust, Friends of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and American Specialty Health Plan.
This essay seeks to present an overview of contemporary unconventional medical practices in the United States. Examples of complementary and alternative medicine therapies are herbal medicines, chiropractic and acupuncture. For example aromatherapy is used as a complementary therapy that helps to lessen any discomfort following surgery. To be healthy, medical practitioners believe that both systems must work in harmony with each other. No clear definition of a€?alternative medicinea€? is offered because it is a residual category composed of heterogeneous healing methods.


In western culture CAM therapy includes naturopathic medicine and homeopathy.Non-western cultures include Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.
Two broad categories of unconventional medicine are described here: a more prominent, a€?mainstreama€? complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and a more culture-bound, a€?parochiala€? unconventional medicine. The CAM component can be divided into professional groups, layperson-initiated popular health reform movements, New Age healing, alternative psychological therapies, and non-normative scientific enterprises.
The parochial category can be divided into ethno-medicine, religious healing, and folk medicine.



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