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admin 07.09.2013

Complementary medicine combines treatments like meditation with more standard medical practices.
Alternative medicine is not the sidelined, new age world of yoga and therapeutic needles it was once perceived to be. In this article, we'll find out what each of these complementary approaches entails and which therapies they promote.
This guide focuses on Palmer Library's books, videos, eBooks, databases and journals pertaining to alternative & complementary therapies. The purpose of this guide is to provide key resources for the subject of alternative and complementary medicine. While chiropractic is considered a part of CAM, resources in this guide will be focusing on other aspects of alternative medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine. Many families that choose complementary and alternative treatments for their children do not disclose this information to their health or service providers.
Is there any research evidence that the treatment is useful for individuals with the same condition as mine? Clinicians including doctors, therapists, dietitians, dentists and other providers strive to rely most on diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that have been evaluated in research studies and found to be useful and reliable. There are a variety of clinical procedures that are derived from other philosophical approaches to body function and dysfunction.
There is very little knowledge about CAM therapies, especially in children with disabilities. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the government’s NIH, is actively involved in fostering CAM research studies.
Parents and other caregivers can turn to a variety of sources for information about CAM therapies.
Some of these treatments have evolved data for their role in treating certain specific conditions in which case their role in the management of that specific condition may be considered evidence based as opposed to complementary.  For example, chiropractic’s for low back pain in adults. Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about their experiences with the treatments and therapies in this section. Check out our Resource Locator to find the government and non-government agencies that can provide the services that your child needs. It has become a mainstream, $50-billion health care industry in the United States, from which 74 percent of Americans seek some sort of medical help [source: NCCAM].

Alternative medicine involves the use of something like meditation, herbs or energy therapy to treat cancer instead of radiation or chemotherapy. Some complementary therapies fall into more than one category, like meditation, which is a mind-body therapy and part of a whole medical system known as traditional Chinese medicine. We'll talk about the five most popular complementary therapies that hospitals offer and what's involved in the treatments. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice'.
While scientific evidence exists regarding some CAM therapies, for most there are key questions that are yet to be answered through well-designed scientific studies – questions such as whether these therapies are safe and whether they work for the purposes for which they are used.
This makes the providers’ job more difficult and does not allow the provider to assist with decisions around the use of these treatments.
What side effects have been seen or might be seen including impacts on health, behavior and family? For example, does the treatment claim to cure a wide variety of conditions yet have no side effects?
There are some laboratory tests and clinical procedures that have not been tested in a research setting but are accepted as part of contemporary medicine because they have been demonstrated to be useful over many years of careful observation (e.g. When these procedures are used in conjunction with evidence based medicine they are called complementary medicine; when used instead of evidence based medicine, they are called alternative medicine.
They are used by CAM practitioners for health promotion, disease prevention, diagnostic testing and disease and disability therapy. Other Divisions of the NIH are also involved in CAM research studies related to their areas of responsibility: for example, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). A common but not necessarily optimal source is “word of mouth” – either from acquaintances or the internet. In complementary medicine, treatments like meditation, herbs or energy therapy are used to treat cancer in addition to radiation or chemo. We'll start with another therapy that began thousands of years ago in traditional Chinese medicine: acupuncture. CAM can include herbs and dietary supplements, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, naturopathy, homeopathy etc.
Good health care providers should be knowledgeable and open in their discussions with families about these treatments to ensure trust and coordination of their services. For example, a simple case report or series of cases reported carries only a low level of evidence as it provides only for showing a possible association.

CAM procedures are generally not included in the reimbursement payments of many insurance plans although this is evolving.
CAM therapies are used for children in a wide spectrum of developmental disabilities such as intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, learning disabilities, ADHD and epilepsy. The important issues are: What evidence exists that supports the claims of CAM practitioners? People have to be very careful in evaluating information from these sources since they are often very biased; in the case of the internet, they can be commercially driven. On the contrary, they're two of the most popular forms of complementary therapy today, offered in thousands of conventional-medicine hospitals around the country. It's called integrative medicine -- an approach to health that focuses on the whole patient, body and mind, instead of only a particular disease. Whereas a randomized clinical trial is considered a very high level of evidence of efficacy. A number of innovative procedures are presently being evaluated in carefully designed studies including robotic therapy for improved upper and lower limb mobility and hippo therapy for improved musculoskeletal coordination. More balanced views are usually available from your personal physician, the NIH and from not-for-profit organizations in the specific disorder area (e.g.
Complementary medicine is now practiced in more than one-third of hospitals in the United States, a notable increase over the one-quarter of hospitals offering complementary therapies in 2005 [source: MNT].
Your clinician may be able to help you understand the level of evidence of any research that exists. Or are the reported benefits coming from commercially driven reports or emotionally based personal endorsements? However, for the most part, contemporary medicine is based upon evidence based analyses and is accepted in western societies as the basis for acceptable clinical care. However, most CAM therapies have rarely been scientifically studied and so their usefulness and effectiveness is not well understood. They are the core of the acceptable procedures used by licensed health care and service providers and are usually included in the reimbursement payments of government and private insurance plans.
Some could be helpful, some harmful and studies are underway to test some of these interventions.

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