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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medicine.
CAM focuses on the whole person and includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Chie Terui I love to watch clients choose to make lifestyle changes, like drinking water with their lunch instead of a Pepsi.
Rushia Butler, MD The beauty of family medicine is that it encompasses the wholeness of everthying- living your own person best life- physically, spiritually, mentally, and supporting your family in living their best lives too. Make An AppointmentOur convenient appointment options include 'same day', and for established patients we also offer 'virtual visits' by phone or email. 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. The outcomes and costs of care for acute low back pain among patients seen by primary care practitioners, chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons: The North Carolina back pain project.
A comparison of physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation and provision of an educational booklet for the treatment of patients with low back pain.
If you believe in treating the whole patient rather than just a condition, then consider a truly rewarding career in holistic medicine.
In fact, if you’re interested in a career in health care, then you’re in luck, because it’s a thriving field of expansion and change. The current health-care system is undergoing a crisis: There are currently not enough medical practitioners to meet health care needs, the prevalence of chronic disease has skyrocketed, and people are seeking new options.
The attitudes and expectations of health care consumers are arguably the most significant determinants of holistic medicine’s viability.
Throughout the world people are visiting holistic practitioners more frequently and spending more on natural health care services and products.
Many governmental labour departments predict that consumer demand for alternative health care will continue to grow because of  research and changing attitudes about alternative, noninvasive health care practices. With so many harbingers of success and expansion, the future of this progressive field looks healthy indeed, for patient and health care practitioner alike.
After months of increasing pain and two different doctors recommending surgery, this professional found that the real problem was deeper.
This real estate investor already had a busy life before she got hit by an ongoing stressful business situation.
For example, CAM includes mind-body medicine (such as meditation, acupuncture and yoga), manipulative and body-based practices (such as massage therapy and spinal manipulation), and natural products (such as herbs and dietary supplements). There’s nothing like seeing one become self confident, and happy with themselves as they achieve their fitness goals. 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.


Steyer is an assistant professor of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and a former Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. As more and more individuals seek treatments that supplement or prevent the need for conventional, western medicine, the career opportunities in holistic medicine multiply and flourish. They learn to treat all aspects of family health and wellness, from pediatrics to geriatrics. Current growth and other positive trends make today a good time to become a holistic medicine practitioner  — especially since the future prognosis for job demand in this field looks equally bright. People are living longer, and they are seeking a higher quality of life, expecting more than just pharmaceutical symptom management.
A recent survey noted that more than a third of consumers use complimentary and alternative medicine. Eichelberger’s files to give you an idea of the results patients get when working with him. However, to protect patient confidentiality, all names have been changed in these case studies.
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. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Their scope of practice may include everything from nutrition and botanical medicine to clinical diagnosis and pharmacology. For this reason, holistic and natural health care appeals to many health-conscious individuals. More specifically, the number of adult visits to holistic practitioners rose 46 percent over a recent five-year period. Once we started treatment, her stress got better fairly fast, but even better, everything else got better as well. Integrative medicine combines, or integrates, the best of conventional medical care with the best of evidence-based CAM.
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. Today’s population has an increasing interest in wellness practices and therapies, a growing desire for healthful aging techniques, and a renewed focus on prevention and self-directed lifestyle changes, such as dietary strategies. Imagine if you could achieve similar improvements and what it would mean for your productivity and quality of life. 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.
Out-of-pocket payment for such services is becoming increasingly common, as is health insurance coverage.
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. Evidence for the use of naturopathic techniques often comes from the study of more specific complementary therapies.There are currently four schools of naturopathy in the United States. Individuals study many of the same topics taught in allopathic or osteopathic medical schools. Acupuncture is the ancient practice of inserting fine needles into carefully selected points located along meridians, or energy pathways, in the body.
The meridians have been documented electronically to exist, yet how the disruption of these pathways allows healing to occur remains unknown.


I would emphasize to the patient the benefits of conventional chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other treatments offered by physicians who specialize in oncology. In 1997, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel of experts issued a consensus statement for the use of acupuncture. I would encourage the patient to discuss his proposed homeopathic treatment with his oncologists. According to this statement, clear evidence supports the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, nausea associated with pregnancy, and postoperative dental pain.3Typically, acupuncturists receive training at schools of traditional oriental medicine.
If no hope is available from conventional medicine, I would try to encourage him to live one day at a time. Many of these schools are now accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I would review each herb with the patient in detail and would ask her not to take any herb that I needed more time to review.
Once I had reviewed the herbal therapy, I would try to reach a joint decision with the patient regarding what would be safe for her to take. It became an organized discipline approximately 100 years ago when Canadian Daniel David Palmer introduced it in the United States. Ginkgo biloba is thought to stimulate functioning nerve cells and protect nerve cells from pathologic influences. There is strong evidence that chiropractic treatment is as beneficial for low back pain as treatment given by primary care providers, orthopedists and physical therapists.5,6 The evidence for the use of chiropractic for other conditions is less compelling.
Thus, it will potentiate the effect of Coumadin and can lead to an increased risk of bleeding. Chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states and must pass either a state licensing examination or an examination given by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.Herbal medicine.
I would let the patient know of the possible devastating outcome that may occur if he combines these drugs. If he chooses to use Ginkgo biloba, I would stop Coumadin therapy immediately and document the reason for it in the patient’s record. The Ancient Greeks also used herbal remedies, but it was the Romans who brought herbal medicine to Northern Europe.
By remaining open-minded, you can learn a lot about your patients’ use of unconventional therapies. However, as science became more established, people came to believe that synthetic ingredients were more effective than those found in nature and the use of herbal remedies quickly diminished, especially in the United States. Today, herbs are widely used in Europe and are again gaining popularity in the United States.1,7 Some of the most popular herbal remedies include St. I recommend asking every patient about his or her use of alternative therapies during routine history taking.
Encourage your patients to ask alternative providers about their background and training and the treatment modalities they use. By doing so, your patients will be better equipped to make educated decisions about their health care.Discuss CAM therapies with your patients at every visit. There is also no guarantee that a herbal product is formulated to ensure that the same amount of active ingredient is present in each tablet.
When using herbal therapies, finding a reputable manufacturer is essential to help ensure safety, appropriate use and response.Homeopathy. If you determine the therapy might be harmful, you’ll have to ask the patient to stop using it.
Instead, let me suggest that we learn more, keep the lines of communication open and become effective guides for our patients. In other words, a substance that causes symptoms in well individuals can also be used to treat the same symptoms in sick individuals.
While Hippocrates understood the basic concepts of homeopathy and used some homeopathic cures, Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and chemist founded modern homeopathy.
Three states (Arizona, Connecticut and Nevada) do require a license to practice homeopathy, and two states (Delaware and New Hampshire) regulate the practice of homeopathy without licensure. It is most often used to treat osteoarthritis and non-union bone fractures.Diet and nutrition. Herbal therapy is considered to be the most popular alternative therapy used in the United States. Examples include psychotherapy, meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback and prayer. Used most commonly to treat nausea and vomiting (particularly for anesthesia or chemotherapy-induced hyperemesis gravidarum) and post-operative dental pain.Pharmacological and biological treatments. Examples include the use of shark cartilage, EDTA for chelation therapy (for coronary artery disease) and apiotherapy.



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