alternative medicine(redirected from Complementary or alternative medicine)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
1. any drug or remedy.
2. the art and science of the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.
3. the nonsurgical treatment of disease.
alternative medicine see complementary and alternative medicine.
aviation medicine the branch of medicine that deals with the physiologic, medical, psychologic, and epidemiologic problems involved in flying.
ayurvedic medicine the traditional medicine of India, done according to Hindu scriptures and making use of plants and other healing materials native to India.
behavioral medicine a type of psychosomatic medicine focused on psychological means of influencing physical symptoms, such as biofeedback or relaxation.
1. the study of disease by direct examination of the living patient.
2. the last two years of the usual curriculum in a medical college.
complementary medicine (complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)) a large and diverse set of systems of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention based on philosophies and techniques other than those used in conventional Western medicine, often derived from traditions of medical practice used in other, non-Western cultures. Such practices may be described as alternative, that is, existing as a body separate from and as a replacement for conventional Western medicine, or complementary, that is, used in addition to conventional Western practice. CAM is characterized by its focus on the whole person as a unique individual, on the energy of the body and its influence on health and disease, on the healing power of nature and the mobilization of the body's own resources to heal itself, and on the treatment of the underlying causes, rather than symptoms, of disease. Many of the techniques used are the subject of controversy and have not been validated by controlled studies.
emergency medicine the medical specialty that deals with the acutely ill or injured who require immediate medical treatment. See also emergency and emergency care.
experimental medicine study of the science of healing diseases based on experimentation in animals.
family medicine family practice.
forensic medicine the application of medical knowledge to questions of law; see also medical jurisprudence. Called also legal medicine.
group medicine the practice of medicine by a group of physicians, usually representing various specialties, who are associated together for the cooperative diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
internal medicine the medical specialty that deals with diagnosis and medical treatment of diseases and disorders of internal structures of the body.
legal medicine forensic medicine.
nuclear medicine the branch of medicine concerned with the use of radionuclides in diagnosis and treatment of disease.
patent medicine a drug or remedy protected by a trademark, available without a prescription.
physical medicine physiatry.
preclinical medicine the subjects studied in medicine before the student observes actual diseases in patients.
preventive medicine the branch of medical study and practice aimed at preventing disease and promoting health.
proprietary medicine any chemical, drug, or similar preparation used in the treatment of diseases, if such article is protected against free competition as to name, product, composition, or process of manufacture by secrecy, patent, trademark, or copyright, or by other means.
psychosomatic medicine the study of the interrelations between bodily processes and emotional life.
socialized medicine a system of medical care regulated and controlled by the government; called also state medicine.
space medicine the branch of aviation medicine concerned with conditions encountered by human beings in space.
sports medicine the field of medicine concerned with injuries sustained in athletic endeavors, including their prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
state medicine socialized medicine.
travel medicine (travelers' medicine) the subspecialty of tropical medicine consisting of the diagnosis and treatment or prevention of diseases of travelers.
tropical medicine medical science as applied to diseases occurring primarily in the tropics and subtropics.
veterinary medicine the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of animals other than humans.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
A variety of health care practices, such as homeopathy, naturopathy, and Reiki, whose tenets often differ from those of mainstream medicine and are not generally taught in conventional medical schools.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
alternative medicineA heterogeneous set of practices that are offered as an alternative to conventional medicine, for the preservation of health and the diagnosis and treatment of health-related problems; its practitioners are often called healers. Alternative healthcare practices constitute a vast array of treatments and ideologies, which may be well-known, exotic, mysterious or even dangerous, and are based on no common or consistent philosophy. Practitioners range from being sincere, well-educated, and committed to their form of healing, to pseuodscientists or charlatans.
Types of alternative therapies
• Alternative (formal) systems—Acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy.
• Body awareness—Exercise and movement therapies, e.g., dance therapy, martial arts, yoga.
• Manipulative therapies—Chiropractic, Hellerwork, Rolfing.
• Mental therapies—Humanistic psychology, hypnosis.
• Natural remedies—Diet (e.g., macrobiotics), naturopathy.
• Sensory therapies—Art, colour and music therapy.
• Fringe—Iridology, aromatherapy, reflexology.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
alternative medicine…a heterogeneous set of practices 'that are offered as an alternative to conventional medicine, for the preservation of health and the diagnosis and treatment of health-related problems; its practitioners are often called healers'; alternative health care practices constitute a vast array of treatments and ideologies, which may be well-known, exotic, mysterious, or even dangerous, and are based on no common or consistent philosophy; the practitioners range from being sincere, well-educated, and committed to their form of healing, to charlatans, deprecatingly known as 'quacks'. See Fringe medicine, Holistic medicine, Integrative medicine, Office of Alternative Medicine. Cf Unproven methods for cancer management.
Alternaive therapies, types of
- Alternative (formal) systems
- Acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy
- Body awareness
- Exercise and movement therapies, eg dance therapy, martial arts, yoga
- Manipulative therapies
- Chiropractic, Hellerwork, Rolfing®
- Mental therapies
- Humanistic psychology, hypnosis
- Natural remedies
- Diet, eg macrobiotics, naturopathy
- Sensory therapies
- Art, color, and music therapy
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
al·ter·na·tive med·i·cine(awl-tĕr'nă-tiv med'i-sin)
A general term for methods of healing, some ancient and widely practiced, which may not be firmly based on accepted scientific principles and may thereby be of limited known effectiveness. Examples of alternative practices include acupuncture and acupressure, homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, massage, hypnosis, megavitamin therapy, pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis, iridology, rolfing, faith healing, and prayer.
See also: complementary medicine
See also: complementary medicine
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
alternative medicineForms of medical practice the bases of which have not been, or cannot be, subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny, or which, when scientifically tested, are not found to be effective. Some forms of alternative medicine do not meet generally accepted criteria of rational validity. They include HOMEOPATHY, ACUPUNCTURE to treat disease, AROMATHERAPY, REFLEXOLOGY and IRIDOLOGY. Alternative medical therapies are commonly successful in the short term because of the therapeutic effect of human interaction and the expectation of results confidently predicted (PLACEBO EFFECT), but seldom have useful long-term effects. The reputation of alternative therapies has much to do with the psychological mechanism by which chance results favourable to a hypothesis are noted and remembered whereas those unfavourable are not. In late 2003 the British Government, alarmed at the proliferation of unqualified alternative practitioners, announced plans to regulate and control the practice of alternative medicine. See also COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005