complementary and alternative medicine


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medicine

 [med´ĭ-sin]
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.
clinical medicine
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.

complementary and alternative medicine (CAM),

a term referring to a heterogeneous group of hygienic, diagnostic, and therapeutic philosophies and practices whose principles and techniques diverge from those of modern scientific medicine. Some of these differ from traditional medicine only in preferring natural hygienic and therapeutic methods to drug treatment and surgery; some have roots in ancient or modern philosophical or religious systems; and some are based on what some more clinically oriented critics assert are naive, false, or inconsistent notions of anatomy, physiology, psychology, pathology, and pharmacology. Alternative health practices have been imported into some parts of the U.S. by migrant populations, particularly Asians and Hispanics. Many branches of CAM share a holistic view of human health, emphasizing integration of body, mind, and spirit.
Synonym(s): holistic medicine (2)

In the U.S., patients make more visits annually to CAM practitioners than to primary care physicians, and the total cost of CAM in this country exceeds $21 billion a year. About 60% of adults queried have made use of CAM within the past year, but only 5% rely on it exclusively. Many users of alternative therapies continue to see conventional practitioners as well, but may not disclose their use of alternative therapies to their physicians. CAM appeals particularly to people of advanced education, those who believe strongly in the role of the mind in health and disease, and those with an interest in spirituality and personal growth psychology. Other predictors of CAM use are female gender, white race, and advancing age. Users of CAM tend to be in poorer general health than others and to have certain chronic conditions (including anxiety, depression, headache, backache, fibromyalgia, cancer, and HIV infection), but dissatisfaction with conventional medicine appears to be less important in their choice than a preference for a healing system that is congruent with their personal beliefs and values. Many believe that conventional medicine often merely suppresses symptoms without abolishing their cause and that putatively natural remedies are better and safer than synthetic ones. Complementary and alternative methods such as acupuncture and hypnosis are employed by some physicians, particularly those espousing a holistic view of medical practice. Some insurance plans provide coverage for certain alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and massage therapy. Although the use of CAM may benefit some people by providing hope and needed emotional support, exerting placebo effects, or relieving symptoms through mechanisms not yet understood, it dissuades many from receiving appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, alternative therapies can interact adversely with more orthodox forms of treatment, and some are inherently dangerous to health. A feature common to most alternative medical modalities is a lack of strong evidence supporting their mechanism of action, efficacy, and safety. Such clinical trials as have been performed have often been flawed by inadequate sample size and lack of randomization and blinding. Much research on herbal supplements has been invalidated by variations in the species of plant studied, the part of the plant (root, leaf, or flower) and the extraction method used, and the purity of extracts. Controlled studies of acupuncture are nearly impossible because of the lack of a sham procedure for members of a control group. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was created by Congress to support rigorously conducted scientific studies of CAM modalities with valid outcome measures, to establish a clearinghouse for the exchange of information, and to foster training in topics related to CAM that are not typically included in the curricula of mainstream health professionals. Philosophies or methods of complementary and alternative diagnosis or treatment that are popular in the U.S. include acupressure, acupuncture, aromatherapy, biofeedback, chelation therapy, chiropractic, Christian Science, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, hypnotherapy, iridology, macrobiotics, meditation, megavitamin therapy, moxibustion, naturopathy, qiqong, relaxation techniques, rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga.

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.

com·ple·men·ta·ry and al·ter·na·tive med·i·cine

(CAM) (komplĕ-mentăr-ē awl-tĕrnă-tiv medi-sin)
Collective term referring to a heterogeneous group of hygienic, diagnostic, and therapeutic philosophies and practices whose principles and techniques diverge from those of modern scientific medicine.
Compare: allopathy
Synonym(s): holistic medicine (2) .

com·ple·men·ta·ry and al·ter·na·tive med·i·cine

(CAM) (komplĕ-mentăr-ē awl-tĕrnă-tiv medi-sin)
Heterogeneous group of hygienic, diagnostic, and therapeutic philosophies and practices whose principles and techniques diverge from those of modern scientific medicine.
Synonym(s): holistic medicine (2) .
References in periodicals archive ?
Use of complementary and alternative medicine among persons with diabetes mellitus: results of a national survey.
Patterns of the use of complementary and alternative medicine in women with metastatic cancer.
Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, a complementary and alternative medicine provider may practice only those complementary and alternative health care practices in which he or she has been trained.
Implementing a research agenda for complementary and alternative medicine.
Evaluation of randomized controlled trials on complementary and alternative medicine.
One of the oldest, Columbia University's Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, was established back in 1993; shortly afterward Dr.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was established at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1998 by Congress to stimulate, develop, and support research on CAM to benefit the public (NIH, 2000a).
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) invites applications to help stimulate the amount and elevate the quality of basic, mechanistic, and preclinical research in all domains of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to provide a stronger foundation for ongoing and planned clinical studies.
The term complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) was developed by the National Institutes of Health to represent a wide range of healing philosophies and therapies generally not taught in medical schools, not administered in hospitals, and not reimbursed by insurance.
AMRP is designed to help physicians stay current with clinical research related to alternative medicine, as well as the reimbursement and legislative developments involving complementary and alternative medicine.
Most observers say the turning point came in 1998 when the NIH, after enduring years of criticism over its shoddy alternative medicine office, made a bid for credibility by announcing that it would recommit to serious scientific testing--and established, with great fanfare, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
have signed an agreement enabling First DataBank to incorporate Healthnotes' extensive databases on complementary and alternative medicine information into their drug knowledge base products.
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