complementary medicine

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to complementary medicine: holistic medicine, Integrative Medicine


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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

complementary medicine

A method of health care that combines the therapies and philosophies of conventional medicine with those of alternative medicines, such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, and biofeedback.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

com·ple·men·ta·ry med·i·cine

(kom'plĕ-men'tăr-ē med'i-sin)
A general term for therapeutic methods, some ancient and widely practiced, to treat nonemergency conditions from a holistic and noninvasive approach. Increasingly used in conjunction with allopathic methods, examples of complementary practices include acupuncture and acupressure, homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, massage therapy, pulse diagnosis, Reiki, tongue diagnosis, iridology, faith healing, and prayer.
See also: alternative medicine
Compare: allopathy
[L. compleo, to fill out]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

complementary medicine

A better term than the designation ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, in view of the fact that no informed medical scientist believes that any of the existing therapies outside the range of orthodox medicine offer an alternative to evidence-based scientific medical practice. The use of the title ‘complementary’ should not, however, be taken to imply that, when tested disinterestedly, such therapies are effective. Several well-designed, randomized controlled trials reported in 2002 failed to prove the value of, or to validate the claimed effectiveness of, acupuncture for cocaine addiction; St John's Wort or sertraline for severe depression; chelation therapy for coronary artery disease; homoeopathy for asthmatic adults with house dust mite excreta allergies; vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent respiratory infections; ginkgo for memory loss; or prayer for the outcome of myocardial infarction.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
As such, Australia now has three types of complementary medicines available to consumers: listed medicines, assessed listed medicines, and registered complementary medicines.
Choosing to use any form of complementary medicine in this group of patients was just a strong predictor of who would refuse conventional treatment.
If a complementary medicine has been traditionally used without demonstrating harm, a review of the relevant literature should be provided.
Patients with education levels of high school or less were also less likely to try complementary medicines, with an odds ratio of 0.69 (95% CI, 0.63-0.75; P less than .0001), versus patients with any college-level education.
In 30 cases, the issues were "probably or definitely" related to complementary medicine, and 17 patients were regarded as being harmed by a failure to use conventional medicine.
This article discusses hypnosis and mind-body approaches in the care of the cancer patient, and offers suggestions regarding the evaluation of complementary medicine therapies.
The acknowledgement of the importance of the collaborative nature of working with clients with illness as well as the mention of complementary medicine and approaches reflects current trends in holistic care.
However, a report on the use of complementary medicine for arthritis, published in February 2009 by the UK-based Arthritis Research Campaign (ARC), indicated that nearly two-thirds of compounds used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) don't ease the condition.
Almost half of people turn to complementary medicine at some point in their lives, spending more than pounds 450m a year, the report said.
"In these times there are many people who turn to complementary medicine and therapists in search of a cure or improved health.
Intended audience: Clinicians, including medical, allied health, nursing, and complementary medicine practitioners managing patients in acute pain.

Full browser ?