Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- by Christina Richardson, Ph.D.
Do a search online for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and you will get over six million hits. There will be some valuable information on some of the pages but, oh! My! Some will just make you shake your head.
The National Institutes of Health has been doing research on (CAM) since 1999. In 2007 the National Health Interview Survey found that 38% of adults and 12% of children had used some form of CAM in the past year, at a cost of $33.9 billion out-of- pocket on CAM practices and products.
Mind, Body, Spirit
- If a non-mainstream practice is used together with conventional medicine, it is considered “complementary.”
- If a non-mainstream practice in used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative.”
If you are a regular reader, you know I would not pass up the complementary medical benefits of pet therapy. In hospice and nursing home settings, stress levels are lower, depression is lessened, and mental stimulation is improved just by holding or being close to an animal.
So, listen to your doctor and if you get a go ahead, add yoga, tai-chi, massage, or some of the other complementary practices to your routine.
Download this fact sheet from the National Institutes of Health for your further consideration.