According to the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Section staff of the National Library of Medicine alternative medicine, classified under the term complementary therapies, is defined as therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional medical practice.
They may lack biomedical explanations but as they become better researched some, such as physical therapy, diet, and acupuncture, become widely accepted whereas others, such as humors or radium therapy, quietly fade away. Therapies are termed as Complementary when used in addition to conventional treatments and as Alternative when used instead of conventional treatment.
Alternative therapies include, but are not limited to the following disciplines: folk medicine, herbal medicine, diet fads, homeopathy, faith healing, new age healing, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathy, massage, and music therapy.
We believe alternative medicine should be considered a supplement to - not a replacement for - traditional medicine.
Also, keep these points in mind:
When viewing sites maintained by adherents of a particular alternative approach, be aware that they are going to be enthusiastic about their methods. Be skeptical, but open-minded.
Although anecdotal evidence may be valid, look for scientific evidence that a procedure works. Unfortunately, many unorthodox therapies have not been subjected to rigorous scientific testing - even though they might be effective in certain instances.
When people believe a therapy will work, they will sometimes sense an improvement. This phenomenon, known as the "Placebo Effect," tends to confound things, especially in alternative medicine.
Before trying any new technique or alternative approach, discuss the possible side effects and ramifications with your physician or healthcare provider.
Please visit the following websites for information on alternative and complimentary therapies:
- National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
NCCAM explores complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, trains researchers, and provides authoritative information to the public and professionals.
- Office of Cancer Complementary & Alternative Medicine (OCCAM)
The Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) is an office of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis. OCCAM is responsible for NCI’s research agenda in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as it relates to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and symptom management.
- Yo San University
Yo San University teaches acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including tai chi and qigong, and operate a professional community Acupuncture Clinic. Yo San University is located in Los Angeles California.
- Alternative Care Clinics
We provide patients with a reliable referral to a qualified California licensed physician. Southern California patients can be evaluated to see if medical marijuana can benefit their condition in a safe, confidential and professional environment.