- complementary medicine
- complementary medicine n any of the practices (as acupuncture) of alternative medicine accepted and utilized by mainstream medical practitioners also alternative medicine
* * *various forms of therapy that are viewed as complementary to conventional medicine. These include (but are not confined to) osteopathy, acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, reflexology, and reiki. Previously, complementary therapies were regarded as an alternative to conventional therapies, and the two types were considered to be mutually exclusive (hence the former names alternative medicine and fringe medicine). However, many practitioners now have dual training in conventional and complementary therapies. There is very limited provision for complementary medicine within the confines of the National Health Service.
* * *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.
Medical dictionary. 2011.