Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In the Philippines, the practice of medicine is solely given to or licensed by the government to those who finished a medical degree or Doctorate of Medicine. Paramedical courses like nursing, midwifery, physical therapy can be performed mainly under the supervision of a doctor. Paramedical practitioners, however, are not to diagnose, treat or prescribe medicines.

CAM Complementary and Alternative Medicine Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In contrast, in the United States and other countries like Canada or in Europe, there are other licensed practitioners like nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists or psychotherapists. Through the years, these countries have allowed licensing of “unconventional” medical practice like naturopathy, osteopathic and chiropractic medicine, and homeopathy. There are even schools that offer these practices as a degree. Since the treatments these “unconventional” practitioners use are not of the typical evolvement of scientific researches for drugs before these come out in the market, neither do they follow the epidemiologic framework that is accepted in conventional practice of medicine, these practices are now collectively known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Some call it complementary since its practice is to complement the usual accepted practice. Others use the term alternative, since it is used as a full alternative form of healing or treating. Other forms of CAM are acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology and iridology.

COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE PRACTICES

ACUPUNCTURE A Chinese medical practice that uses insertion of hair-thin needles into non-anatomic energy channels
ANTHROPHOSOPHIC TECHNIQUE A spiritually based system medicines that use herbs, homeopathy, diet and movement therapy
AROMATHERAPY Makes use of plant oil concentrates in massage, baths or inhalation
AYURVEDIC MEDICINE An East Indian traditional medicine that use pulse and tongue diagnosis
BIOFEEDBACK Utilizes machinery or gadgets that translate physiologic processes into sounds or signals
CHIROPRACTIC The spinal vertebrae is adjusted to balance the nerve and muscle function
GUIDED IMAGERY Treatment by the use of imaginations to create specific images hoped to positively affect the body
HYDROPATHY Makes use of water in different forms to treat ailments
IRIDOLOGY Different spots or colors in the iris are interpreted to represent certain diseases
NATUROPATHY Incorporates several modalities of treatment such as herbals, homeopathy, acupuncture, diet, etc.
OSTEOPATHY A medical field that uses manipulative techniques for treating musculoskeletal problems
REFLEXOLOGY/ZONE THERAPY Pressure points in the hands or feet are stimulated to affect distant organs in the body
SHIATSU/ACUPRESSURE Application of finger pressure in different body points
TAI CHI CH’AUN Chinese dance-like exercises likened to a “dancing meditation”
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE A medical system that uses examination of the tongue and pulses to diagnose ailments ant treatments and employ the use of herbal mixtures, acupuncture, massage, exercises
YOGA An Indian form of practice that uses postures, breathing exercises and cleansing techniques

 

REMEMBER: If you have a specific health problem, I would suggest that you find an internal medicine doctor who can regularly follow up your problem. Inform him or her the “natural medicines” that you are taking so that they will not conflict with conventional drugs he or she may prescribe or that he or she can maintain the natural medicines if you are responding well to them.

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