Complimentary And Alternative Medicine For Cancer

Ever heard of the words complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)? Or maybe as a Nigerian, you might have received services from a practitioner without necessarily knowing whether it is standard practice or not. Does CAM hold potential benefits for its patient especially those suffering from cancer? What, even, is the real meaning of complimentary and alternative medicine? Either way, you are about to find out.

What Is Complementary and alternative medicine?

Complementary and alternative medicine is a category of medicine that consists of a variety of treatment, care and approaches for the treatment of either cancer or other ailments in the body.

It is a well-known term for most health and fitness therapies but typically not part of most conventional Western medicine.

alternative medicine
alternative medicine

By standard meaning, complimentary is used to refer to treatments that are basically used alongside with conventional medicine while alternative or fringe refers to treatments used to replace conventional medicine.

There have been a lot of claims as regard the efficacy and safety of alternative medicine, many of which are controversial. Some have associated unsuspected side effects, which can be fatal and severe.

However, alternative or fringe medicine have been said to have healing effects which are either unproven, disproven or impossible to prove, with possible means of harm.

It’s been observed that alternative diagnoses or therapies are not part of science-based or medicine based healthcare systems.

Complementary and alternative medicines include healthcare practices such as massage, acupuncture, tai chi, and drinking green tea. A term for medical practices and products that are not part of the standard medical care are also biological based practices that include substances found in nature such as herbs, mineral supplements, multivitamins, and dietary supplements.

Holistic Natural Health [source: naturalhealers.com]
Holistic Natural Health [source: naturalhealers.com]-alternative medicine
They are also biological based practices that include substances found in nature such as herbs, mineral supplements, multivitamins, and dietary supplements.

What Are The Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine?

Basically, the examples of CAM include:

  • Traditional alternative medicine and this may include acupuncture, ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, chinese or Oriental medicine

Moreover, this field has been an accepted form of therapy practised for centuries worldwide.

Body Touch Therapy [source: advancedocwellness.com
Body Touch Therapy [source: advancedocwellness.com]-alternative medicine
  • Body touch

It’s been used in medicine for many years now and healing by touch is simply based on the idea that injury or illness in one particular part of the body can as well affect all parts of the body.

Body techniques are sometimes combined with those of the mind. Examples may include massage, body movement therapies, Tai chi, Yoga

• Diet and herbs
For many centuries, man has moved from having a simple diet that contains vegetable, grains, and fruits to diets that are often rich in complex carbs and oils. Today, nutritional deficiency and excesses have really become a big problem in the society, both of them leading to chronic diseases.

Herbs and Diets for treating ailments [Source: north-vietnam.com]-alternative medicine
However, so many herbal and dietary advances have been made to balance the body’s nutritional well-being, which may include dietary supplements, nutrition/diet, herbal medicine

• Mind
Today, conventional medicine recognises the power of the connection between body and mind and studies have revealed that people get healed better if they have good mental and emotional health.

Most therapies that use this method include:
o Meditation
o Hypnosis
o Biofeedback

Image shows a cycle of Complementary and alternative medicine [Source: janerelcaslcsw.com]-alternative medicine

• Senses
Have it in mind that some people believe their senses, sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell can affect their overall health and examples of these therapies incorporating the senses include:
o Art, dance, and music
o Visualisation and guided imagery

Over the years now, about 40 percent of adults have been reported using CAM and right now, most doctors and health practitioners are embracing CAM therapies as treatments too.

Today it has been noted that CAM is a moving target, changing and playing a big role in the health care sector.

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