In today’s world, many people assume that the latest medical technology and treatments are always the best option. However, all over the world, different techniques for curing diseases and aliments are being used. These methods fall under the category of complementary and alternative medicine.
According to Sandra Augustyn Lawton in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Teens, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can be defined as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine” (Lawton, 2007, p.3). Although complementary and alternative medicines are often interpreted as the same thing, complementary methods are used in coordination with conventional methods and alternative methods are used in place of conventional methods of medicine (Lawton, 2007, p.3). Another method used is integrative medicine, which uses conventional medicine and CAM together because there is proven scientific evidence to support that the treatment plan is safe and effective (Lawton, 2007, p.3). Complementary and alternative medicines are used throughout the world in many different countries, some more specifically than others.
CAMs can be divided into various categories. These include natural products, mind-body medicine, manipulative and body-based practices, and whole medical systems (National Center, 2011, para.4). Each of these categories include a variety of practices, medicine, and medical treatments.
Natural products include dietary supplements and probiotics. Dietary supplements can be anything from multivitamins to supplemental herbs. Probiotics are live bacteria that are found in the digestive tract (National Center, 2011, para.6). However, they can also be taken through dietary supplements or in foods, such as yogurt. Many natural products help to supplement nutrients that cannot be obtained in one’s everyday diet. Herbs and minerals are some of the oldest medical treatments in the world, with some of the earliest remnants dating back to the ice age (“National Center”, 2011, para.7). By taking vitamins or eating a yogurt fortified with probiotics, a person is using complementary and alternative medicine.
Movement therapies use physical motions to connect physical and spiritual health with the body. Some of the most common movement therapies include the Feldenkrais method, Pilates, Alexander technique, and Rolfing Structural Integration (“National Center”, 2011, para ). The Alexander technique is a method that alters everyday movement habits to improve one’s balance, coordination, and support (“What is the Alexander”, 2011, para.1). “Rolfing Structural Integration is a body-based practice that uses deep tissue facial manipulation and movement education. The goal is to encourage health and relieve stress by bringing the body into proper alignment with gravity” (Rolf Institute, 2011, para. ). Pilates is a common exercise system that moves the body...