Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

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First, some rough definitions:

  • Complementary Medicine typically refers to a non-mainstream practice used together with conventional medicine.
  • Alternative Medicine typically refers to a non-mainstream practice used in place of conventional medicine.
  • Integrative Health Care aims to bring together conventional and complementary approaches in a coordinated way so as to focus on the whole person.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

The NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health provides evidence-based information on complementary and alternative health topics. The site has a page with tips on how to be an informed consumer when it comes to selecting complementary health services and products.

MedlinePlus Complementary and Integrative Medicine

The CAM topics section of MedlinePlus brings together many CAM resources, mainly from the NIH.

American Holistic Medical Association (AHHA)

The American Holistic Medical Association encourages people to actively participate in their health and healthcare. AHHA compiles wellness resources and shares them as a public service.

Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM)

OCCAM was established to coordinate and enhance the activities of the National Cancer Institute in the area of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Information is available on CAM issues related to cancer, research, and clinical trials. The “for patients” section has links to useful resources such as FAQs on cancer and CAM, a workbook to help you talk with your doctor about CAM, and FAQs for selecting a CAM practitioner.