Shortly before I began research for this book on
alternative and complementary medicine, I
informed a dear friend of the pending task. His first
comment was “How many volumes?”
Those three words would haunt me throughout
the project. One book hardly scratches the surface;
therefore my objectives were to compile up-to-date
information on and explanations of as many alternative,
complementary, or integrative healing
methods as possible and to present them in an
unbiased and accessible A-to-Z format.
I’ve spent the last 28 years studying, practicing,
teaching, and evolving as a naturopathic
physician. Two themes have been consistent:
natural medicine and the health care of women.
Alternative medicine has come to be the
popular term used to distinguish natural, noninvasive
therapies from conventional medicine.
The use of complementary medicine has mushroomed over the last decade. Along
with the increased popularity there’s been an increase in the number of
practitioners who practise complementary therapies either as their primary
discipline or as a ‘complement’ to their own discipline, such as nursing or medicine.
With an increasing acceptance by the public and by mainstream healthcare
professionals, practitioners of complementary medicine are being asked to provide
evidence of the effectiveness and safety of their therapies.
Why would one examine in detail complementary and alternative medicine
(CAM) treatments in mental health care in an era when traditional psychotherapeutic
and psychopharmacological treatments have never been better? There
are at least two reasons: one is empirical, the other is theoretical.
First, empirical data show that public interest in CAM treatments is growing
rapidly, and it is thus incumbent on physicians to follow their patients’ lead and
become knowledgeable about these treatments (Spiegel 2000; Spiegel et al.
The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine
(GEAM) is a one-stop source for alternative medical
information that covers complementary therapies,
herbs and remedies, and common medical diseases
and conditions. It avoids medical jargon when possible,
making it easier for the layperson to use. The Gale
Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine presents authoritative,
balanced information and is more comprehensive
than single-volume family medical guides.
The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (GEAM) is a one-stop source for alternative medical information that covers complementary therapies, herbs and remedies, and common medical diseases and conditions. It avoids medical jargon, making it easier for the layperson to use. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine presents authoritative, balanced information and is more comprehensive than single-volume family medical guides.
Much has happened since the first edition of this book appeared in 2002.
Despite the continuing paucity of robust scientific evidence to support
most of its constituent therapies, complementary and alternative medicine
(CAM) remains popular with clients who appreciate the holistic approach
and have a belief in its effectiveness.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)1 is now a major part of the healthcare
system in all advanced societies.2 It is also a common part of discourse in medicine and
healthcare. This growth of interest has only partially been matched by academic study of
it. Indeed, over recent years there has been an increasing recognition that CAM is
essentially under-researched (House of Lords 2000).
In defining a new paradigm it is difficult to know where to begin. How do you take fifteen years
of medical practice in pathology and ten years of clinical observation utilizing the theories of
traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, and therapeutic nutrition and meld them
into a model of biological understanding and medical practice? The answer is actually quite simple
— start from the beginning and build a convincing model based upon sound physics, physiology,
pathology, and clinical medicine and see if the model fits the expected outcome.
The initial reason for writing Complementary and Alternative Medicine: An Evidence-
Based Approach was the need to examine research evidence and claims purported by
advocates, clinicians, and researchers of complementary and alternative medicine
(CAM) regarding its effectiveness. Both of us had previous experience with certain of
these therapies since we had worked with American Indians who used alternative spiritual-
indigenous medical approaches to health-related problems. Joseph Jacobs, a
Mohawk, grew up using many of these healing practices.
This book provides information on alternative and complementary
therapies that can expand the healing spectrum for
individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). It discusses healing
perspectives and paradigms that have not been a part of traditional
modern medicine but that, nevertheless, comprised a key component
of healing armamentaria throughout much of mankind’s history.
In many parts of the world, where medicines are not readily available
or affordable, the public continue to rely on medicines used traditionally
in their cultures. At the same time, affluent consumers in the industrialized
world are spending their own money on healthcare approaches
that fall outside what has been considered mainstream medicine. A growing
body of national and international studies highlight the reality that
there is exponential growth of global interest in and use of traditional (i.e.
indigenous), complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM).
The field of Pain Medicine has evolved over the last 20 years to include an
increasing array of sophisticated and technologically complex diagnostic and therapeutic
procedures. Concurrent to this advancement has been the development of a
battery of pharmacological options to treat pain, from extended-release formulations
of analgesics to antidepressants and anticonvulsants designed to treat specific types of
This book was written to provide accurate and helpful information about
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to people with multiple
sclerosis (MS). The term CAM refers broadly to medical approaches, such as
acupuncture or herbal medicine, that are not typical components of conventional
medicine. Despite the fact that the majority of people with MS appear
to use CAM, it may be difficult to find reliable information about the
relevance and usefulness of these therapies in MS.
As health care providers, we spend our lives searching for treatments
that reduce suffering and lengthen the lives of our patients. Sometimes
we find solutions in surprising places. Although we all have hopes for
advancements in technology, the future of medicine is also about
challenging preconceptions as we change our healing biases. In many
ways, this is the natural evolution of “global medicine.” We have global
communications and global banking; however, until recently medicine
has remained remarkably provincial.
This informative new book explains, in meticulous detail, what is known scientifically about the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine therapies including nutritional, botanical, homeopathic and psychospiritual for HIV/AIDS. The special research methodology challenges involved in the scientific evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine are discussed in depth, and the authors offer valuable new insights into the complex pathogenesis of AIDS.
There are a number of excellent books on the market addressing the role of complementary
and alternative medicine (CAM) in nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy
(Rankin-Box 2001, Tiran 2000, Charman, 2000) which review, in
general, a range of themes relevant to the discipline. As far as possible I have
tried to avoid going over the same ground in this· book, however, there will be
inevitably some overlap. In addition I have assumed that the reader has a prior
level of knowledge covering paediatric, professional and legal issues in nursing.
The title Perspectives on Complementary and Alternative Medicine was chosen for this
book to reflect the need for a critical overview of the subject areas that relate to the
development of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as part of a dynamic
process of change in contemporary society. The recent changes and developments in and
the exponential growth of CAM are explored from a wide range of perspectives and
covering several academic disciplines.
In the autumn of 1994, a New Yorker cartoonist imagined a clinical scene
in which a patient who is literally radiant with health, his body throwing
off a nearly blinding aura of wellness, is nevertheless being sternly admonished
by his physician because he has achieved his health the wrong way:
“You’ve been fooling around with alternative medicines, haven’t you?” the
New Yorker cartoons constitute the most sensitive of barometers to shifting
currents in America’s cultural atmosphere.
The rise of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) – a whole array
of practices, products and approaches to health and illness1 – can certainly no
longer be characterised as cultural fad or fashion. Changes in the use of titles
(from ‘unscientific’ and ‘marginal’ to ‘complementary’ and ‘integrative’)
reflect a more substantive relocation and transformation of many of these
medicines from the fringe to the mainstream of both community and professional
health-care discourse and practice (Tovey et al. 2004).