Defining CAM is difficult, because the field is very broad and constantly changing. The NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) defines CAM as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are NOT generally considered part of Conventional Medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by their allied health professionals such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses. Conventional medicine (also called Western or allopathic medicine) is medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) and D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses. The boundaries between CAM and conventional medicine are not absolute, and specific CAM practices may, over time, become widely accepted.
"Complementary Medicine" refers to use of CAM together with conventional medicine, such as using homeopathy, specific dietary practices, herbs, other nutritional supplements, homeopathy, etc. This is what I practice. "Alternative medicine" refers to use of CAM in place of conventional medicine which I DO NOT practice. "Integrative medicine" refers to a practice that combines both conventional and CAM treatments for which there is reasonable evidence of safety and effectiveness- although UNPROVEN. This is what I do exclusively. With FEW exceptions, I employ both kinds of care into how I practice on EACH visit. How I integrate care is defined by the individual's needs.
Please click here for a complimentary guide about the different types of CAM, including: