COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM)
What About Naturopathy?
Naturopathic medicine serves health and wellness with the philosophy of using natural methods and remedies that are in harmony with our creation. Treatments available to the Naturopathic Doctor are clinical nutrition, physical medicine (manipulation) and homeopathy, botanicals and herbals. The fields of study encompassed by Naturopathy are Natural Childbirth, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, counseling and psychotherapy, and minor surgery. Modern Naturopathy is based on six principles.
Nature has the power to heal
Treat the whole person
First, do no harm
Identify and treat the cause.
Prevention is as important as the cure.
The doctor should be a teacher.
What about Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a 200 year old system of health care with the basic principle “like cures like”. With this approach, natural substances are used to stimulate self-healing: Homeo-similar; Pathos-suffering. This entails using small doses of substances that mimic the symptoms of a given illness to stimulate the immune system to heal itself. This preparation is called a “remedy”. While this may sound like immunizations, it is not. Immunizations use the actual bacteria or virus that cause illness. Homeopathy uses substances that will mimic symptoms of illness to elicit a response from the immune system.
Religion and Spirituality
Western medicine had become sterile and void of spiritual considerations. Yet, the infancy of medicine has origins in religion and spirituality. Treatments were conducted by spiritual religious leaders. It is important to remember that Religion and Spirituality are not synonymous. Religion is the practice while spirituality is a sense of something larger than the individual.
Religion and spirituality have been shown to affect medical outcomes. For this reason, religion and spirituality should be included in the medical treatment plan. In light of this, spirituality considerations are now being taught in medical schools.
Western Herbal Medicine
In the 20th century, Western pharmacology began to isolate the active ingredients in herbs for the synthesis of modern drugs. After WWII, the drug market exploded. Patents were granted. The 1970’s saw a renewed demand for safe effective and pure herbs by consumers. Herbs can be used in teas, tablets, oils or ointments. While the FDA really doesn’t regulate herbs, they will pull herbs that are considered unsafe from the market. The German Commission E was established to study and develop guidelines and make recommendation for the use of herbs.
A practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture originated in China 5,000 years ago. It came to the U.S. in the 1800’s. The principle of Acupuncture is to restore the flow of Qi. Illnesses are believed to be the result of an interruption of the Qi life force. No one really knows how or why it works. Western research believes it triggers the production of endorphins, neurotransmitters, and neuropeptides.
Chiropractic medicine is a 100 year old profession. In keeping with CAM, chiropractic medicine operates under the “body can heal itself” premise. The word chiropractic literally translates to “done by hand.” It was believed that misalignment is linked to illness. Chiropractors are trained in soft tissue and trigger points, heat and cold therapies, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, and cranial manipulation. Modern Chiropractors mostly focus on joint dysfunction and primarily deliver a high velocity, low amplitude thrust (mobilizations) which may cause a popping or cracking sound as the gases in the joint are released. They use manipulations. Kinesiology is the basic mechanism for health in the field of Chiropractics. It is believed that dysfunction is caused by muscle weakness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine is holistic. It is based on the life source, Qi and the balance of the flow of Qi. Yin (female) and Yang (male) must also be balanced for good health. Similarly, TCM adheres to eight principles of harmony: interior/exterior; cold/hot; deficiency/excess; yin/yang. And, most familiar are the fire, earth, water, metal and wood element temperament types.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of medical and health care systems that are not considered to be a part of conventional medicine. CAM therapies used alone are often referred to as "alternative." When used in addition to conventional medicine, they are referred to as "complementary." Historically, CAM has largely been at odds with conventional medicine. Only in recent years has Western Medicine become accepting of the benefits that CAM has to offer.