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You have choices when it comes to your medical care in this day and age. No longer do you have to settle for conventional medicine and its predictability, nor do you need to worry any longer about all the side effects of prescription drugs. There are different approaches that you may be unaware of, and they are called complimentary and alternative medicine.
Complementary and Alternative medicine (also known by the abbreviation CAM) has been around for a long time. Many of their practices come from other parts of the world. These two techniques each use the same types of treatments to bring you back to robust good health. But, there are differences in how they are used. Generally, alternative medicine is practiced in lieu of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine uses the many types of alternative medicine along with conventional medicine.
In a way, you can think of this as covering all the bases. Although complimentary and alternative medicine is normally thought of as a group of practices that are not taught to conventional doctors, it is quite common for a patient to take matters into his own hands and add a complementary medicine treatment or two to whatever regime his doctor has prescribed for him.
Here is an example of complementary medicine that probably everyone has tried at least once. The mere act of taking a daily multivitamin can be considered as a form of complementary medicine, as you use it along with whatever standard treatments you receive from your doctor. This is a rather mild form of complementary medicine that would almost always meet with your doctors approval. It is a comforting thought to know that by using complementary and conventional medicine, you have chosen to do something to safeguard your health, all on your own.
An example of alternative medicine would be when a cancer patient decides to forego all chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and instead follow a regimen of diet and food supplements such as laetrile for their only treatment. Alternative medicine is more respected by conventional doctors when treatments like this work better than the usual standard cancer fighting arsenal. This proves that even though conventional medicine is based on years of scientific study, complementary and alternative medicine can be just as effective at treating an illness or disease.
Complementary and alternative medicine is thus thought to be any kind of medical treatment such as vitamins or special food that is not generally though to be the usual treatment for a disease. There is still a lot to learn about both complementary and alternative medicine and its role in helping people have an alternate to conventional health care. You can be in charge of your own health decisions, yet still heed the advice of your doctor when you decide to go the complementary and alternative medicine route.