Any approach that differs from conventional – or Western – medicine is typically considered complementary and alternative, or CAM.
The US National Institutes of Health agency that reports on CAM therapies have even changed its name to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, to better reflect this shift in philosophy. Getting familiar with integrative health will help you decide if it’s the approach you want.
The use of alternative medicine is widespread in South Africa and there are thousands of products that can be classified as a complementary medicine, dietary supplements, and traditional medicine.
Key tenets of integrative medicine are:
- Creating a partnership between patient and practitioner.
- Using conventional and alternative methods as needed, and less-invasive yet effective interventions when possible.
- Focusing on prevention and promoting good health as well as treating illnesses
- Training practitioners to be models of health and healing