Dr. Oz says yes, but it’s subtle so people tend to use the words interchangeably and incorrectly. Your simple shortcut guide to what’s what according to Oz:
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE – any type of non-mainstream therapy or medication used in place of conventional Western treatment. Example: Acupuncture may be used instead of a prescription pain med for, say, chronic migraines, or in place of hormone therapy for menopause symptoms.
COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE (does not mean free) – Nontraditional treatments that are used in tandem with – non in place of – conventional Western medicine therapies. Example: A cancer patient gets acupuncture to alleviate the nausea caused by chemotherapy.
INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE (IM) – A comprehensive plan that combines approaches (both Western and non-Western) to care for a patient’s overall well-being – body, mind, and spirit. IM plans are generally designed to help the body prevent illness or heal itself. Example: At the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine, for instance, practitioners use a range of therapies, from Chinese herbs and acupuncture to traditional Western medicine.
Have you tried any of these approaches? Care to share?