Health MATTERS – the nontraditional approach

Health and Lifestyle Choicesmedicine1 Do you ever get mixed up between the different types of non traditional health approaches such as alternative vs complementary vs integrative?

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.medicine2 - Copy

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?


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