CAM Therapies


The research involved a comprehensive analysis of CAM therapy. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are medical products and practices, whichare not governed by the medical care standards. Complementary medicine are used with the standard treatment while alternative medicine are used instead of standard treatment. In relation to CAM therapies, the paper also analyzed mainstream medical practices, which are those practices that cure diseases by treating the symptoms. CAM therapies are used to treat interstitial symptoms while acupuncture involves the insertion of needles in to the human body for some therapeutic benefits. Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic tree oils and special aromatic substances to alter ones mood or cognitive. Naturopathy applies natural disease treatment while massage therapyis the stretching of the body tissues and muscles. Chiropractic on its part involves the treatment of musculoskeletal system. The research therefore found that CAM therapies are significant in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases.


Inferring from Tindle, Davis, Phillips& Eisenberg (2004) complementary, and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to the medical practices and medical products that are not part of the set standard medical care. Complementary medicine refers to the treatments that are used with the standard treatment. It is an alternative medicine usually used with conventional medical treatments, in a belief, but not proven fit by the scientific methods, that it well complements the treatment. Alternative medicine refers to the treatments that are used instead of the standard treatments. It is any type of treatment that is believed to have the healing effects of medicine, but the believe is not based on the evidence gathered using the scientific methods. Alternative medicine consists of a wide range of different products, health care practices, and therapies. Examples include the new and traditional medical practices such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, energy medicine, chiropractic, various traditional Chinese medicine, and Christian faith healing.

In this context, Kemper & O’Connor(2004)indicated that CAM therapies are not included in the medical school degree course, where treatment is usually based on proven scientific methods. Alternative and complementary therapies do not have the scientific validation. As a result, their effectiveness and efficiency is either disapproved or unapproved. These therapies are usually based on tradition, religion, belief on supernatural energies, errors in reasoning, superstitions, pseudoscience, fraud, or propaganda.

Kemper& O’Connor (2004)indicated that the knowledge about complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies is rapidly evolving. There has been growing studies investigating the CAM therapies for different group of patients, for instance the blood cancer patients. Some of the common CAM therapies include the natural product therapies, energy therapies, movement therapies, mind-body medicine therapies, traditional healing practices and manipulative and body based practices.

Conventional (allopathic) or Mainstream Medical Practices

Allopathic medicine also known as mainstream medicine or simply allopathy is a medical practice that was discovered in Europe and North America during the 19thcentury. The practice of the medicine was sometimes referred to as heroic medicine because of its usage in extreme measures such as bloodletting conditions. The allopathic medicines were employed with an effort to treat diseases.

Nowadays, a practitioner to indicate the system of treatment that combats the disease uses the allopathic medical practices. The practices useremedies, which produce effects in a healthy person that are different from those effects produced by disease to be treated. Tindle, Davis, Phillips & Eisenberg (2004)indicated that the practice involves curing the disease by administering those substances that produce different symptoms, if given to a healthy human, than the symptoms the are produced by a disease. Therefore, the practice focuses on treating the symptom of the disease as a way of reducing the effects of the disease. For instance, the allopathic treatment of fever may use drugs that reduce fever, and at the same time, include a drug that attacks the cause of fever.

CAM Therapies and Practices

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are particularly used for the treatment of interstitial symptoms. Examples of these therapies include biofeedback, herbal remedies, massage, yoga, diet-based therapies, and Pilates. The CAM therapies as indicated by Kemper & O’Connor (2004) refer to a health care system, practices, and product, which are not part of the recommended conventional treatment methods. Kemper & O’Connor(2004) further indicated that doctors are embracing CAM therapies and combining them with mainstream medical therapies. The combination of the two therapies is referred to as integrative medicine.

Examples of CAM therapies and practices include the homeopathy practice, which involves use of minute doses of a substance, which cause the symptoms to stimulate self- healing of the body. Another example is naturopathy, which is a non-invasive treatment to help the body do its own healing. Neuropathy uses several practices such as herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage, lifestyle cancelling.

The Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a treatment and pain relief practice that is believed to have originated from China. Acupuncture involves insertion of a very thin and sharp needle through the skin of the patient, at different specific points of the body. These needles are inserted to various depth in the body. According to Cristian, Katz,Cutrone& Walker (2005), acupuncture works scientifically to give some therapeutic benefits to the patient.

The acupuncture offers several benefits, which include the alleviation of nausea, and pain after a patient has undergone a surgery. Hence, the level of painkillers required to be taken by the patient after an operation is reduced. Acupuncture is also believed to sooth indigestion of a person. A person having some digestion complications can apply acupuncture to alleviate the problem. As purported by Cristian, Katz,Cutrone& Walker(2005), the practice dulls a persistent headache. In addition, acupuncture eases the aching back and boosts the effectiveness of medication. Another significant advantage is its ability to end obesity.

Further on this, when acupuncture is performed well, it is safe and have very minimal side effects. To add to that, it is an effective combination of treatment. In most cases, it is considered for those patients who have low, or do not respond to pain medication. Further, it is a useful alternative for those patients who do not want to take the pain medication.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

As indicated by Gong&Sucher (1999) traditional Chinese medicine is broad ranges of medical practices, which share a common concept,and were developed in China in the 19th century. These medicine practices include different forms of acupuncture, herbal medicine, exercise, massage dietary therapy. TCM are also used for treatment and prevention of health problems. They are majorly used as complementary and alternative medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine as indicated by Gong &Sucher(1999), holds that body’s energy circulates through meridian channels. These channels have other branches connected to the body functions and organs. However, the TCM practice and theory is not based on scientific knowledge. In addition, its practitioners strongly disagree with diagnosis and treatment of any given patient.


Lawless (1995) stated that aromatherapy is an alternative medicine form, that uses aromatic plant substances, aromatic compounds, and oils such as essential oils with a purpose to alter ones cognitive, mood, physical or psychological well being. Specialists known as aromatherapists carry out the practice. The specialist utilise different blends of essential therapeutic oils, whichare issued through massage, topical application, water immersion or inhalation to stimulate the response desired.

According to Lawless (1995), some of essential oils such as tea tree have anti-microbial effects. However, there is no evidence of efficacy against fungal, bacterial of viral infection. In addition, there is little efficacy of aromatherapy treatment of medical conditions.


Naturopathy is a primary health care system, which applies a wide range of natural treatments. Example of the natural treatments includes herbalism, homeopathy and acupuncture. Lee & Kemper(2000) supported that naturopathy emphasizes on holistic approach of treatment and generally discourages the use of drugs and surgery. Its philosophy believes on self-healing process and vitalism.

Naturopathy is several principles, which are medical practice of naturopathic foundation. These principles include the healing power of nature, which recognizes the inherent self-healing in all people. Another principle is identification and treatment of the causes and prevention measures.


According to Haldeman, Dagenais&Budgell (2005), chiropractic is an alternative medical treatment which emphasizeson prevention , diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal system, in particular the spine. The treatment is based on the belief that spinal disorders affect the general health conditions of a person through the nervous system. It is majorly classified as the healthcare profession, and have several similarities to the primary health care. Chiropractic treatment majorly involves manual therapy such spine manipulation, soft tissues, and other joints.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the manipulation of the deeper and superficial layers of muscles and tissues using different techniques to either aid the healing process, enhance function decrease the reflex activity of the muscle, inhibit the motor-neuron excitability, promote a persons relaxation, recreation and the well being of a person (Underdown, Barlow, Chung& Stewart-Brown2006).

It involves working and acting on the body with a structured, unstructured or a stationery pressure, motion, tension, or a vibration, which can be done manually, or with mechanical help. The target tissues include tendons, muscles, skin, joints, and ligaments. In professional massage setting, a client may be treated while seating on a chair, lying on a table or a surface like tructure


Yoga as indicated byZhu, Zhong,Pandya&Joerger (2002)are mental, physical and spiritual practices, which aim at are aimed at transforming body and mind. The goal of yoga is ultimately the liberation. However, the form taken depends on the theological or the philosophical system within which it is conjugated. Yoga observes several principles which include, the disciplined method of attaining a goal, as a technique of controlling body and mind and as one of the system or school philosophy.


Mediation as indicated byKabat-Zinn (1994)denotes the process of settling disputes between parties. A third party, the mediator helps the parties to negotiate and settle their disputes. Therefore, the term mediation is used to refer to an agreement situation, where a third party helps others to resolve their disputes. It is an out of court mediation, where the disputants may be in different domains such as diplomatic, legal, community, workplace, and family matters.

In the mediation process, the mediator may apply different techniques to improve and open dialogue, empathy, and agreement between the disputing parties. Most of these techniques depend on the skills and training of the mediator. Mediation has an advantage as compared to court dispute settling. For instance, mediation maintains confidentiality, it is cheap and the parties have control over the resolution.


From the above analysis, it is evident that complementally and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies apply several product and services for diagnosis and treatment. However, these practices are not part of the standard set practices. Some common CAM practices include the yoga, massage therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic, naturopathy, aromatherapy,and acupuncture. All are methods of diagnosis, curing and prevention of diseases


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