NCCAM Time to Talk
Definition from the National Institutes of Health
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy and allied health professionals, such as registered nurses and physical therapists, practice. Alternative medicine means treatments that you use instead of standard ones. Complementary medicine means nonstandard treatments that you use along with standard ones. Examples of CAM therapies are acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal medicines.
The claims that CAM treatment providers make about their benefits can sound promising. However, researchers do not know how safe many CAM treatments are or how well they work. Studies are underway to determine the safety and usefulness of many CAM practices.
NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Original air date: April 11, 2011
Category: NCCAM Lectures
Description: The Complementary and Integrative Medicine Consult Service Lecture Series Sponsored by NCCAM Provides NIH Clinical Center Staff with Opportunities to Learn more about How the Integration of Various Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments Can Affect Approaches in the Research and Practice for Medicine.
Author: Eric Boyle, PhD. Stetten Postdoctoral Fellow, Office of History, NIH & Jack Killen, MD. Deputy Director, NCCAM, NIH