“The terms ‘natural therapy’, ‘complementary therapy’, ‘complementary medicine’, ‘alternative medicine’ and ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM)…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Complementary and Integrative Health Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Alternative Medicine Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Ayurveda/Ayurvedic Medicine
  • Chinese Medicine Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Chiropractic
  • Complementary Health Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Complementary Medicine (CM)
  • Complementary Medicine Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
  • Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH)
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Medicine
  • Herbal Treatments
  • Homeopathy
  • Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy
  • Integrative Health Care/Medicine
  • Kinesiology
  • Manipulative and Body Based Therapies
  • Massage/Remedial Massage
  • Meditation
  • Mind and Body Approaches/Practices/Therapies/Treatments
  • Mindfulness
  • Natural Approaches/Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Naturopathy
  • Non Mainstream Health Care
  • Nutrition/Nutritional/Dietary Approaches
  • Osteopathy
  • Prayer
  • Psychotherapy
  • Qi Gong
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Relaxation
  • Remedial Therapy
  • Spiritual Healing
  • Supplements
  • Tai Chi
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
  • Traditional Medicine
  • Yoga

Terminology

Can complementary and integrative health (CIH) mean different things to different people?

On page one in Natural Therapies & Supplements the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

“The terms ‘natural therapy’, ‘complementary therapy’, ‘complementary medicine’, ‘alternative medicine’ and ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM) are often used interchangeably to describe a wide range of healthcare practises, therapies, procedures and devices that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine. These therapies include acupuncture, herbal treatments, homeopathy, naturopathy, nutrition, massage and traditional Chinese medicine”.2

Complementary

What is considered complementary?

DotS the definition of complementary may vary. In Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health? What’s In A Name? Complementary Versus Alternative the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s (NCCIH) definition is:

  • “If a non-mainstream approach is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered “complementary””.3

Complementary Medicine

What is complementary medicine?

DotS the definition of complementary medicine may vary. In Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Complementary Medicine the WHO’s definition is:

“The terms “complementary medicine” or “alternative medicine” refer to a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own tradition or conventional medicine and are not fully integrated into the dominant health-care system. They are used interchangeably with traditional medicine in some countries”.4

Complementary Approaches

What are complementary approaches?

DotS the definition of complementary health approaches may vary. In Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In A Name? Complementary Health Approaches the NCCIH elaborate on:

Complementary and Integrative Health

“Complementary approaches can be classified by their primary therapeutic input (how the therapy is taken in or delivered)…”.5

Alternative

What is alternative?

DotS the definition of alternative medicine may vary. The NCCIH’s definition is:

  • “If a non-mainstream approach is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative””.6

Natural Therapies

What are natural therapies?

DotS the definition of natural therapies may vary. On page one in Natural Therapies & Supplements the JH’s definition is:

“Natural therapies and CAM involve treating the whole person, including the underlying causes of problems and symptoms. This is why natural therapies are often called ‘holistic’ medicine, as they take into account other physical, mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of the disease”.7

Naturopathy

What is naturopathy?

DotS the definition of naturopathy may vary. The JH’s definition is:

“Naturopathy is an umbrella term that covers many (but not all) of the natural therapies”.8

Integrative Health

What is integrative health?

DotS the definition of integrative health may vary. In Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In A Name? Integrative Health the NCCIH’s definition is:

“Integrative health brings conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. Integrative health also emphasizes multimodal interventions, which are two or more interventions such as conventional medicine, lifestyle changes, physical rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and complementary health approaches in various combinations, with an emphasis on treating the whole person rather than, for example, one organ system. Integrative health aims for well-coordinated care among different providers and institutions by bringing conventional and complementary approaches together to care for the whole person”.9

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

What is the mission of the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)?

In About NCCIH the NCCIH explain:

“The mission of NCCIH is to determine, through rigorous scientific investigation, the fundamental science, usefulness, and safety of complementary and integrative health approaches and their roles in improving health and health care”.10

Tips for Talking

What are tips for talking to health care providers about CIH?

In 4 Tips: Start Talking With Your Health Care Providers About Complementary Health Approaches the NCCIH elaborate on:

  1. “List the complementary health practices you use on your patient history form…
  2. At each visit, be sure to tell your providers about what complementary health approaches you are using…
  3. If you are considering a new complementary health practice, ask questions…
  4. Don’t wait for your providers to ask about any complementary health practice you are using. Be proactive. Start the conversation”.11

Health Care Provider

What if I choose to use CIH?

If you choose to use CIH it may be in your best interest to also choose to talk with your health care providers about this.

In Are You Considering A Complementary Health Approach? Take Charge of Your Health the NCCIH note:

  • “Tell all your health care providers—complementary and conventional—about all the health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care”.12

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Complementary and Integrative Health?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Complementary and Integrative Health?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Natural Therapies & Supplements. Updated January 2017:1. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Natural_therapies.pdf Accessed: 11 August 2021
  2. Natural Therapies & Supplements. Updated January 2017:1. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Natural_therapies.pdf Accessed: 11 August 2021
  3. Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In A Name? Complementary Versus Alternative. Last Updated: April 2021. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-whats-in-a-name Accessed: 11 August 2021
  4. Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Complementary Medicine. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/traditional-complementary-and-integrative-medicine#tab=tab_1 Accessed: 11 August 2021
  5. Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In A Name? Complementary Versus Alternative. Last Updated: April 2021. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-whats-in-a-name Accessed: 11 August 2021
  6. Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In A Name? Complementary Health Approaches. Last Updated: April 2021. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-whats-in-a-name Accessed: 11 August 2021
  7. Natural Therapies & Supplements. Updated January 2017:1. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Natural_therapies.pdf Accessed: 11 August 2021
  8. Natural Therapies & Supplements. Common Natural and Complementary Therapies –  Naturopathy. Updated January 2017:1. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Natural_therapies.pdf Accessed: 11 August 2021
  9. Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In A Name? Integrative Health. Last Updated: April 2021. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-whats-in-a-name Accessed: 11 August 2021
  10. About NCCIH. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/about Accessed: 11 August 2021
  11. 4 Tips: Start Talking With Your Health Care Providers About Complementary Health Approaches. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/tips-start-talking-with-your-health-care-providers-about-complementary-health-approaches Accessed: 11 August 2021
  12. Are You Considering A Complementary Health Approach? Take Charge of Your Health. Last Updated: September 2016. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/are-you-considering-a-complementary-health-approach Accessed: 11 August 2021

Topic Last Updated: 11 August 2021 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 August 2021
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