“‘Natural therapy’, ‘complementary therapy’, ‘complementary medicine’ and ‘alternative therapy’ do not all mean the same thing, but they describe therapies…”.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 Medicine and Therapies
  • 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

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””.2

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), which may be:

  • Nutritional (e.g., special diets, dietary supplements, herbs, and probiotics)
  • Psychological (e.g., mindfulness)
  • Physical (e.g., massage, spinal manipulation)
  • Combinations such as psychological and physical (e.g., yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, dance or art therapies) or psychological and nutritional (e.g., mindful eating)

Nutritional approaches include what NCCIH previously categorized as natural products, whereas psychological and/or physical approaches include what was referred to as mind and body practices”.3

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””.4

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

What is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)?

DotS the definition of CAM may vary. In Natural Therapies the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) definition is:

“‘Natural therapy’, ‘complementary therapy’, ‘complementary medicine’ and ‘alternative therapy’ do not all mean the same thing, but they describe therapies and approaches to health and healing that are not considered parts of conventional, evidence-based (Western) medicine. The common catch-all term for all of these is ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM)”.5

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”.6

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”.7

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”.8

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”.9

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?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Natural Therapies. Last Updated: 10 January 2020. Last Reviewed: 16 December 2016. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/natural-therapies-supplements/natural-therapies Accessed: 01 December 2022
  2. 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: 01 December 2022
  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: 01 December 2022
  4. 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: 01 December 2022
  5. Natural Therapies. Last Updated: 10 January 2020. Last Reviewed: 16 December 2016. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/natural-therapies-supplements/natural-therapies Accessed: 01 December 2022
  6. 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: 01 December 2022
  7. About NCCIH. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://www.nccih.nih.gov/about Accessed: 01 December 2022
  8. 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: 01 December 2022
  9. 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: 01 December 2022
Topic Last Updated: 01 December 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 01 December 2022

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