Alternative Medicine - Classifications


NCCAM has developed one of the most widely used classification systems for the branches of complementary and alternative medicine. It classifies complementary and alternative therapies into five major groups, which have some overlap.

  1. Whole medical systems: cut across more than one of the other groups; examples include Traditional Chinese medicine, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and Ayurveda
  2. Mind-body medicine: takes a holistic approach to health that explores the interconnection between the mind, body, and spirit. It works under the premise that the mind can affect "bodily functions and symptoms"
  3. Biology-based practices: use substances found in nature such as herbs, foods, vitamins, and other natural substances
  4. Manipulative and body-based practices: feature manipulation or movement of body parts, such as is done in chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation
  5. Energy medicine: is a domain that deals with putative and verifiable energy fields:
    • Biofield therapies are intended to influence energy fields that, it is purported, surround and penetrate the body. No empirical evidence has been found to support the existence of the putative energy fields on which these therapies are predicated.
    • Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies use verifiable electromagnetic fields, such as pulsed fields, alternating-current, or direct-current fields in an unconventional manner.

Read more about this topic:  Alternative Medicine

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