Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but is not based on evidence gathered with the scientific method. It may consist of a wide range of health care practices, products and therapies, using methods of medical diagnosis and treatments which were typically not included in the degree courses of established medical schools teaching medicine, including surgery, in the tradition of the Flexner Report or similar. Examples include homeopathy, Ayurveda, chiropractic and acupuncture.
Complementary medicine is alternative medicine used together with conventional medical treatment in a belief, not proven by using scientific methods, that it "complements" the treatment. CAM is the abbreviation for Complementary and alternative medicine. Integrative medicine (or integrative health) is the combination of the practices and methods of alternative medicine with evidence-based medicine.
The term alternative medicine is used in information issued by public bodies in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Regulation and licensing of alternative medicine and health care providers varies from country to country, and state to state.
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