Alternative medicine is any of a wide range of health care practices, products and therapies, using methods of medical diagnosis and treatments which, at least up to the end of the twentieth century, 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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“A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit.... A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.”
—Václav Havel (b. 1936)