What is Complementary Alternative Medicine? (CAM)
~Complementary and Alternative Medicine has never been more popular. Nearly 40 percent of adults report using complementary and alternative medicine, also called CAM for short. Doctors are embracing CAM therapies, too, often combining them with mainstream medical therapies — spawning the term “integrative medicine.”
~Complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, is a category of medicine that includes a variety of treatment approaches that fall outside the realm of conventional medicine.
What are the different types of CAM?
Traditional alternative medicine. This field includes the more mainstream and accepted forms of therapy, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and Oriental practices. Traditional alternative medicine has been practiced for centuries worldwide. Traditional alternative medicine may include:
- Chinese or Oriental medicine
Body. Touch has been used in medicine since the early days of medical care. Healing by touch is based on the idea that illness or injury located in one area of the body can affect all parts of the body. If, with manual manipulation, the other parts can be brought back to optimum health, the body can concentrate on healing at the site of injury or illness without distraction. Examples of body therapies include:
- Chiropractic and osteopathic medicine
- Body movement therapies
- Tai chi
External energy. Some people believe external forces (energies) from objects or other sources directly affect a person’s health. An example of external energy therapy is:
- Electromagnetic therapy
Mind. Even standard or conventional medicine recognizes the power of the connection between mind and body. Studies have found that people heal better if they have good emotional and mental health. Therapies using the mind may include:
Senses. Some people believe the senses (touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste) can affect overall health:
- Art, dance, and music
- Visualization and guided imagery
What can Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) do for me?
~Use of CAM is widespread for the management of mental health problems, including PTSD.
~Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.
~Some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Paresthesias and nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)
There are many wonderful benefits of Reiki. Reiki is a very simple process, but usually produces quite profound effects. The main purpose of reiki practise is not only to heal diseases, but also to promote a positive mind and healthy body so that people can experience joy in life.
What are the Benefits of Having Reiki Treatments
Reiki unlike many modern day remedies works directly on restoring the balance on all levels and works directly on the problem and condition instead of just masking or relieving symptoms. Some of the benefits of reiki are as follows:
- Dissolves energy blocks and promotes natural balance between mind, body and spirit;
- Increases energy levels;
- Creates deep relaxation and helps the body release stress and tension;
- Clears the mind and improves focus;
- Accelerates the body’s self-healing ability;
- Aids better sleep;
- Reduces blood pressure;
- Helps relieve pain;
- Assists the body in cleansing itself from toxins;
- Supports the immune system;
Martial Arts and Stress Relief
Creating wellness through martial arts can have a number of benefits in your life. There are, obviously, the weight management, cardio, and self-defense benefits, however there are a number of other benefits.
Stress relief is an extremely powerful benefit of martial arts. Long and short term stress can have a number of detrimental effects including: heart disease or attack, stroke, lowered immunity, weight gain, mood swings, short temper, trouble sleeping, anxiety, trouble focusing, poor memory, lack of energy, feelings of lethargy, and depression.
One of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day is to strap on the gloves and go to a Krav Maga class for an hour, or three. 😉 I get a great workout, while at the same time easing my mind of the troubles of the day. Or maybe if I need a more soothing method, I run through a few techniques in a slow and controlled manner that calms my mind, and helps me re-focus. Exercise, in general, has been known to have several stress reducing effects including: increased blood flow to the brain, released endorphins to elevate mood, and the removal of chemical waste that your body produces that clutter up your body and mind (these same natural wastes can also be linked to body fat storage/loss). When practicing martial arts, you generally develop a greater focus and calm of mind while training. These increases in discipline are generally correlated with decreases in stress. Training yourself to focus, slow your breathing, and calm your mind are common techniques for stress management. Plus, you have a skill to defend yourself so you can “get home safe.”
Why use CAM?
Three theories that have been proposed to explain the use of alternative medicine were tested:
Dissatisfaction: Patients are dissatisfied with conventional treatment because it has been ineffective,5,6has produced adverse effects,6,7or is seen as impersonal, too technologically oriented, and/or too costly.6– 15
Need for personal control: Patients seek alternative therapies because they see them as less authoritarian16and more empowering and as offering them more personal autonomy and control over their health care decisions.14,16– 19
Philosophical congruence: Alternative therapies are attractive because they are seen as more compatible with patients’ values, worldview, spiritual/religious philosophy, or beliefs regarding the nature and meaning of health and illness.19– 24
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