Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NCCAM classifications

NCCAM classifies complementary and alternative therapies into five major groups. The classification are rather loose, and there can be some overlap.

  • Whole medical systems cut across more than one of the other groups; examples include Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda
  • 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".
  • Biologically based practices use substances found in nature such as herbs, foods, vitamins, and other natural substances.
  • Manipulative and body-based practices feature manipulation or movement of body parts, such as is done in chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation.
  • Energy medicine is a domain that deals with putative and verifiable energy fields:
    • Biofield therapies are intended to influence energy fields that purportedly 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.

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