Complementary alternative medicine, also known as complementary and alternative medicine or CAM, is a term that doctors use when referring to treatments that are not necessarily available from medical professionals. Though these treatments might help you better cope with pain, feel less nauseous and experience fewer other symptoms, these treatments are usually not available in a doctor’s office or a hospital. Many people found that using these treatments in combination with the medications and other treatments prescribed by a doctor helped them relieve their symptoms.
Types of CAM Treatments
When most people think of CAM treatments, they think of homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy refers to any type of treatment that you use at home. Sweet oil, which is a type of olive oil, is a popular remedy for an earache. You heat up a teaspoon of the oil before pouring it into your ear and letting it sit for a few minutes. Oil of clove, which is an oil made from natural cloves, can reduce the swelling and pain associated with a toothache. Acupuncture is another type of CAM treatment. A licensed therapist will place individual needles into different parts of your body to redirect the flow of energy and help you feel better. Other treatments may include lifestyle counseling, herbal supplements, exercise and meditation. With lifestyle counseling, you have the chance to sit down and talk with a counselor about your symptoms and any issues you have in your personal life. The counselor will recommend simple changes you can make to get your life back on track.
Talking with Your Doctor
While complementary alternative medicine is natural, you must talk with a doctor before beginning treatment. You never know when a natural supplement might interact with your medications. Grapefruit juice and other citrus juices can significantly reduce the effectiveness of some common prescription medications. Talk with your doctor before you meet with an acupuncturist or begin any other type of natural or homeopathic home treatment.