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Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Biotech, Pharma and Life Science Channel

05:50 EDT 1st August 2014 | BioPortfolio

Alternative medicine are whole medical systems that did not fit with conventional medicine as they have completely different philosophies and ideas on the causes of disease, methods of diagnosis and approaches to treatment. Although often overlapping, complementary medicine (or therapies) are specifically defined as those that can be used alongside conventional medicine. The term complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) include both approaches. Integrated medicine is a new hybrid of conventional and complementary therapies.

One of the most commonly used definitions is that used by the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field;

“Complementary medicine includes all such practices and ideas which are outside the domain of conventional medicine in several countries and defined by its users as preventing or treating illness, or promoting health and well being. These practices complement mainstream medicine by 1) contributing to a common whole, 2) satisfying a demand not met by conventional practices, and 3) diversifying the conceptual framework of medicine. ” (Berman 2006)

CAM include acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy, Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bach and other flower remedies, body work therapies, including massage, counseling stress therapy, hypnotherapy, meditation, reflexology, shiatsu, healing, Maharishi ayurvedic medicine, nutritional medicine, yoga, anthroposophical medicine, ayurvedic medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, Eastern medicine, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, crystal therapy, dowsing, iridology, kinesiology and radionics.

CAM is controversial because of the evidence that it works, and how it works. There have been several attempts to estimate the amount of money available to CAM research as compared to conventional medical research and current estimates suggest that CAM research represents less than 0.01% of the current UK medical research budget. Anecdotal evidence is very strong, but clinical trials are complicated in this area by the holistic approach and the use of placebo controls.

Source; Adapted from NHS

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional allopathic medical practice. They may lack biomedical explanations but as they become better researched some (PHYSICAL THERAPY MODALITIES; DIET; ACUPUNCTURE) become widely accepted whereas others (humors, radium therapy) quietly fade away, yet are important historical footnotes. Therapies are termed as Complementary when used in addition to conventional treatments and as Alternative when used instead of conventional treatment.

The discipline concerned with using the combination of conventional (allopathic) medicine and ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE to address the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of health and illness.

A process whereby multiple RNA transcripts are generated from a single gene. Alternative splicing involves the splicing together of other possible sets of EXONS during the processing of some, but not all, transcripts of the gene. Thus a particular exon may be connected to any one of several alternative exons to form a mature RNA. The alternative forms of mature MESSENGER RNA produce PROTEIN ISOFORMS in which one part of the isoforms is common while the other parts are different.

System of herbal medicine practiced in Japan by both herbalists and practitioners of modern medicine. Kampo originated in China and is based on Chinese herbal medicine (MEDICINE, CHINESE TRADITIONAL).

A modified Greco-Arabic medical system flourishing today as unani medicine. It was the product of Arab physicians and scholars captivated by Greek philosophy, science, and medicine. It is practiced today in India and Pakistan, largely as a type of herbal medicine. (From Magner, A History of Medicine, 1992, p136)

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