The  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Health Journal supports the definition of Complementary Medicines and Therapies (CAM) by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) which states that: Complementary and alternative medicine, as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM),is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional Medicine. NCCAM classifies natural, complementary and alternative medicines into five categories, or domains: [1]

1. Alternative Medical Systems - Alternative medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice such as homeopathic and naturopathic medicinetraditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

2. Mind-Body Interventions - These interventions include patient support groups, meditation, prayer, spiritual healing, and therapies that use creative outlets such as art, music, or dance.

3. Biologically Based Therapies - These therapies include the use of herbs, foods, vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements

4. Manipulative and Body-Based Methods - These methods include chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, and massage

5. Energy Therapies - Energy therapies involve the use of energy fields. They are of two types:

Biofield therapies such as qi gongReiki, and Therapeutic Touch, and bioenergetic therapies involving the use of pulsed electromagnetic fields, such as pulsed fields, magnetic fields, or alternating-current and/or alternating and direct-current fields.

[1] National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), 2002. What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), May 2002, USA. Last Modified: 21 October 2002.



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