Bill is convinced that complementary therapies help him stay healthy. Susan swears by the alternative medicine she uses to maintain her health. When they sit down to talk, they find they are doing the same things-they just have different words for it.
Alternative medicine, complementary therapies, holistic practices, natural healthcare, integrative medicine--these are a few of the terms used nowadays to describe a wide array of healing practices that fall outside purely pharmaceutical or surgical treatments. Some examples are massage, meditation, and acupuncture.
A few years ago, complementary and alternative medicine was defined as therapies that were not taught in medical school or offered in mainstream hospitals. But this no longer applies. Many complementary and alternative therapies are now offered in clinics and hospitals around the country and their use and acceptance is growing rapidly. This is reflected in a new name used in many healthcare settings: "integrative therapies."
But whether you say integrative or complementary therapies, or holistic practices, or something else, it refers to the same thing-a wide array of healing practices that fall outside purely pharmaceutical or surgical treatments.