Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Countries around the world practice many popular traditional practices in the field of medicine, hospitalization, and treatment. Some may refer to it as (Folk medicine) yet it also has various names such as ancient medicine, parallel medicine, natural medicine, comparative medicine, traditional medicine, and it is often known as alternative medicine or complementary medicine.

Folk medicine is a legacy inherited by parents from grandparents, an ancient knowledge that nearly three-quarters of the world’s population use to treat diseases. it consists of treatments and practices that are known to be safe by those who resort to them as it has been tested on millions of people over thousands of years.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Complementary and Alternative Medicine as “A group of health professions based on an independent medical science for each, it relies on accurate diagnosis through a comprehensive examination, taking into account the psychological and mental state in addition to the physical condition. it may also use Chirotherapy, herbs, and natural medicines”(WHO, 2002.)

According to the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM-US), Complementary and Alternative Medicine is defined as a “variety of health care systems, practices, and products that are not considered to be part of or an extension of the Modern Medical practice. Complementary Medicine is used to complement Modern Medicine, yet Complementary Medicine shouldn’t be used simultaneously with Modern Medicine. We may find that some health service providers use Complementary and Alternative Medicine in addition to Modern Medicine”(NCCAM, 2004).

Complementary and Alternative Medicine widespread factors:

Complementary and Alternative Medicine or traditional folk medicine is a widespread method of healing that represents a parallel health system of considerable economic importance. In Africa, 80% of the population uses folk medicine as a health care alternative, while in China the services of folk medicine represent 40% of the total health care services.
In Australia, the proportion of the population that used complementary and alternative medicine at least once is around 48% and 70% and 42% in Canada and USA respectively (WHO, 2002).
The popularity and prevalence of Complementary and Alternative Medicine depend mainly on several factors such as availability, relative safety, cost, and the opportunity of treating chronic diseases.

All rights reserved National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine | © 2020