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Alternative & Complementary Medicine 

In the field of healthcare and medicine, the role of alternative and complementary medication is to help individuals obtain healing, minimize pain and obtain maximum health. Therefore, some alternative and complementary medications include allopathic medicine and holistic and complementary medicine. Different patients and health care providers have different prospects of using any approach depending on the benefits, advantages, and disadvantages of medications (Hamed et al., 2020). Alternative medication is the use of those methods that are distinct from the conventional approach. The alternative medication includes the use of Chinese medication, herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic, and homeopathy medications.

            The alternative and complementary medication represent those products that are not in the protocol for standardized medical care. For instance, those patients with cancer take these medications to help minimize the side effects of chemotherapy such as fatigue, pain, nausea, and vomiting. The medication also helps to minimize the stress-related symptoms and cancer therapy and trying to see if they can cure the disease. The integrative medicine approach combines CAM with conventional medications and the pharmacodynamics have been revealed to be safer and more effective (Seet et al., 2020). The medication helps to cater for the spiritual, mental, and physical health of the patient. The complimentary medications such as acupuncture aid to minimize the side effect of conventional mediation. The alternative medications that are used for cancer patients include a special diet instead of chemotherapy drugs.

The complementary and alternative medicine includes the mind and body therapies that entails meditation, biofeedback in monitoring the heart rate and blood pressure, hypnosis to promote calmness and openness, yoga, and tai chi which include controlled breathing, and imagery and creative outlets. The biologically targeted practices include vitamins to maintain the body healthy with normal physiology, dietary supplements, and botanicals such as turmeric and cinnamon (Chowdhuri & Kundu, 2020). In addition, examples of body-based and manipulative practice are massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, and reflexology which is the application of pressure to specific body parts.

            Several complementary and alternative therapies have been through a careful evaluation and are effective and safe like meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. However, some therapy may reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy while others may become harmful to the body. Some alternative supplements may be harmful to the body when they are taken alone or in large doses. For example, kava kava that is used to minimize stress may cause hepatotoxicity while for cancer patients it may lower the potency of the medication (Tangkiatkumjai et al., 2020). Several clinical trials are ongoing to study the side and adverse effects of some complementary medications that are used. Some studies also are doing a comparison of conventional medications and other alternative therapies.

            Allopathic medicine is used to describe modern medicine also known as conventional medicine or biomedicine. This therapy is prescribed by medical officers, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The treatment is provided through administering medication, radiation therapy, and surgery. Allopathic medications can be used to provide preventive care such as vaccinations and probiotics, and curative care such as analgesics and biotics to manage infections (Brodt et al., 2018). As a healthcare provider, I would not have concerns about allopathic medications because they are prescribed by health professionals, they are prescribed upon assessment and laboratory tests, they are extensively researched and tested and they are more effective.


Brodt, E., (Ojibwe), Bruegl, A., (Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee), Thayer, E. K., Eiff, M. P., Gonzales, K., (Cherokee), Crespo, C., Spector, D., (Nez Perce), Kamaka, M., (Native Hawaiian), Carpenter, D. A., (Native Hawaiian), & Carney, P. A. (2018). Concerning trends in allopathic medical school faculty rank for Indigenous people: 2014-2016. Medical education online, 23(1), 1508267. https://doi.org/10.1080/10872981.2018.1508267

Chowdhuri, P. D., & Kundu, K. (2020). Factors determining the choice of complementary and alternative medicine in acute and chronic diseases. Journal of complementary & integrative medicine, 17(3), 10.1515/jcim-2019-0105. https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2019-0105

Hamed Abdalla, M., Ali, A. M., & Loong, L. (2020). The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among cancer patients at a tertiary hospital in Malaysia. Complementary therapies in medicine, 50, 102343. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102343

Seet, V., Abdin, E., Vaingankar, J. A., Shahwan, S., Chang, S., Lee, B., Chong, S. A., & Subramaniam, M. (2020). The use of complementary and alternative medicine in a multi-ethnic Asian population: results from the 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 20(1), 52. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-2843-7

Tangkiatkumjai, M., Boardman, H., & Walker, D. M. (2020). Potential factors that influence usage of complementary and alternative medicine worldwide: a systematic review. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 20(1), 363. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-03157-2

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