PUBH 1515 Frontline Alternative Medicine Article

PUBH 1515 Frontline Alternative Medicine Article - About...

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· About the Program The past decade has seen an explosion in the popularity—and profitability—of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Under pressure from everyone from consumers to Congress, major hospitals and medical schools have embraced therapies that they once dismissed as quackery. So commonplace, in fact, have alternative medical treatments become that an entire center of the National Institutes of Health is now devoted to studying them. But the questions remain: Do these treatments actually work? And are they safe? In "The Alternative Fix," airing Thursday, November 6, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE examines the controversy over complementary and alternative medical treatments. Through interviews with staunch supporters, skeptical scientists, and observers on both sides of the debate, the one-hour documentary examines how these popular treatments are facing increased scrutiny as the first real studies of their effectiveness are published. · About this Guide What exactly is complementary and alternative medicine? What types of treatments are considered to be complementary or alternative? What evidence supports the belief by millions of Americans that such treatments work? And why do some alternative treatments prove so controversial, particularly within the mainstream medical community? This Viewer's Guide provides a brief overview of complementary and alternative medicine, including the causes behind its sudden surge in acceptance, a look at what scientific studies say about these treatments, a glossary of important terms, and a list of resources for learning more about alternative medical treatments. · What is CAM?
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Acupuncture. Chiropractic. Homeopathy. Aromatherapy. Reiki. Just about everyone today either has personal experience with or knows someone who has tried some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)—the umbrella term that encompasses a vast array of alternative healing and medical treatments. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)—a division of the National Institutes of Health—defines CAM as "a group of diverse medical health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine." (Please see the Glossary for a list of well-known CAM terms and treatments.) While many people tend to use the terms "complementary medicine" and "alternative medicine" interchangeably, NCCAM considers complementary medicine treatments to be those that are used in conjunction with conventional medicine, while alternative treatments are generally used in place of more traditional medical techniques—for example, treating cancer through dietary changes instead of with chemotherapy and radiation. But this is by no means the only acceptable term or definition; many colleges and universities, for example, prefer the term "integrative medicine," which emphasizes the convergence of both traditional and alternative health practices and the partnership
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PUBH 1515 Frontline Alternative Medicine Article - About...

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