Complementary and Alternative Approaches: Overview

Complementary and alternative approaches to counseling include a wide array of treatment modalities that aim to create wellness in mind, body, and spirit. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), which is a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has been studying these approaches and their effects on physical, mental, and emotional wellness since 1998. NCCAM defines complementary therapies as treatments that are used along with conventional treatments, whereas alternative therapies are typically used in place of traditional Western approaches. NCCAM also uses two terms to discuss these therapies: (1) complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and (2) complementary health approaches. NCCAM categorizes CAM into two categories: (1) natural products and (2) mind and body practices. Natural products include herbs and ...

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