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As per available reports about 69 relevant journals, 28 Conferences, 30 workshops are presently dedicated exclusively to Complementary and alternative medicine and about 5476 articles are being published on Complementary and alternative medicine.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice. Complementary medicine is used together with standard medical care. An example is using acupuncture to support with side effects of cancer treatment. Alternative medicine is used in place of standard medical care. An example is treating heart disease with chelation therapy. Complementary and alternative medicine, as defined by NCCAM, is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.
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Scope and Importance
Although the scope of NCCAM's National Center for (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) research agenda is larger than what most other nations could accommodate, its underlying philosophy should be universal. That is, the standards for research into CAM and TM (traditional medicine) approaches should be no different from those used in conventional biomedical research.
Both CAM and TM and biomedical practitioners need to understand the strengths, limitations, and contributions of their particular approaches so that they can work together in ways that ensure the best possible care for their patients and the achievement of their shared goals of improved individual and public health. Once these issues have been addressed, countries could devote additional resources to studying those CAM and TM approaches that appear to be the most promising in relation to their most pressing public health problems. Some priority areas for CAM and TM research are widely applicable, including studies of approaches to palliate chronic pain and suffering, relieve depression, help release the grip of addictive substances, and slow the progression of degenerative disorders such as arthritis and dementia.
In Europe, North America and other industrialized regions, over 50% of the population have used complementary or alternative medicine at least once. In San Francisco, London and South Africa, 75% of people living with HIV/AIDS use TM/CAM. 70% of the population in Canada have used complementary medicine at least once. In Germany, 90% of the population have used a natural remedy at some point in their life. Between 1995 and 2000, the number of doctors who had undergone special training in natural remedy medicine had almost doubled to 10 800. In the United States, 158 million of the adult population use complementary medicines and according to the USA Commission for Alternative and Complementary medicines, US $17 billion was spent on traditional remedies in 2000. In the United Kingdom, annual expenditure on alternative medicine is US$ 230 million.
The global market for herbal medicines currently stands at over US $ 60 billion annually and is growing steadily.
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This page was last updated on 14th Sep, 2015
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