Lecture 11 – HLTB03
Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) is unconventional (unlike allopathic medicine). It
is the alternative form that we turn to only when the main forms of medicine don’t work. It is
used in conjunction with allopathic medicine but it is a broad and dynamic field that is always
evolving and changing.
- We can think of it as a holistic form of health care. CAM sometimes arises out of a philosophy of
holism that sees all parts of the universe and all parts within an individual to be interdependent.
There is a connection b/w physical body, mental body (body, mind, soul, energy)
- Naturopathic medicine: System of primary care that uses natural methods & has goal of trying
to stimulate body`s inherent self-healing processes. This is different from allopathic medicine.
Study done found that 73% of Canadians had used some form of complementary medicine.
o People see naturopathic doctors for many different reasons: sports medicine, cancer
care, women’s health, men`s health, pain, stress, pediatric care, etc. BUT WHAT IS
MISSING? *Surgery: This is something that a doctor will not be able to help you with.
o Naturopathic guiding principles
Do Not Harm (this is the first rule) : This is the only rule which is the same for
allopathic doctors, but the rest are different from what allopathic doctors do
The Healing Power of Nature
Identify and Treat the Cause
Treat the Whole Person
Doctor as Teacher
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
*When we go to visit a doctor, we only spend max 15-20mins with them, but with naturopathic
doctors, we spend 1hour on the first visit and then around half an hour for every follow up
appointment. They also go into more detail with regards to your lifestyle and all aspects of the
- Other naturopathic medicine includes botanical medicine, lifestyle counseling, nutrition,
physical medicine, hydrotherapy, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and
homeopathy. Since no 2 people are alike so it doesn’t make sense to make generalizations
therefore a couple of different things are used before the best fit is chosen for you
- Different forms of naturopathic medicine:
o Botanical medicine/herbalism: works with the healing power of nature and is commonly
known as Herbs.
Echinacea: an antimicrobial, anticatarrhal, used to treat things like colds and
URTI. Now it works as shortening the duration of such problems
Goldenseal: mucous membrane. Used to treat skin conditions and other
Ginger: diaphoretic, carminative, anti-nausea, anti-microbial. It can also be
helpful for warming you up. Eating ginger can warm your body temperature. o Herbs and other botanical medicines can decrease the efficacy of other medicines/drugs
so it is important to look into it before you take the pills, especially if you are pregnant.
- Lifestyle counselling: In naturopathic medicine, this is an important part of the treatment.
Medical doctors don’t have as much time to do these things. People know when their doctor is
really listening so listening is a big factor. This also includes trust and other things.
- Nutrition: we are what we eat. “Meat causes phlegm, fish brings you heat, green veggies and
tofu keep you upbeat”
o Whole food diet is best: This is like an apple, as opposed to an apple sauce, or natural
rice opposed to bread. So processed foods are not best
o Naturopathic doctors use as an important element, how you feel and you relate to what