Font Size
A
A
A

Complementary Medicine


Complementary medicine is any treatment that is outside the traditional medicine or practice of a person's primary health system. A treatment that is complementary in one culture may be traditional in another; for example, acupuncture, although traditional in China, is considered alternative or complementary in the United States.

A central concept of many types of complementary medicine is to give thought and care to the whole person (holistic) rather than providing treatment for a specific disease or symptom. This holistic view and the emphasis on maintaining good health may be appealing for those with chronic illness or for those who want to improve their quality of life through lifestyle changes.

The use of complementary medicine in the U.S. is on the rise. People often seek out complementary therapies for long-term (chronic) conditions that have not been successfully treated with conventional medicine as well as to maintain and improve wellness and quality of life.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMarc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD - Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Last RevisedJune 29, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD


Medical Dictionary