Integrative medicine encompasses a number of complementary therapies and practices, such as meditation, massage, acupuncture, and the use of herbs and dietary supplements.
These integrative practices — sometimes called complementary and alternative medicine — may help people with cancer, persistent pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many other conditions.
While many complementary therapies have been studied, many more have not. In some cases, evidence about safety or efficacy of a particular therapy may be conflicting. Before you try something new, take time to research the risks and benefits.
Your doctor can be a good resource — and needs to be your partner to help ensure you're making informed decisions about complementary practices.
Nov. 19, 2021
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- Complementary, alternative, or integrative health: What's in a name? National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health/. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Complementary and alternative medicine. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Questions to ask your doctor: Questions are the answer. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/index.html. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
- 4 medication safety tips for older adults. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm399834.htm. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.