Features  |   August 2014
IS CAM A SHAM? Understanding Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Practicing Anesthesiologist
Author Affiliations
  • Anna Woodbury, M.D.
    Committee on Pain Medicine
  • John F. Dombrowski, M.D.
    Committee on Pain Medicine
Article Information
Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Pain Medicine / Features
Features   |   August 2014
IS CAM A SHAM? Understanding Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Practicing Anesthesiologist
ASA Monitor 08 2014, Vol.78, 18-21.
ASA Monitor 08 2014, Vol.78, 18-21.
The number of individuals using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has gradually risen over the last several decades.1  Complementary medicine is therapy used in conjunction with standard medical practice, whereas alternative medicine is therapy used in place of standard treatments. Several categories of therapies exist, including: energy therapies (acupuncture, magnetic stimulation, ultrasound); cognitive therapies, (biofeedback, visual imagery, meditation, mindfulness); alternative exercises (yoga, tai chi, pilates); manual manipulation (chiropractic and massage); non-vitamin, non-mineral, natural products, including herbs and supplements; and other therapies, including art, music, spa and aroma therapy. Varying levels of evidence exist to support the use of each type of therapy for different pathological states.
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