Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard medical care. By feeling these pulses, the practitioner can detect fine qualities of the pulse that reveal information about the conditions of different organ systems, and treat those that may be weak, or overactive, using herbs, acupuncture, or other types of treatment to strengthen organs or calm overactive organs and areas of the body.
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Integrative doctors tend to favor treatments that are—as Briggs, the NCCIH director, put it—amenable to scientific investigation.” Several of the doctors I interviewed told me they don’t prescribe homeopathic remedies, for instance, because there’s no evidence to support them.
There is a natural role for teaching in this endeavor in the context of the integrative medicine curriculum, since the practice of culturally sensitive health care clearly requires an awareness of and respect for cultural traditions and practices, especially those related to health and healing.
Certain authorities have warned that some of the herbs used could be poisonous, and there are a host of people saying that this form of alternative medicine is a rip off, and that if anyone should want to go down this route of alternative medicine is that they should double check what they are taking.