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Alternative Medicine

About Alternative Medicine

Acupuncture is being performed on a patient

Medical approaches that fall outside standard health care are considered alternative medicine when used instead of conventional medical treatments. A more common approach to medical care in the United States is the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), which combines standard and alternative treatments. Integrative medicine coordinates medical professionals and nonconventional health care practitioners in a patient-centered approach that goes beyond a narrow focus on disease to address interconnected aspects of well-being, including emotional and social health.

Conventional medicine, or Western medicine, relies on evidence-based science to determine the best course of action to address medical conditions. A rigorous approval process requires clinical research trials, diagnostic criteria, and the expertise of medical professionals.  (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • Consider researching a specific alternative treatments such as acupuncture, holistic medicine, etc.
  • Is hypnotism effective in pain relief?
  • Discuss the success of using alternative medicine in treating HIV/AIDS, autism, a particular cancer, etc..
  • Can alternative medicine coexist with conventional medicine?
  • Discuss the effectiveness of medicine used in a specific culture such as China, India, a specific Native American tribe, etc.
  • What types of holistic medicines are the most effective?
  • Should health insurance cover alternative medical therapies?
  • Will the destruction of the rain forests have an effect on the discovery of new therapies?
  • Do alternative cancer therapies work?