Every other Thursday I will be posting pieces on various Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). I think it is important for black women to explore all of their options when it comes to health and wellness and CAM is a part of that. Here is a piece that I wrote for LiveStrong.com that offers an introduction to several CAM practices and benefits:
Use CAM to Feel Better
CAM, complementary and alternative medicine, refers to medical systems and practices currently not considered a part of conventional medicine. CAM treatments are split into five main categories, which include biologically based practices, whole medical systems, manipulative and body-based practices, mind-body medicine and energy medicine.
2. Little Needles, Big Healing
Acupuncture is the most well known and most widely used healing practice from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a whole medical practice. Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and in the U.S. is one of the more common CAM practices. Acupuncture seeks to restore and maintain health by stimulating certain points on the body through the use of thin, stainless steel needles placed in the skin to stimulate various areas of the body. Acupuncture has shown to be of great help in treating addictions and weight loss.
3. A Little Rub Goes a Long Way
Massage therapy is one of the most practiced of the manipulative and body-based practices. It is also one of the few CAM treatments that is also used as a conventional medical treatment. Massage therapy has been around since ancient times. You can find references to it in ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek texts. Today, people use massage therapy for a host of health-related issues, such as pain relief, stress relief, depression and rehabilitating sports injuries.
4. Take a Holistic Approach to Healing
Ayurveda means the science of life and is a natural healing system that has its roots in India. As one of the whole medical systems, Aruyveda has gained popularity in the United States due to Dr. Deepak Chopra, an Indian-born doctor who uses a combination of Aruyveda and conventional medicine to treat his patients. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to medicine that seeks to integrate the mind, body and spirit to achieve overall health. Keeping the body in balance is believed to lead to overall health and contentment. Ayurveda uses a combination of yoga, meditation, herbs and exercise to achieve the optimum level of health.