What is it?
Methods that were once referred to only as 'alternative' medical practices, and largely dismissed by the conventional medical community, are now being integrated along with conventional methods. Growing evidence shows that Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy and other such practices make some conditions easier to manage. Additionally, psychologists are using methods like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Hypnotherapy to resolve everything from weight loss issues to severe trauma. According to an article on WebMD titled "Complementary and Alternative Medicine on the Rise," Matt McMillen writes that "More than a third of those who said they used CAM practices in 2007 also reported that they had an unmet medical need ..."
Spirituality and Counseling
A growing number of researchers are exploring the affect of spirituality on physical ailments. Spirituality and counseling have both been shown to increase pain tolerance and decrease instances of depression in chronically ill patients.
Why it works...
CAM practices are proven to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve pain management. Stress management plays a huge role in your immune system and pain tolerance. For example, CancerResearchUK.org says that "... a skilled and caring aromatherapist can take the time to make you feel cared for. This might help improve your quality of life." They also mention that there are clinical trials looking at how these methods affect the immune system.
As the conventional medical community continues to research these methods, we see that they are being integrated at a higher rate, proving that these methods truly are complementary.
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