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What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine ?

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) refers to medical practices and products that are not part of what we know as allopathic or standard medicine; however, they can be part of a person’s health plan.


To make informed decisions, it is important to understand the differences between Complementary and Alternative Medicine and what Holistic Medicine means.


Complementary Medicine refers to treatments used along with allopathic or standard medicine. For instance Acupuncture, Therapeutic Touch®, Reiki, Meditation and Massage can help lessen side effects of treatments and help improve quality of life. 


Alternative medicine is used instead of allopathic or standard medicine. For instance, following a special diet or supplements to treat cancer instead of taking the anticancer drugs prescribed by an oncologist.


Holistic or Integrative Medicine, is an approach that considers the whole person -- body, mind, spirit, and emotions -- in the quest for optimal health and wellness.  It is based on the belief that for healing to happen, patients and doctors work as a ‘team’ to address all aspects of the patient's life. It combines treatments from allopathic or standard medicine with CAM from which there is high quality evidence of safety and effectiveness. 


Therapeutic Touch® and Reiki are recognized complementary therapies that help with stress reduction and relaxation while promoting the healing of mind, body, and spirit. The treatments are based on the idea that “universal life force energy” flows through all of us and that balancing this energy promotes health and healing

Treatments Available:



[1] HLWIKI Canada Contributors, “Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM),” HLWIKI Canada. Available at:

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