Good Health and Well-Being

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Tony Wall, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar

Health and Wellness: Holistic and Complementary Methods

  • Lynette SteeleEmail author
Living reference work entry



Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a commonly used term for holistic and complementary therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medicine. Complementary means treatments that are used along with conventional medicine. Alternative means treatments used in place of conventional medicine (Mayo Clinic). Integrative medicine combines, or integrates, the best of conventional medical care with the best of evidence-based CAM. A whole-person approach is the focus of most CAM therapies to address the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of health. This paper will address the main areas, for example, mind-body medicine (such as meditation, acupuncture, and yoga), manipulative and body-based practices (such as massage therapy and spinal manipulation), and natural products (such as herbs and dietary...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health [s.a.] [Online]. Accessed 15 Mar 2018
  2. Bhattacharya S, Singh A (2016) Ayurveda an alternative solution for cancer, hypertension, chronic pulmonary disease and diabetes mellitus type-II. Int J Commun Health Med Res 2(4):47–52Google Scholar
  3. Bower JE, Garet D, Sternlieb B, Ganz PA, Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Greendale G (2012) Yoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Cancer 118(15):3766–3775. Epub 2011 Dec 16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Online]. Accessed 23 May 2018
  5. Chaoul MA, Cohen L (2010) Rethinking yoga and the application of yoga in modern medicine. Cross Curr 60:144. Wiley-BlackwellCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clobert M, Saroglou V, Van Pachterbeke M (2015) Who turns to acupuncture? The role of mistrust of rationality and individualist success. J Altern Complement Med 21(8):466–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Delany J, Coughlin P (2011) Massage and touch therapies. In: Fundamentals of complementary and alternative medicine. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, pp 211–231Google Scholar
  8. Field T (1998) Massage therapy effects. Am Psychol 53:1270–1281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jacobsen R, Kristofferson A (2013) Use of complementary and alternative medicine in Norwegian hospitals. J Altern Complement Med 20(5):A110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Koren R, Lerner A, Tirosh A, Zaidenstein R et al (2015) The use of complementary and alternative medicine in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Israel. J Altern Complement Med 21(7): 395–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Korotkov K, Shelkov O, Shevtsov A, Mohov D, Paoletti S, Mirosnichenko D, Labkovskaya E, Robertson L (2012) Stress reduction with osteopathy assessed with GDV electrophotonic imaging: effects of osteopathy treatment. J Altern Complement Med 18(3):251–257. Scholar
  12. Liebert M (2012) Stress reduction with osteopathy assessed with GDV electrophotonic imaging: effects of osteopathy. J Altern Complement Med 18(3): 251–257. Scholar
  13. Liebert M (2014) Determining the attitudes and use of complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine among undergraduates. J Altern Complement Med 20(9):718–726. Scholar
  14. Lim EJ, Vardy JL, Sang B, Dhillon HM (2017) A scoping review on models of integrative medicine: what is known from the existing literature? J Altern Complement Med 23(1):8–17. Scholar
  15. Mbizo J, Okafor A, Sutton M, Burkhart EN, Stone LM (2016) Complementary and alternative medicine use by normal weight, overweight, and obese patients with arthritis or other musculoskeletal diseases. J Altern Complement Med 22(3):227–236. Scholar
  16. Micozzi MS (2011) Fundamentals of complementary and alternative medicine, 4th edn. Saunders Elsevier, St. LouisGoogle Scholar
  17. Moona MM, Smits R, Kertesz J et al (2014) Clinical inquiry: do complementary agents lower HbA1c when used with standard type 2 diabetes therapy? J Fam Pract 63:336–338Google Scholar
  18. National Health Interview Survey (2012) [Online]. Accessed 1 Mar 2018
  19. Possamai-Inesedy A, Cochrane S (2013) The consequences of integrating complementary and alternative medicine: an analysis of impacts on practice. Health Sociol Rev 22(1):65–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Prasher B, Gibson G, Mukerji M (2016) Genomic insights into Ayurvedic and Western approaches to personalized medicine. J Genet 95(1):209–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schiff E, Attias S, Hen H, Kreindler G, Arnon Z (2012) Integrating a complementary medicine service within a general surgery department: from contemplation to practice. J Altern Complement Med 18(3):300–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sujatha T, Judie A (2014) Effectiveness of a 12-week yoga program on physiopsychological parameters in patients with hypertension. Int J Pharm Clin Res 6(4):329–335Google Scholar
  23. The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health (The Consortium) [Online]. Accessed 13 Mar 2018
  24. The American Chiropractic Association [Online]. Accessed 24 Feb 2018
  25. The Cochrane CAM Field [Online]. Accessed 13 Mar 2018
  26. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [Online]. Accessed 22 November 2018
  27. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [Online]. Accessed 13 Mar 2018
  28. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [Online]. Accessed 23 May 2018
  29. The National Center for Integrative Primary Healthcare (NCIPH) [Online]. Accessed 13 Mar 2018
  30. The National Health Interview Survey [s.a] [Online]. Accessed 15 Mar 2018
  31. The NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (2017) Worldwide trends in blood pressure from 1975 to 2015: a pooled analysis of 1479 population-based measurement studies with 19·1 million participants. Lancet 389(10064): 37–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. The Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine [Online]. Accessed 13 Mar 2018
  33. The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) [Online]. Accessed 13 Mar 2018
  34. The World Health Organization [Online]. Accessed 23 May 2018
  35. Thomas Jefferson University [Online]. Accessed 1 Mar 2018
  36. Tollefson M, Wisneski L, Sayre N, Helton J, Matuszewicz E, Jensen C (2016) An exploration of students who choose this undergraduate major. J Altern Complement Med 22(20):166–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tsang HWH, Cheung WM, Chan AHL, Fung KMT, Leung AY, Au DWH (2015) A pilot evaluation on a stress management programme using a combined approach of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for elementary school teachers. Stress Health 31:35–43. John Wiley SonsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Van den Bulck J, Custers K (2010) Belief in complementary and alternative medicine is related to age and paranormal beliefs in adults. Eur J Pub Health 20:227–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vickers A, Zollman C (1999) Massage therapies. Br Med J 319:1254–1257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Von Conrady DM, Bonney A (2017) Patterns of complementary and alternative medicine use and health literacy in general practice patients in urban and regional Australia. Aust Fam Physician 46(5):316–320Google Scholar
  41. Xiong XJ, Li SJ, Zhang YQ (2015) Massage therapy for essential hypertension: a systematic review. J Hum Hypertens 29:143–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Women’s Health and Well-beingPrivate Medical PracticeCape TownSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tony Wall
    • 1
  1. 1.International Centre for Thriving at WorkUniversity of ChesterChesterUK