Although many definitions for CAM therapies exist, a helpful working definition is: “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.”

(Definition from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)). This includes therapies such as chiropractic, naturopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, nutritional and herbal medicine, folk medicine, mind-body therapies, and various forms of spirituality in medicine. Many people are not refering to “integrative medicine” or “integrative health care,” which NCCAM defines as which “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.”