Complementary and Alternative
Medicine All over the world there
is a growing interest in the use of CAM (Complementary
and Alternative Medicine) therapies for symptom
relief and general well being.
In India complementary and
alternative approaches are well developed and,
for this reason, India is taking the lead in the
field of holistic palliative care.
What is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine is any form of practice that
is outside the realm of conventional modern medicine.
It covers a broad range of healing philosophies,
approaches, and therapies. Examples are Yoga and
Naturopathy, Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.
These systems are widely used in India and are
fully recognised by AYUSH, a department of Indias
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. AYUSH
is also supporting research and education in these
What is Complementary Medicine?
If alternative medicine or therapy is used alone
or instead of conventional medicine, it is called
alternative medicine. If the treatment or therapy
is done along with or in addition to conventional
medicine, it is referred to as complementary medicine
as the two practices complement each other. For
example, many Chinese hospitals use acupuncture
to reduce the pain during the surgery instead
of anaesthetics. This is complementary medicine.
There are many complementary
and alternative approaches that can be used in
palliative care for symptom control, relaxation
and general well being. Most require little equipment
and can easily be practiced at the bedside. A
variety of CAM therapies including Ayurveda, Yoga,
Reflexology, Nutrition, Aromatherapy and Acupuncture
will be offered at the Ganga Prem Hospice independently
or as a compliment to allopathic medicine.