The NationalCenter for Complementary and AlternativeMedicine (NCCAM) defines CAM as a faction of miscellaneous medical and therapeutic practices that do not fall into the stream of conventional medicine
The DanishKnowledge and ResearchCenter for AlternativeMedicine (ViFAB) uses the term alternative medicine for:
Treatments performed by therapists who have no medical qualification
Treatments performed by therapists who have a medical qualification, but these treatments are based on Practices that are outside of the conventional treatment system
The Cochrane Collaboration believes that what a country is considered complementary medicine in another country is considered conventional medicine. Hence the definition that they give is that "medicine includes all those practices and ideas that arise out of the mainstream physician in many countries ".
The scientific community
The National Science Foundation has definite substitute medicine as "all those treatments with the purpose of have shown no effect when subjected to scientific testing". The Institute of Medicine (IOM), United States, in 2005 , defines complementary and alternative medicine as the dominant approach to medicine in a given culture at a particular historical period. Such a definition is adopted by the CochraneCollaboration, and other government agencies.
Many scientists have commented and criticized the alternative medicines. There is much debate among researchers about what can be classified as "alternative medicine". Some say that there are only two types of medicine: that sufficiently tested and the untested. It states that medical practices should be classified solely on the basis of scientific evidence. The main proponents of this point contain George D. Lundberg , ex- editor of the Journal of the American MedicalAssociation (JAMA).
One pediatric study of 2011 showed that the use of alternative and complementary therapies, which are presented as well as "safe" by their supporters, but may be related with significant side effects, including fatal, usually because the therapies dell'abbadonono conventional proven, or because the clinical consequences of drastic dietary changes often associated with some of these therapies, insufficient monitoring of adverse effects, and other direct and indirect causes.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has set out a classification of complementary and alternative medicines. The classification distinguishes CAM practices into five main groups which may also overlap in some points.
The entire medical system: through more than one of the other groups, including: the traditional Chinese medicine , the naturopath , the Homeopathy and Ayurveda .
The main body of alternative medicine: an approach provides holistic health that takes into account the mind , the body and spirit . It is based on the assumption that the mind can affect the human body functions and symptoms.
Practices based on biology : they use naturally occurring substances such as vitamins , herbs, foods and supplementary natural substances.
Manipulative practices: are based on manipulation and movement of body parts, such as chiropractic and osteopathy .
Energy medicine: includes both practical and are based on an alleged spiritual energy (for which there is no evidence that it exists) and practices that rely on a Bioelectromagnetics (eg. magnetic fields )