COMPLEMENTARY

Complementary medicine is used to describe therapeutic techniques that are not part of conventional medicine (also called "regular," "standard," or "mainstream" medicine).     

Complementary therapies are used as an addition to conventional medicine. Because complementary medicine can be combined or integrated with conventional medical treatment, it is also called "integrative medicine." Complementary medicine is not an alternative medicine and is USED WITH conventional medicine.

• Massage Therapy

• Meditation

• Aromatherapy

Complementary medicine focuses on the interactions between your mind, your body, and your behavior. Research has shown that your emotional state, both good and not so good, affects your immune system's ability to fight off disease. In one study, people with higher stress levels or more negative moods who were exposed to a cold virus came down with worse colds than people who were less stressed or had more positive moods.

People who practice meditation or yoga or have acupuncture say that their bodies AND their brains are engaged. New studies are helping researchers understand the connection between mind and body. In one study, meditation was associated with a better immune system response to a vaccine.

Scientific research on many complementary therapies is relatively new. Many of the studies are small, and some haven't been done in a clinical setting. But as complementary therapies become more popular and well known, more research is starting. This research includes studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, one of the centers that make up the National Institutes of Health. 

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