Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Published Online: 26 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition
How to Cite
Nezu, C. M., Lee, M. and Ricelli, S. 2012. Complementary and Alternative Therapies. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition.
- Published Online: 26 SEP 2012
The term complementary and alternative therapy (CAM) describes an array of treatments that serve as an adjunct to standard medicine practices but also serve as systems of intervention on their own. Many of these approaches promote a holistic view of medicine, positing that psychological or emotional experiences have an interactive relationship with physical experiences, and a growing body of research supports this link (see Astin, Shapiro, Eisenberg, & Forys, 2003; Cohen & Herbert, 1996; Pelletier, 1992). This is not limited to links between physical conditions and an individual's current mental state, as there is also mounting evidence to suggest that early traumatic experience and ongoing life stress can combine to affect the course of clinical disorders (Barreau et al., 2007). In this chapter we present a description of popular CAM approaches, their clinical applications, and a brief summary of supporting research. Our review includes approaches originating from Western and Eastern cultural traditions, as well as herbal remedies, lifestyle modifications, tactile therapies, movement therapies, and psychological (mindbody) therapies. Suggestions for future research are provided.
Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine; mind-body; integrative medicine