Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Doing It All
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is often defined as any medical
system, practice, or product that is not thought of as standard care. As such therapies are proven safe and
effective, they may become part of standard health care.
- Complementary Medicine - Complementary medicine means
it is used along with standard medicine.
- Alternative Medicine - Alternative medicine is used
in place of standard treatments.
complementary and alternative medicine may include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage
therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. And, you will see
that many of these therapies have now been utilized for our companion animals as
- Alternative Medical Systems
— These medical systems are built upon complete
systems of theory and practice, and have evolved apart from
and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United
States. Examples are Acupuncture, Homeopathy,
and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
These involve the use of energy fields. They are of two
types. The first is Biofield therapies, such as Reiki or Therapeutic touch,
intended to affect energy fields that purportedly surround and penetrate the
human body. The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven.
The second is Electromagnetic-based therapies, such as magnet therapy, which
involves magnetic fields.
- Nutritional Therapeutics — These
involve an assortment of nutrients and non-nutrients, bioactive food
components that are used as chemo-preventive agents, and the use of specific
foods or diets as cancer prevention or treatment strategies. Examples include
dietary supplements, antioxidants,
and coenzyme Q10.
- Pharmacological and biologic treatments — These
use of prescription drugs, complex natural products, vaccines, and
other biological interventions not yet accepted in mainstream medicine. Complex
natural products are also included here, such as an assortment of plant samples (botanicals), extracts of
crude natural substances, and un-fractionated extracts from marine organisms
used for healing and treatment of disease. Examples include herbs and
herbal extracts, mixtures of tea polyphenols, and shark cartilage.
We believe there is power in combining all available medical methodologies. Both
eastern and western medicine have valuable insights and contributions which can
be effectively utilized together in a cancer treatment regimen. Our experiences
involved the pairing of surgery with Chinese herbal medicine and a nutritional
organic diet. This 2005 article by Joe Demers in the Journal of the
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association does a great job of pulling all
of this together: A Holistic Approach for the Treatment
It is important to understand that there are some caveats
to integrating many varying therapies. Natural does not automatically mean safe and/or effective. And, herbals need to be
prescribed and monitored through a qualified
holistic veterinarian. It is always best not to try and create your own
herbal formulas or decide which to use on your own as Western and Chinese herbs
should not be combined at the same time, and there are differences in the
quality of herbals from different companies.
Nutrition & Organic Cancer Diet — We have had much success with our organic cancer diet, its effects
also showing themselves in improved vitality and coat appearance. In fact, we
continue to use this antioxidant-packed diet for our non-diagnosed Golden as a
Veterinary Medicine — This type
of therapy is one best combined with other forms of treatment.
Using Supplements —
Supplements can be utilized very effectively. However, the guidance of a
holistic veterinarian is warranted in this regard.