The Problem of Pain in Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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Pradit Prateepavanich


Pain is the most common problem encountered in clinical practice. Pain, particularly chronic pain and that experienced by cancer patients, is the most common group using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Most CAM is not evidence-based; instead, it is experience-based. Surprisingly more and more Americans are turning to complementary and alternative medicine to help manage and treat their pain. Also, many medical schools in North America include the study of CAM in modern medicine as integrative medicine. In this context, it is necessary for us to understand the general concept of CAM (holistic), and classification (alternative medicine system, mind-body intervention, biologically based therapy, manipulative and bodybased therapy, and energy therapy). In predicting the benefits to be derived from CAM and the safety of CAM, it is based on many things, for example the beliefs of the patient, the skill of the therapist, which dimension of holistic (body, mind, social, or spiritual) that CAM can help, contraindications and precautions, and cost. The mix and match with integrative medicine is individual-to-individual depending on each patient. It is fundamental to assess the individual and holistic profile of each patient.


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