The politics of integrative medicine: the case of CAM

Saks, Mike and Robinson, Nicola (2015) The politics of integrative medicine: the case of CAM. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 7 (6). pp. 557-560. ISSN 1876-3820

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There are debates amongst both academics and practitioners alike about the meaning of integrative medicine, which is a contested concept [1]. One such interpretation is as an evidence-based approach focusing on the whole person drawing on all appropriate therapies, professions and disciplines to promote health and healing [2]. However, here it is looked at in terms of its more common Western interpretation based on its links to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) [3]. In these terms CAM has been a highly political phenomenon as will be illustrated in this editorial in its development in relation to orthodox medicine in Britain. In fact as a fundamental mooring point it is noted that the very definition of CAM can be seen as the inverse of that of medical orthodoxy. This is because it includes all the practices – from acupuncture and aromatherapy to homeopathy and naturopathy – that are not currently underwritten by the state and can therefore be seen as politically marginal. This largely contrasts with biomedical orthodoxy which has a range of exclusive self-regulatory powers and protection of title underwritten by law—albeit with the recognition that the unorthodoxy of one period can become the orthodoxy of another, and vice versa [4].

Keywords:Complementary medicine, Alternative medicine, NotOAChecked
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B340 Alternative Medicine
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B300 Complementary Medicine
Divisions:Professional services > Vice Chancellors Office
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ID Code:20206
Deposited On:19 May 2017 15:30

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