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Complementary and Alternative Medicine
All over the world there is a growing interest in the use of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) therapies for symptom relief and general well being.

In India complementary and alternative approaches are well developed and, for this reason, India is taking the lead in the field of holistic palliative care.

What is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine is any form of practice that is outside the realm of conventional modern medicine. It covers a broad range of healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies. Examples are Yoga and Naturopathy, Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. These systems are widely used in India and are fully recognised by AYUSH, a department of India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. AYUSH is also supporting research and education in these alternative systems.



What is Complementary Medicine?
If alternative medicine or therapy is used alone or instead of conventional medicine, it is called alternative medicine. If the treatment or therapy is done along with or in addition to conventional medicine, it is referred to as complementary medicine as the two practices complement each other. For example, many Chinese hospitals use acupuncture to reduce the pain during the surgery instead of anaesthetics. This is complementary medicine.

There are many complementary and alternative approaches that can be used in palliative care for symptom control, relaxation and general well being. Most require little equipment and can easily be practiced at the bedside. A variety of CAM therapies including Ayurveda, Yoga, Reflexology, Nutrition and Aromatherapy are offered at the Ganga Prem Hospice independently or as a compliment to allopathic medicine.

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