They are a category of medicine which includes a variety of treatment approaches which fall outside the realm of the conventional medicine. It is important to understand the difference between complementary medicine as well as alternative medicine and both the approaches are often lumped together but are distinct. Complementary medicine defines healing practices as well as products that work in conjunction with traditional medicine. There is a third category which also often gets lumped in with conventional and alternative medicine which is integrative medicine. Integrative medicine defines from both complementary medicine and alternative medicine and also combines these with traditional western therapies.
Mind body medicine: It includes treatments which focuses on how our mental as well as emotional status interacts and affects the body’s ability to function.
Whole medical systems: This category refers to the complete systems of medical theory and practice and many of which go back thousands of years and have roots in non-western cultures.
Manipulative and body based practices: Always relying on the physical manipulation of the body and this practice is intended to improve specific symptoms as well as overall health.
Biologically based practices: Since the focus is on herbs, nutrition or vitamins, dietary supplements and herbal medicine are perhaps the most common forms of biologically based on complementary and alternative medicine.