Millions of Americans use medical treatments that are not part of conventional (mainstream) medicine. These treatments are called complementary or alternative medicine. They can be used along with mainstream medical care or instead of it. But they have not been scientifically proven to be safe or effective. Some may even cause harmful effects.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has resources to help you find the right information. These include Know the Science, which helps you understand the basics of scientific research so you can make informed decisions about health-related products and practices.
NCCIH’s website provides a wealth of information about complementary and integrative health approaches, including their effectiveness and safety. Its resources cover both traditional therapies and contemporary approaches to mind and body health, such as meditation and yoga.
It also offers information on different types of supplements and herbs. And it has links to Federal databases that contain scientific and medical literature.
complémentaire santé approaches are diverse, and they range from practitioner-based methods like acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation to mostly self-care techniques like nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements and yoga with deep breathing or meditation. In 2012, regional variations were seen in the use of these approaches among U.S. adults, with greater use in the Pacific and Mountain regions than in the rest of the country. The modalities with the greatest use in these regions were massage therapy, osteopathic manipulative treatment and herbal preparations.