Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to medical products and practices that are not part of standard care provided by healthcare units. Yoo and Oh (2015) illustrate that the model offers substitute principles to manage health challenges (p. 5). The approaches utilized by CAM are beyond the conventional perspectives employed by doctors and nurses. Notable examples of CAM methods are therapies, such as chelation cure for the removal of excess metal from the human body, acupuncture to support side effects of cancer treatment, and aromatherapies, including yoga to manage health problems (Rehealthify, 2014). Researchers and other medical scientists are skeptical about the safety and insist that patients who undergo such processes do so without any prescription from a certified medical practitioner. Thus, any detrimental effects would be borne either by the patients or by the provider of such services (Rehealthify, 2014). Although CAM therapies can be successful in managing complications, such as cancer, the absence of a standardized model of adjudication and reporting can adversely affect its efficacy; hence, it is imperative to initiate legislation to direct its administration.

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Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy is used to manage and eliminate excess metal, which may be harmful to the body. The treatment applies chemical substances through medical procedures to bind molecules, such as minerals and metals in the body (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2019). Iron overload has severe implications in patients with chronic diseases. Chelation procedures can manage problems associated with frequent blood transfusions. According to Remacha et al. (2015), chelation therapy is effective in patients with leukemia-free survival (LFS) and inferior overall survival (OS). Accordingly, Remacha et al., demonstrate that patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) suffer from iron overloads, which can be eliminated through chelation treatment. Coronary heart complications are a major cause of death in the United States (U.S). According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2019), patients who utilize chelation therapy can manage their heart conditions better. For example, research conducted in 2007 reveals that 111000 adults in the U.S. used the treatment as an alternative health approach (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2019). Therefore, the treatment is effective in managing cardiac-related toxicity emanating from high accumulations of irons or different chemicals in the body.

Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture therapy is one of the CAM approaches, which originated from Chinese traditional medicine. It is a relief mechanism to pain and a healing stimulant for the patient. Acupuncture encompasses the stimulation of body points of the skin through needle insertion, cupping, acupressure, and moxibustion (Yoo & Oh, 2015). de Oliveira et al. (2015) indicate that acupuncture involves the manipulation of internal pressure into action to motivate the healing process. According to Oliveira et al. (2015), traditional Chinese medicine is based on vital energy known as qi, which flows through the body laterally on through meridian pathways. Accordingly, when needles are inserted at acupoints, they stimulate and regulate the flow of energy and generate a therapeutic healing benefit (Oliveira et al., 2015, par. 6). Acupuncture uses pain to stimulate body cells into action, which creates a curative process.

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The therapy is applied to manage health challenges for patients with severe conditions. Yoo and Oh (2015) demonstrate that acupuncture has been utilized as enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) to fast track healing processes. For example, the therapy has been utilized to reduce the adverse effects of after gynecological pelvic surgery (GI). Oliveira et al. (2015) also demonstrate that therapy can manage cancer-related pain such as gastric cancer. Therefore, acupuncture is an effective alternative therapy to manage various conventional health challenges.

Aroma Therapy

Aromatherapy delivers health benefits when a patient inhales the aroma from natural oils. The therapy works by applying natural oils as inhalants to people with various stress-related complications (Reis, Throne Jones, & Frey, 2017). Health practitioners utilize the therapy to manage stress in cancer patients (Reis, Throne Jones, & Frey, 2017, p. 21). Accordingly, patients under cancer diagnosis manifest stress due to side effects of drugs or the abrupt change of lifestyles (p. 21). The essential oils offer opportunities such as relaxation to the body through clean and non-toxic pain relievers (Reis, Throne Jones, & Frey, 2017). Hence, the therapy works as a relieving agent in patients who suffer from stress and anxiety.

Clinical experts apply aromatherapy through various models. Inhalation and diffusion are commonly employed approaches in this in therapy (Reis, Throne Jones, & Frey, 2017). According to Reis, Throne Jones, and Frey (2017) since patients prefer various scents; natural oils with such aromas can be utilized for relaxation purposes. The authors add that although some natural scents can be pleasant, beneficial value remains, which make the therapy an effective approach to psychological relievers (Reis, Throne Jones, & Frey, 2017, p. 22). According to Reis, Throne Jones, and Frey (2017), “four single essential oils are used in the outpatient cancer centers, including Lav­ender (Lavandula angustifolia), Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita), Orange (Citrus sinensis), and Lemon (Citrus limon)” (p.22). These oils are selected because they are cost-effective, have a familiar scent, and are supportive in stress management and relaxation. Aromatherapy is a CAM with a proven capability of managing stress in cancer and other patients with various health challenges.


As it is evident from the analysis, CAM models have supported various complicated health cases. Despite the success, a higher percentage of health experts still consider them unconventional. Given that the effectiveness of the approaches has been guaranteed over time, CAM should be incorporated in the healthcare system to complement mainstream practices. Accordingly, the initiative will enable standardization, which will enhance the processes of managing cancer and postoperative challenges.

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