Complementary and integrative medicine is growing in popularity in the United States, and certain techniques are becoming common place both inside and outside a medical physicianÃÂs office. One very popular therapy is call aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is described as a combination of the medicinal properties known to exist in plants with the tradition of healing massage with oil (Peters & Woodham, 2000). It is not usually the aromas of the oils that have the healing properties, but the essence of chemical make-up of the oils. This essence is usually rubbed onto the skin or ingested orally. One common use of Aromatherapy is Vick VapoRub, a blend of camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil; which is rubbed onto the chest as a treatment for a sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and the common cold (Vicks, 2006).
Categories of TherapiesThe National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is a government agency that monitors scientific research on alternative medicines and keeps the public informed on the results of alternative medicine research studies.
The NCCAM divides alternative therapies into five major groups:1)Alternative Medical Systems. These are sometimes complex treatments based upon theories and practices that often have evolved over centuries and often in eastern countries such as China, Korea and India. Some medical systems have been developed in Western cultures, such as; homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine (NCCAM, 2002). Alternative medical systems focus on the idea that the human body is able to heal itself.
2)Mind-Body Interventions. This involves a variety of techniques that enable the mind or the emotions to control or influence various body symptoms (NCCAM, 2005). Traditional medicine has separated the body and mind in order to treat the physical body separately when symptoms of illness occur. This means that Western medicine relies heavily on technology and science and has...