Many different areas make up the practice of CAM. They are also called complementary and alternative therapy, natural medicine, herbal remedies, non-conventional medicine and holistic medicine. The following are a few examples [PDF, 570 KB].
|Acupuncture is when fine, solid needles are put into any part of your body. In New Zealand, acupuncture includes different philosophies of needling. Acupuncture may be referred to as traditional Chinese acupuncture, Western or medical acupuncture or dry needling. Some methods of acupuncture do not even involve the insertion of a needle, such as in acupressure.
|Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils through inhalation and vaporisation, or by use in a bath or shower, massage, spritzer sprays, skin care or compresses. Care needs to be taken when using any essential oils, particularly for babies, children, the elderly or during pregnancy. It is not recommended you apply undiluted essential oils to your body. Oils should always be stored away from children and should not be swallowed.
|Ayurveda is a traditional Indian system of healing. It includes diet, supplements, yoga, meditation and massage.
|Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
|TCM includes many different treatments such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, tuina and tai chi. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are the most well known form of CAM in many Western countries.
|Chiropractic therapy is based on moving parts of your spine to ease pain and help you feel better.
|Herbal products and dietary supplements
|These products are found in nature and include garlic, ginkgo, ginseng and St John's Wort. Although they occur in nature, some of the chemicals within them can cause side effects or interact with conventional medicines.
|Homeopathy uses highly diluted substances, which are shaken vigorously. Practitioners claim that these can cause your body to heal itself.
|Massage is used to help circulation (blood flow), ease tension (loosen tight muscles) and lower stress.
|Osteopathy involves gently moving your bones and muscles to ease pain and help you feel better.
|Rongoā Māori is an important part of healthcare for many Māori and is based on a holistic approach to health. It includes native plant-based remedies, physical therapies and spiritual healing.
In New Zealand, the Accident and Compensation Corporation (ACC) funds acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation and osteopathy.