Typically, alternative medicine differs from traditional medicine in that alternative medicine is older and what we might call unconventional or non-Western medicine. In addition, there are alternative medicine seminars that have been specifically designed to help professional health care providers to better understand the theories and principles of alternative and complementary medicine, which help to erode stereotypes associated with these natural health modalities.
In this article, we describe a set of curriculum guidelines in integrative medicine for medical schools developed during 2002 and 2003 by the Education Working Group of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and endorsed by the CAHCIM Steering Committee in May 2003.
Complimentary medicine is used along with conventional medicine; whereas alternative is used instead of. Studies show that better long term results were achieved with complimentary medicine on advanced stages of cancer, while alternative medicine seemed to help early stage cancers.
Alternative medicine has gained popularity and gained trust by many people and the same is advocated to different field in treatment where conventional medicine are not used like boosting patient's confidence, in pain management, stress reduction and few preventive health therapies.
The National Library of Medicine's previous definition was an unrelated group of non-orthodox therapeutic practices, often with explanatory systems that do not follow conventional biomedical explanations and non-orthodox therapeutic systems which have no satisfactory scientific explanation for their effectiveness.