Complementary Medicine (CM) includes many different approaches and techniques for treating a patient. These are based on systems practised thousands of years ago and can in fact be considered as one of the original forms of medicine. They all have one aspect in common which is that they treat the patient as a whole person rather than treating a specific symptom or symptoms. CM does this by treating the life-force of the patient at their physical, mental and emotional levels.
Some people refer to CM as Fringe or Alternative because they consider it to be alternative to the Allopathic Medicine that is practised by General Medical Practitioners (GPs). In our view, however, CM complements the needs of the patient and is a more accurate description. This is because CM describes the methods of healing that treat the complete or whole person; therefore Complementary Medicine is generally the most appropriate title.
'Complementary' means 'to complete'. Patients are helped back to wholeness using physical, mental, emotional, vital force and spiritual dimensions of treatment. This approach remains generally in line with the thinking of Plato. It may also include elements of self-help and educational approaches, or improved nutrition and diet, or even elements of self-healing where that is appropriate.
'Wholeness' means that the physical, mental, emotional and vital force are in balance between themselves and with the spiritual consciousness known as the Soul. The body is, or should be, an expression of the Soul. Healing is the natural way and this is why it is important to understand the process so that patients can help themselves back to health.
The ICNM administers The British Register of Complementary Practitioners (BRCP) which has 24 autonomous Divisions. The ICNM engages with other Professional organisations with regard to matters of mutual interest - especially Educational Standards, Regulation and Research.
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