What is CIM and how does it differ from CAM?
In this field, we used to use the term “CAM” which stood for “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, however the term “Alternative Medicine” is no longer used as it implies that the treatments and services being offered were an exclusive alternative to conventional medicine, and in some circles (such as attacks on our field by professional sceptics – or skeptics if you’re in the USA etc.), this implication was used against the profession. These well-funded professional sceptics wrongly claimed that practitioners were actively encouraging the use of “alternative medicine” as a complete alternative to conventional medicine and not referring clients to doctors and hospitals. Of course, we all know that this is patently untrue, as professional practitioners – CMA Members especially – work closely with conventional medicine and are fully trained to know when to offer their services and when to refer – should a client require conventional treatment. So, we have coined the term “Complementary and Integrative Medicine” (CIM) as this better describes the ethical, professional services that CMA Members offer.
In fact, the terms “Complementary” and “Integrative” medicine or healthcare are much better descriptors of what we actually do! Professionals in this field work holistically to support their client’s wellbeing and, when appropriate, we work in tandem to complement conventional approaches, or to integrate them.
These terms also describe the way that our healthy, holistic systems work to complement the health needs of our clients and to help them to integrate optimally healthy lifestyle approaches into their lives – leading to the best possible outcome for the client.