A total approach to care


If you do breathing exercises when you feel stressed, see your chiropractor for back pain, or use zinc lozenges when you get a sore throat, you're practicing complementary or alternative care.

More and more Americans are using mind-body approaches and alternative therapies in addition to — or instead of — conventional care in a doctor's office to help manage or prevent certain health conditions.

And while new research tells us more about how alternative therapies work, many of these methods have been widely used for hundreds or thousands of years.

But not all nontraditional care is created equal. Here, you'll learn which types are safe and effective, which might be dangerous, and how to tell the difference.

Start by learning how to use complementary and alternative care.

Reviewed by Kaiser Permanente in 2018

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