The 5 Domains of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Posted by

The information I am about to write is solid and basically a summary of academic text that is being taught standard in Nursing School undergraduate programs throughout the United States.

I remember that I did an imaginary and silent little dance of happiness when this material was lectured and I read it black on white in my “Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing” manual. YES! Complimentary and Alternative Medicine is acknowledged by western medicine!

From my own experiences and other sources of information I’ve studied, there are more therapies I encountered in life so the list I am about to give is not complete as far as I am concerned. However, I am celebrating the recognition of the ones included and I look forward to a future where we can speak of an extensive body of evidence on all of these mentioned and many others that are waiting patiently to be recognized.

In this text, the specific therapies are categorized into overarching domains: whole medical systems, mind-body interventions, biologically based therapies, manipulative and body-based methods, and energy therapies.

For accuracy of the information I am providing you the original text by Stuart that is an overview of evidence-based complimentary alternative medicine therapies. This means my dear reader that the therapies included in the overview below have been scientifically researched and the findings were of significant importance for these therapies to be acknowledged and implemented in the medical practice.

Domain 1: Whole medical systems

Definition: complete systems of theory and practice that have evolved independently of, and often before, the conventional biomedical approach.


  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Ayurveda
  • Homeopathy
  • Naturopathy

Domain 2: Mind-body interventions

Definition: employ a variety of techniques designed to facilitate the mind’s capacity to affect body function and symptoms.


  • Meditation
  • Hypnosis
  • Prayer
  • Yoga
  • Guided Imagery
  • Biofeedback
  • Art, music and dance therapy

Domain 3: Biologically based therapies

Definition: natural and biologically based practices, interventions, and products, many of which overlap with conventional medicine’s use of dietary supplements.


  • Herbal
  • Special dietary
  • Orthomolecular
  • Individual biological therapies

Domain 4: Manipulative and body-based methods

Definition: methods based on manipulation and/or movement of the body.


  • Chiropractic
  • Massage and body work
  • Reflexology

Domain 5: Energy therapies

Definition: focus on either energy fields believed to originate within the body (bio-fields) or those emanating from other sources (electromagnetic fields).


  • Qigong
  • Reiki
  • Therapeutic touch
  • Electromagnets

With Love, In Light, For Peace,

Yours Truly,


Reference: Stuart, Gail W. Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing, 10th Edition. Mosby, 072012.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s