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PBC Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Welcome!

About this Guide

Content is divided into two broad categories for your reference:

   Herbs & Dietary Supplements (Examples: vitamins, botanicals, natural products, and probiotics)

    Mind & Body Practices (Examples: tai chi, meditation, prayer, yoga, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, and massage)

Books, journals, and websites on this Welcome page will lead you to more information about CAM therapies that don't fit well into the two categories above (or those that seem to fall into both.)

NCCAM Alerts & Advisories RSS

Feed of most recent Alerts & Advisories from the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine

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UA AHSL Databases Available on Campus


What is Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)?

"While the terms [below] are often used to mean the array of health care approaches with a history of use or origins outside of mainstream medicine, they are actually hard to define and may mean different things to different people." 1

  • Alternative Medicine refers to health care approaches that fall outside the scope of conventional Western medicine. Such approaches are considered non-mainstream when they are used instead of conventional therapies.
  • Complementary refers to non-mainstream therapies used together with conventional health care practices.
  • Integrative Medicine "is commonly used to suggest an evidence-based approach toward combining the best of mainstream medical therapies and CAM treatments, and to address the inclusive biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of health and illness." 

For more information, see CAM Basics, provided by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.


1. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name? Available at Accessed February 17, 2014.

E-Books (UA/NAU Only)

Electronic Access

Nau Logo NAU students have access to Cline Library resources 24/7, anywhere there is an internet connection, through the Central Authentication Service. 

AHAL LOGO Access to the electronic resources of UA/AHSL is available on-site at a library workstation at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus or through a UA Public wifi connection. UA resources are not available off-campus.

Example: Tai Chi

Woman practicing Tai Chi

© Bob Stockfield
Courtesy: National Center for
Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Video of Tai Chi in motion