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6 Commonly Misunderstood Words About Complementary Health Approaches

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Question 1

What does “homeopathic” mean?
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Homeopathic medicine is an alternative medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago and is based in part on the principle called “law of minimum dose,” which is the notion that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Many homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain; however, some products labeled as “homeopathic” can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients and therefore could cause side effects and drug interactions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers about different products labeled as homeopathic.

Question 2

What does “holistic” mean?
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The correct answer is a.

The word holistic (sometimes spelled wholistic) often refers to the treatment of the whole person—body, mind, emotions, and spirit—to achieve wellness and good health. People who practice holistic medicine may use conventional medications to treat a person’s ailment, but they will take into consideration other factors such as sleep habits, lifestyle, stress, and diet to improve health and relieve symptoms.

Question 3

What does “natural” mean?
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Your answer:

The correct answer is c.

When it comes to medicine, there is no official definition for use of the term natural. And it’s important to know that a medicinal product labeled natural does not always mean safe. For example, the herbs comfrey and kava may be considered natural products, but they can cause serious harm to the liver. An herbal or botanical supplement labeled natural may contain dozens of chemical compounds and all of its individual components may not be known.

Question 4

What does “naturopathic” mean?
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Your answer:

The correct answer is a.

Naturopathic medicine is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century. In the United States, naturopathic practitioners use many different treatment approaches, including dietary and lifestyle changes, stress reduction or relaxation techniques, herbs or botanicals, dietary supplements, and other natural products, homeopathy, manipulative therapies, counseling, conventional medicine, and others.

Question 5

What does “complementary health approaches” mean?
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Your answer:

The correct answer is c.

Complementary health approaches include a broad range of practices, interventions, and natural products, which are not typically part of conventional medical care, or which may have origins outside of usual Western practice. Complementary health approaches can be roughly divided into two major groups—mind and body practices, and natural products

Question 6

What does “alternative medicine” mean?
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Your answer:

The correct answer is b.

Like complementary health approaches, alternative medicine are products or practices developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine, but they are used in place of conventional medicine.