Masters in Medicine & Health

Complementary & Alternative Medicine


Find out more information about Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (or CAM) deals with medical products and practices considered to be outside conventional clinical care. Complementary medicine involves the use of non-conventional medical practices in addition to standard treatment, while alternative medicine is utilised to substitute traditional healthcare. An example of complementary medicine is the employment of acupuncture practices to help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment. Alternative medicine includes dietary supplements, natural products, vitamins, herbal recipes, various teas, massage therapy, hypnotherapy, magnet therapy, and spiritual healing.

CAM practices can be divided into four major categories: alternative medical systems, mind-body interventions, manipulative methods and energy therapies. Integrative therapies have undergone testing by medical researchers, and some have proved effective. Although CAM is still undergoing scientific investigation to demonstrate its medical efficacy and benefits, it already starting being clinically integrated.

Some universities offer science-based programmes in CAM for students who wish to broaden their medical knowledge with non-traditional therapeutic methods. These can be undergraduate or graduate degrees in physiology and biophysics, health sciences, natural sciences with concentrations in complementary medicine, body-mind integrative studies, wellness and alternative medicine studies, among others. Graduates in complementary and alternative medicine courses can work as therapists, physicians, nutritionists, health administrators, nurses, researchers or freelancers. They can develop careers in hospitals, clinics, medical centers, wellness centers or international health organisations.

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Suggested Masters in Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Master Chinese Herbology (M.S.)

The Masters degree in Science – Chinese Herbology (MS-CH) program joins the MS-Ac degree program and the MS-TCM degree program within the Acupuncture Institute and will be a part of the Health Sciences Division which also includes physician assistant, nutrition, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic, and dental hygiene.

United States
M.A. Art Therapy

The MA in Art Therapy* aims to develop practitioners in the use of art as a therapeutic process. It has a strong practical component, in that students gain theoretical knowledge in the classroom setting and undertake experiential learning through working within a placement setting.

United Kingdom
M.A. Marital and Family Therapy

The mission of the Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) Program from the University of San Diego is to help lead the transformation of family therapy by creating, educating and actively supporting a community of future professionals who embody the philosophy and practice of a biopsychosocial, systems approach to family-oriented mental health care.

United States