Proposal for Expanding the Current Functional Medicine Model of Integrative Including CAM

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) entails different types of medical and healthcare systems, treatment procedures, and products, which are not necessarily considered as part of conventional or mainstream medicine. These therapies are often classified as alternative medical systems, which are complete care systems, mind-body focused interventions, biologically-based approaches such as the use of herbs, manipulative and body-based methods such as massage and acupuncture, and other energy therapies. Most of these treatment options include the use of natural products, diet therapies, meditation, or yoga, and the use of traditional medicine practices. Promoting the use of complementary and alternative medicine would go a long way in improving care provision in the community healthcare center.

Recommendations to Support Inclusion of CAM

Many healthcare facilities have adopted the practice of complementary and alternative medicine. Research indicates effective treatment of patients using CAM and the increased use of integrative healthcare approaches. A study conducted on 1150 patients showed that approximately 85% of the patients expected their healthcare practitioners to advise them on the use of CAM methods (Shiver & Cantiello, 2017). The use of CAM will enhance the application of holistic care because it treats he whole body. Through CAM, case history healthcare providers can find out more about the patient’s lifestyle and determine how factors such as diet, sleep patterns, energy balance, and mood affect their health (Singer & Adams, 2014). Factors like diet, lifestyle, exercise and the body-mind complex are given importance in the CAM approaches which also insist on listening and communication skills so that the patients are looked at holistically.

The use of CAM will help in filling the gaps in therapeutic mainstream care. While conventional medicine provides treatment for diagnosed problems, CAM addresses appropriate mind-body treatment methods for dealing with trauma. Collaboration between mainstream medicine and CAM confirms the importance of physical and psychological treatment practices in patients with chronic illnesses (Singer & Adams, 2014). For instance, the use of chiropractic medicine has been associated with the prevention of recurrent otitis media infection by correcting ‘misalignments’ and promoting drainage of fluids from the middle ear (Marom et al., 2016). This reduces the complications that could be related to the continued use of conventional treatment.

Using CAM also helps in filling therapeutic gaps in managing chronic illnesses. In a research study on the use of CAM to manage chronic back pain, 58.1% of the participants reported that CAM was effective in reducing their pain. More than 68.2% of patients who used acupuncture and 62.6% of those who used other chiropractic manipulative reported reduction in back pain (Ghildayal, Johnson, Evans, & Kreitzer, 2016). Therefore, CAM reduces distressing physical issues affecting patients. Besides, the inclusion of CAM in the community hospital as part of the functional medicine model would increase healthcare options and reduce the costs related to using expensive conventional treatment methods (Shiver & Cantiello, 2017; Singer & Adams, 2014). For instance, the use of chiropractic manipulative methods offers an alternative to some corrective surgical procedures that may be costly and place patients at risk of complications.

Integrating CAM with mainstream medical approaches will enable the community hospital to provide quality services to clients opting to try alternative treatment methods. With the increased popularity of CAM, there is a need to ensure that healthcare practitioners are adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills to use such approaches.




Ghildayal, N., Johnson, P. J., Evans, R. L., & Kreitzer, M. J. (2016). Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the US Adult Low Back Pain Population. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 5(1), 69-78. Retrieved from

Marom, T., Marchisio, P., Tamir, S. O., Torretta, S., Gavriel, H., & Esposito, S. (2016). Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatment Options for Otitis Media: A Systematic Review. Medicine(Baltimore), 95(6), e2695. Retrieved from

Shiver, J., & Cantiello, J. (2017). Managing Integrated Health Systems. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Singer, J., & Adams, J. (2014). Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine into Mainstream Healthcare Services: The Perspectives of Health Service Managers. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 14: 167. Retrieved from