Complementary & Alternative Therapies
CAM refers to health care systems, practices, and products that are not part of the conventional medicine treatment approaches.
Using CAM Therapies to Treat IC/BPS
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies most often used to treat interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) symptoms include biofeedback, diet-based therapies, herbal remedies, massage, yoga, and Pilates. CAM refers to health care systems, practices, and products that are not part of the conventional medicine treatment approaches.
Complementary vs. Alternative
- Complementary: Practitioners use complementary medicine along with conventional medicine. Using the dietary supplement Prelief to reduce IC/BPS symptoms in conjunction with the conventional IC/BPS therapy Elmiron is an example of this.
- Alternative: Practitioners use alternative medicine in place of conventional medical care. Using acupuncture alone to treat IC/BPS, with no other conventional therapies, is an example of using alternative medicine.
Herbs, Dietary Supplements and Biologicals
Many of the prescription medicines that doctors use today have their origins in these types of natural, plant-based substances. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers herbal remedies to be dietary supplements, not medicines.
- Antiyeast diet
- Dietary supplements
- Diet-based therapies
- Herbs and other products from plants, enzymes, etc.
- Medical Marijuana (Cannabis)
Mind-body medicine focuses on how the mind and body interact. Examples of mind-body medicine used by people with IC/BPS include:
- Art therapy
- Guided imagery
- Mindfulness meditation
- Movement therapies
- Music therapy
- Support groups
- Tai chi
- Writing therapy
Massage, Manipulation and Body-based Practices
These types of therapies involved a hands-on approach, physically working with the body:
- Alexander technique
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Massage therapy
- Osteopathic manipulation
- Physical therapy
- Trager psychophysical integration
Energy medicine leverages the concept that all people have subtle energy fields within them that they emit. Practitioners of energy medicine believe that a disturbance in these energy fields causes disease.
- Energy healing therapy/Reiki
- Magnet therapy
- Qi gong
- Therapeutic touch