What is the difference between alternative, complementary and integrative medicine?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) wants you to know what these mean so that you can make informed healthcare choices.
Complementary medicine refers to something you do or take along with treatment your doctor tells you to follow.
Alternative medicine refers to something you do or take instead of your regular treatment.
Integrative health care is the practice of combining complementary and mainstream medical care.
Some examples may be:
- acupuncture or acupressure
- exercises such as yoga
- dietary supplements
- special diets (*not for food allergies)
Talk with your health care provider before making any changes to your treatment plans. If you have asthma, always carry quick-relief medications and know the warning signs of asthma. If you have severe allergies, always carry emergency medications and know the warning signs of a severe allergic reaction.
Articles in our series: