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CAM: Home Page


What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)?

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well-being. Examples of CAM include acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine, homoeopathy, and osteopathy.

Why establish a CAM website?

Information about the safety and usefulness of CAM is important for users of health services and health practitioners. With so much information available on the Internet, it can be hard to know which information sources are reliable. For this reason, the Ministry of Health has commissioned this website. The New Zealand Guidelines Group was contracted in 2005 by the Ministry to establish the website and develop the evidence summaries.

The information on this website was intended to assist the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Health in meeting its terms of reference (for more information about this Committee visit

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