Many treatments and techniques that are considered CAM within the U. are part of conventional medicinal practices in other parts of the world.
As Western practitioners and consumers increasingly adopt these approaches, the boundaries between conventional medicine and CAM continue to shift.
Please visit The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) for a complete overview of CAM interventions.
Some conventional therapies for PTSD (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapies [CBT]) include elements that are consistent with CAM approaches.
They are not considered to be CAM herein because CBT has a separate and well-developed basis in cognitive and behavioral theories.
The CAM techniques that are used in CBT (e.g., relaxation, mindfulness) are conceptualized as supporting cognitive-behavioral mechanisms as opposed to operating on their own to create change.
Within these approaches, mindfulness is coupled with cognitive and behavioral principles and techniques to affect change.For this reason, such interventions are not considered to be CAM.In general, reported rates of CAM use are similar in Veteran and civilian samples, ranging from approximately one-quarter to one-half of respondents, depending on the type of CAM and health conditions assessed (2-4).Active military personnel are not captured in nationally representative or Veteran samples, but research suggests rates of CAM use in the military are similar (5,6), if not higher (7) than rates of CAM use among Veterans and civilians.The use of CAM therapies specifically for management and treatment of mental health problems is common (8) and increasing (9,10).Among a nationally representative sample, rates of CAM increased for managing anxiety (20.2% to 27.9%) and depression (40.9% to 42.7%) between 19 (9). Research on use of CAM specific to individuals with PTSD is emerging and suggests extensive utilization.