Acupuncture - is the insertion of FDA regulated sterile needles into acupuncture points for the purpose of regulating and balancing the body’s energetic system. Acupuncture is one modality within the traditional medical system of Oriental medicine.
Acupuncturist - is a person qualified and licensed to perform acupuncture. See L.Ac. and DOM.
Allopathic Medicine - A term that actually refers to "act by opposing the patient's symptoms", as in homeopathy, but more commonly used by alternative practitioners to refer to Western medicine practitioners. Also known as biomedicine, evidence based medicine, or modern medicine.
Alternative Medicine - Medicine that does not fall within the realm or scope of practice of "main stream" or allopathic medicine.
Ayurvedic Medicine - is a form of traditional medicine native to India and is completely unregulated in the USA. The National Ayurvedic Medical Association offers some parameters for this medicine in the USA.
Many practitioners take continuing education courses in Ayurvedic medicine as their scope of practice already includes many aspects in natural medicine. This does not make them Ayurvedic practitioners, but it does broaden their medical knowledge base.
In India there are over 100 colleges that offer degrees in Ayurvedic Medicines, which might include performing minor surgeries.
Biomedicine - This is a branch of western medicine that focuses on the physiological processes using biology, chemistry and physics. This reductionistic view of medicine is important and necessary to understanding how the cells and atoms operate, but not how the systems work together.
C.Ac. - Certified Acupuncturist. This term is often regulated by state licensure laws and was created and used by practitioners who wish to expand their scope of practice. In many states, an MD, or equivalent, can practice acupuncture with no training whatsoever and a D.C can practice acupuncture with a little as 50 hours of training. See L.Ac.
CAM - Complementary (as in “balanced or opposing”) and Alternative Medicine, not to be confused with complimentary, which means to flatter. CAM is a controversial term for medical systems that are not within the realm or scope of western or allopathic medicines.
CAM has become the standard term for all traditional medicines including:, herbal, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, homeopathy, acupuncture, and nutritional-based therapies, naturopathy, chiropractic and anything else that doesn’t fit into the standard western medical standard. See Integrative Medicine.
Clinical Experience - this is the time that a practitioner spends in a setting where they practice their medical scope by seeing clients for medical conditions.
Complementary Medicine - Medical modalities that complement and may used at the same time as conventional medicine, such as acupuncture for nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments.
Condition - refers to the signs and symptoms a person is experiencing. A sign is something a person feels and a symptom is something an objective person can see. For example, pain is a sign and a visible rash is a symptom. Condition also refers to medical labels, such as fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, headaches, etc.
Conventional medicine - Referring to "traditional" western medicine.
D.C. - Doctor of Chiropractic
Dietitian - has a degree in food and nutrition, usually at the graduate or Ph.D. level. The term Dietitian is generally regulated by state licensure. Dietitians are generally employed in the allopathic community as supervisors in the preparation of institutional food may participate in research.
DO - Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, also known as an osteopathic physician. A person holding a DO license has the same degree as an MD with extra training in osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) techniques.
DOM/Doctor of Oriental Medicine -
Evidence Based medicine - Modalities of medicine that have been scrutinized by valid, peer reviewed clinical trial(s) and found to be as or more effective than standard western treatments to conventional wisdom, which means the concept is generally accepted as true, but has not been proven as such. Many studies are not "valid", meaning they were conducted with sub-par criteria.
Functional Medicine - (FM) is an approach to healthcare and not a profession in itself. It focuses on prevention and underlying causes instead of isolated symptoms. It is a science-based field of health care that, like traditional medicines, views the body as an integrated whole and seeks to identify the root cause of the condition.
Practitioners of FM are already practitioners in their own field and scope of practice who have obtained additional training in FM.
GEO/GMO - Genetically Engineered Organism/Genetically Modified Organism is an organism (tomato) whose genetic material (RNA/DNA) has been modified for the purpose of producing a “better” product. For example, corn has been modified with a gene that causes it to make its own pesticides, hence reducing the need to spray pesticides. However, humans eat this corn, complete with the pesticide component. In addition, the GMO corn produces pollen that may be harmful to some creatures, such as bees and butterflies.
Healthcare Practitioner - generally referring to people who practice medicine, but are not an MD or equivalent. This term is generally regulated by state law and tends to understate the licensed practitioner’s education and medical capacity. For MDAlternative’s purpose, a practitioner is anyone with a degree/license in their field and scope of practice.
Herbal Medicine - is a modality within traditional medicine used by many different denominations, such as Chinese herbs, American herbs, Native American herbs and Ayurvedic. Herbal medicine is the use of plants, fungi, animal and insect parts, minerals, and shells to create a formula to treat a medical condition. The use of a formula over a single product is often used for the synergistic effect that exists when several different products are used in combination.
Herbal medicine is medicine and should be respected as such. Self medicating is not recommended. The use of a qualified healthcare practitioner educated and experienced in their use is highly recommended to avoid complications.
Integrative Medicine - Synonymous with Complementary Medicine, medical modalities that may be used with western medicine, such as acupuncture for nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments. However, many practitioners, western and alternative, call themselves Integrative practitioners since their scope of practices span both disciplines of medicine. For example, an ND may order and use blood tests results to determine a course of treatment while an MD might use vitamin IV therapy or acupuncture treatments in conjunction or in addition to their normal treatments.
L.Ac. - Licensed Acupuncturist. This term is often regulated by state licensure laws and, with the exception of California and New Mexico, completely understates the practitioner’s scope of training. Most acupuncturists have acquired a graduate or Doctorate degree in Oriental medicine and, at the least a 12-18 month post graduate training in acupuncture.
In many states, an MD, or equivalent, can practice acupuncture with no training whatsoever and a D.C can practice acupuncture with a little as 50 hours of training. See C.Ac. Some states still do not provide licensure.
License, concerning medicine - this is when a state regulates a practice of medicine and when a qualifying person meets the state criteria for licensure or relicense, they are able to obtain and maintain that license for the purpose of practicing the law’s scope of medical practice within that state’s jurisdiction. This law regulates what the license allows for scope of practice, the title the person may use, continuing education, and so on. While this license provides some level of safety to consumers, there are some states that do not yet have licensure for all medical practices. See Nutritionist and Ayurvedic.
Modality - are the various modes used by medical practitioners to obtain results. This might include x-rays, blood tests, herbal medicines, nutritional therapies, massage, etc. One might call modalities the “tools within the practitioner’s toolbox”. Many modalities overlap; an acupuncturist, a massage therapist and a DO all use some form of massage.
Modern medicine - Generally considered western medicine, it can be applied to integrative medicine as well.
ND/Naturopathic Doctor - Naturopathic Physician, one who has obtained postgraduate education and clinical internship to obtain state licensure, if state licensure exists, as an Naturpathic Physician. In states where licensure laws do not exist, anyone, regardless of education or training, may call themselves an ND. In many states NDs are considered primary care physicians and may employ allopathic treatments as well. NDs tend to use natural therapies and modalities to support the body's intrinsic healing system.
Nutritionist - Anyone who gives advice concerning nutrition. In many states, the term “nutritionist” is not regulated; anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. There are national organizations that offer certifications, meaning the person has met some standard.
Education in nutrition range from a 200 hour survey course to a Ph.D. See Dietitian.
Organic Food - Organic foods, ideally, are produced without the use of synthetic additives (pesticides and chemical fertilizers), are not GMO/GEO, are not processed with irradiation, solvents, or food additives. Livestock must be allowed regular access to pasture and the use of antibiotics is minimal and growth hormones are not allowed.
However, the ideal is not always the case. Some organic certifications may allow chemicals and pesticides to be used and there may be overspray of chemical from neighboring farms.
PCP/Primary Care Physician -
Periodizing Diet - a system of fluctuating food intake in relation to exercise to obtain maximum results. This is a science in itself and there are many books written on the subject.
Periodizing Exercise - a system of fluctuation exercise, in or out of relation to diet, to obtain maximum results of endurance, strength, and mass.
Practitioner - generally referring to people who practice medicine, but are not an MD or equivalent. This term is generally regulated by state law and tends to understate the licensed practitioner’s education and medical capacity. For MDAlternative’s purpose, a practitioner is anyone with a degree/license in their field and scope of practice.
Traditional Medicine - Medical knowledge systems that were developed and used prior to modern western medicine. These medical systems span the globe and some have been in existence for thousands of years. They generally use a natural approach, such as herbs. Recently, there is a merging or intergration of western and traditional medicines, resulting in a new modal called Integratvie Medicine. This is complicated by state medical laws, which define the practitioner's scope of practice.
Vegan - a person who does not eat any animal products for any number of reasons.
Vegetarian - a person who does not eat meat, but may eat animal products, such as eggs and cheese. Some vegetarians eat fish on occasion.
Western Medicine - The USA's standard medical model using the scope of practiice for MDs.
Whole Food - foods that are unprocessed, unrefined and do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, vitamins, or fat. Examples of whole foods are wild caught fish, non-GMO fruits and vegetables, natural meat, and whole grains.
“Organic” has nothing to do with whole foods since many organic foods are overly processed into cereals, chips, and canned soups. Milk is not a whole food since it is homogenized and severely altered by being pasteurized. Meat that contains food coloring or preservatives is not a whole food. All chips, pasta, and anything in a can or a box, except unprocessed whole grains, are not whole foods.
Whole Food Supplements - supplements that use whole foods as their starting ingredients. The term “whole food or natural vitamins” is not regulated and one must read the label to determine the AMOUNT of whole food in a supplement, along with any filters, colors, dyes, or other hidden items.
HOW the whole food was processed into the vitamin is critical to maintain integrity of the original product. In addition, testing for cleanliness, purity, correct plant and part, and active ingredient should be investigated prior to ingesting the product. All MDAlternative products have been carefully reviewed accepted as a clean and quality product suitable for use.