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Complementary and Alternative Therapies: The Nurse's Role

Fowler Sue; Newton, Linda
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: August 2006
Editorial: PDF Only


One objective of Healthy People 2010 is to increase both quality and years of healthy life. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) encompasses strategies that can help individuals meet this goal. CAM includes therapies such as acupuncture, dietary supplements, reflexology, yoga, massage, chiropractic services, Reiki, and aromatherapy. Many CAM therapies focus on the concept of energy. The literature describes the use of CAM in individuals with neurological diseases such as dementias, multiple sclerosis, neuropathies, spinal cord injury, and epilepsy. Nurses have a unique opportunity to provide services that facilitate wholeness. They need to understand all aspects of CAM, including costs, patient knowledge, and drug interactions, if they are to promote holistic strategies for patients seeking to achieve a higher quality of life.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Susan Fowler, PhD RN CNRN, at She is a clinical nurse researcher at Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, NJ.

Linda Newton, MA RNC LPC, was working at Easter Seals, Somerville, NJ, at the time this article was written.

© 2006 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses