What are the important contributions that CAM makes to health care?

  • Many breakthroughs in medicine were initially considered 'alternative'
  • The field of CAM provides innovative ideas that have the potential to be the source of effective
  • CAM therapies typically focus on a holistic approach to healthcare
  • CAM practitioners highlight wellness rather than sickness, underlining the importance of
  • CAM focuses on the patient and their innate healing abilities ahead of disease

CAM is important because:

People use it – a lot. And their use of it is on the rise.

A 2007 Fraser Institute study on trends in the use of CAM in Canada reports 54 per cent of Canadians surveyed had used CAM in the year prior to the study and 74 per cent had tried it at least once in their lifetimes. (Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Canada: Trends in Use and Public Attitudes, 1997-2006)

In 2006, Canadians spent more than $5.6 billion on providers of alternative therapy, and another $2.2 billion on herbs, vitamins, special diet programs, books, classes and equipment.