Complementary Therapeutic Approaches and Institutions


(US) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - NCCIH


Excerpt from page:

NCCIH Facts-at-a-Glance and Mission


"The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on complementary and integrative health approaches. We are 1 of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."


Our Mission

The mission of NCCIH is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.


Our Vision

Scientific evidence informs decisionmaking by the public, by health care professionals, and by health policymakers regarding the use and integration of complementary and integrative health approaches.




Director of NCCIH - video cited in tweet on this page





Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name?

Types of Complementary Health Approaches


Information (Enumeration of practices) from page:


Most complementary health approaches fall into one of two subgroups—natural products or mind and body practices.


Natural Products: 

herbs (also known as botanicals), vitamins and minerals, probiotics. (Natural products are often sold as dietary supplements.)


Mind and Body Practices: 

yogachiropractic and osteopathic manipulationmeditationmassage therapyacupuncture
relaxation techniques (such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation), 
tai chi, gi qong, healing touch, hypnotherapy, 
movement therapies (such as Feldenkrais method, Alexander technique, Pilates, Rolfing Structural Integration, and Trager psychophysical integration).



Traditional healers, Ayurvedic medicinetraditional Chinese medicinehomeopathy, and naturopathy.









Ten most common complementary health approaches among adults - 2012. Follow the text version link immediately after this image for details.Source:


Note from page "This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged."







A Scientist’s visit to the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)


From the book by Pert, Candace B. (2010-05-08). Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine (p. 220). Scribner. Kindle Edition.


Washington D.C., Spring 1996 | Candace Pert talks about her visit to the OAM now NCCIH


"From my office at Georgetown University Medical School, where I am currently a professor of research, I place a call to the office of Dr. Wayne Jonas, newly appointed director of the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) at the NIH. My purpose is to see if I can drop by for a few moments and, in the spirit of hope and new beginnings, pay a long-overdue visit to him.


The OAM was established four years ago by the NIH to investigate and evaluate many of the alternative therapies and practices— including acupuncture, homeopathy, manipulative healing techniques such as chiropractic and massage, visualization, and biofeedback— that have become so visible over the past ten years that the mainstream can no longer ignore them.


There’s a familiar chill in the air as I drive through the cherry blossom-lined streets of Bethesda on my way to the NIH, intent on my mission, which is to do whatever I can to help the OAM get a stronger toehold at the NIH. Specifically, I have some ideas about how to bridge the research gap— a phrase I use to refer to the lack of basic, data-gathering laboratory research being done on alternative therapies.


This is the missing piece that I believe is necessary to legitimize what is now still severely marginalized. In my capacity as chairperson of an OAM study section on mind-body medicine, a position I had undertaken at the behest of the previous director of the OAM.


Joe Jacobs, I had had the opportunity to review many studies in the field of alternative medicine, finding good data, some as solid as anything in the mainstream, to show that the mind and emotions can influence immunity.


The experience made me ask the serious question: If we know thoughts and feelings can influence disease, why aren’t we doing more expanded hard research to determine which diseases these modalities are most applicable to, and performing the experiments that could lead to answers and possible cures?


Guided imagery was one of the modalities on which, to my great surprise. I had found studies proving beyond a doubt that it could influence recovery rates for patients with cancer. Why, then, weren’t these studies being followed up?


Acupuncture, too, looks very promising despite its having been dismissed because knowledge about the points and meridians, evolved over five thousand years of empirical medicine, do not correspond to any existing Western concepts of anatomy. But absence of proof is not proof of absence.


In my mind, meridians may be the pathways that are followed by immune cells as they move up and down an anatomical highway, a discovery that could be just one experiment away. The peptide-containing skin cells, called Langerhans cells, could provide the clue, but no one has ever looked at their distribution.






Could human circuits resemble this