Complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine is the use of treatments, such as homeopathic medicine, ayurveda, botanical dietary supplements, and massage, that are not necessarily considered part of "conventional" medicine.
Such treatments may be used in conjunction with more accepted medicine (complementary and integrative medicine) or instead of established medical practices (alternative medicine). The Centers that address "nonconventional" medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital are committed to conducting informed research into the validity of these medical practices.
The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center was created to facilitate and conduct rigorous scientific investigation to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and mechanisms of action of alternative and complementary practices. The Center's research is carried out with intrinsic interest in and respect for the traditions from which many alternative therapies originate, and is mindful of the importance of the subjective human experience to health and healthcare. The Center also serves as a forum for identification and discussion of social, economic, environmental, and political considerations influencing complementary and alternative medicine in order to inform policy decisions.
The Center includes a specialized program addressing the role of complementary and alternative medicine in women's health and aging. The Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research in Aging and Women's Health, a part of the Rosenthal Center, includes an interdisciplinary group of local, national, and international researchers and practitioners conducting a range of clinical and basic science studies. One focus is on herbal medicine and dietary approaches for postmenopausal women, including a clinical trial of black cohosh for the treatment of menopausal complaints, an evaluation of a Chinese herbal preparation for women with or at risk of breast cancer, and clinical studies comparing a macrobiotic-style diet with an American Heart Association diet.
The Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center emphasizes prevention as well as treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. By blending the best of complementary and academic medicine, the Center treats the entire person, emphasizing healing in a way that acknowledges the complex nature of chronic illness. From breathing techniques, herbal remedies and guided imagery, to cutting-edge medical care, the Center combines effective complementary therapies with the highest quality academic medicine to care for patients with a broad range of chronic disease. A multispecialty medical practice, the Center brings together experts in the fields of medical oncology, gastroenterology, cardiology, and internal medicine who work with patients to integrate complementary therapies to prevent and treat chronic disease and improve quality of life.