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lancelotarnold

NCCIH Classification

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A US agency, National Center on Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), has created a classification system for branches of complementary and alternative medicine that divides them into five major groups. These groups have some overlap, and distinguish two types of energy medicine: veritable which involves scientifically observable energy (including magnet therapy, colorpuncture and light therapy) and putative, which invokes physically undetectable or unverifiable energy. None of these energies have any evidence to support that they effect the body in any positive or health promoting way.

Whole medical systems: Cut across more than one of the other groups; examples include traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy, and ayurveda.

Mind-body interventions: Explore the interconnection between the mind, body, and spirit, under the premise that they affect "bodily functions and symptoms". A connection between mind and body is conventional medical fact, and this classification does not include therapies with proven function such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

"Biology"-based practices: Use substances found in nature such as herbs, foods, vitamins, and other natural substances. (Note that as used here, "biology" does not refer to the science of biology, but is a usage newly coined by NCCIH in the primary source used for this article. "Biology-based" as coined by NCCIH may refer to chemicals from a nonbiological source, such as use of the poison lead in traditional Chinese medicine, and to other nonbiological substances.)

Manipulative and body-based practices: feature manipulation or movement of body parts, such as is done in bodywork, chiropractic, and osteopathic manipulation.

Energy medicine: is a domain that deals with putative and verifiable energy fields:
Biofield therapies are intended to influence energy fields that are purported to surround and penetrate the body. The existence of such energy fields have been disproven.
Bioelectromagnetic based therapies use verifiable electromagnetic fields, such as pulsed fields, alternating-current, or direct-current fields in an non-scientific manner.

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