Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Complementary and Alternative Medicines

  • Rodrigo ToniolEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_11

Key Information

The gradual identification of subjects and groups promoting New Age ideals with the term “Complementary and Alternative Medicines” (CAMs) is related to (a) the professionalization of holistic therapies and (b) the public and official recognition from nation states and international governmental organizations of the validity of using so-called alternative therapies to promote health. In the New Age context, Complementary and Alternative Medicine refers to the processes of regulating, officially recognizing, and bureaucratizing numerous therapies and practices that became popular in the West primarily in the wake of the counterculture movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In Latin America, the use and public availability of these therapies acquired official recognition especially in the mid-1990s.

Though no consensus exists, the definition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine usually converges on two characteristics. The first, very often explicit, involves definition in...


Alternative therapies Regulation State Public health systems 
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  1. Brasil (2009) Relatório do 1° Seminário Internacional de Práticas Integrativas e Complementares em Saúde – PNPIC, 2009. Ministério da Saúde. Resource document. http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/seminario_praticas_integrativas_complementares_saude.pdf
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AnthropologyFederal University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil