P1: GDP/GAY/GMF P2: GCR
Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph129-psaq-375285 September 25, 2002 10:52 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 4, Winter 2002 (
A PRIMER OF COMPLEMENTARY AND
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE AND ITS
RELEVANCE IN THE TREATMENT
OF MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Ravinder Mamtani, M.D.
and Andrea Cimino, R.N., D.P.M.
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widespread.
Those with psychiatric disorders are more likely to use CAM than those with
other diseases. There are both beneﬁts and limitations to CAM. Many controlled
studies have yielded promising results in the areas of chronic pain, insomnia,
anxiety, and depression. There is sufﬁcient evidence, for example, to support
the use of a) acupuncture for addiction problems and chronic musculoskeletal
pain, b) hypnosis for cancer pain and nausea, c) massage therapy for anxiety,
and the use of d) mind–body techniques such as meditation, relaxation, and
biofeedback for pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Large doses of vitamins, herbal
supplements, and their interaction with conventional medications are areas
of concern. Physicians must become informed practitioners so that they can
Ravinder Mamtani, M.D., is Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine at New York
Medical College, New York, and Section Chief, Complementary Medicine, Department of
Medicine, Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY 10595.
Andrea Cimino, R.N., D.P.M., Licensed Acupuncturist, is Assistant Professor, Commu-
nity and Preventive Medicine at New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595.
Address correspondence to Ravinder Mamtani, M.D., Professor of Clinical Preventive
Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595.
2002 Human Sciences Press, Inc.