The term ‘CAM’ has been used to cover ‘Complimentary and Alternative Medicine’. However in the phrase ‘CAM therapy’ it is generally taken to mean ‘Complimentary, Alternative and Metabolic therapy. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with the term ‘Naturopathy’.
Complementary Therapy covers options that a person might utilise in conjunction with other forms of medicine. Alternative Therapy applies more appropriately when a person chooses to use only or dominantly recovery options that do not include those of modern drug medicine.
Thus in a sense, full and thorough Naturopathy can be thought of as Alternative Therapy. It has its own philosophy and approach to good health and the recovery from ill health and this is distinct from the philosophy and approach of to-day’s drug medicine.
Two French professors of the nineteenth century argued over the distinctions. Louise Pasteur argued that bacteria cause ill health. This lead to the foundation of the modern pharmacological approach. Antoine Béchamp, later supported by Claude Bernard, argued that the state of the terrain, the body, dictated the health of the individual and that the bacteria were opportunistic benefactors of an unhealthy terrain. This lead to the development of Naturopathy as we know it to-day.