In addition to conventional pharmacists, the Elephant Pharm team includes highly qualified and experienced alternative practitioners including: Homeopaths, Herbalists (Traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic) Acupuncturists, Nutritionists, Naturopathic Doctors, Registered Nurses, Aestheticians and Makeup Artists.

elephant partners with experts based in the local community who share our company's mission to help educate people about complementary and alternative medicine options and help them choose how best to integrate these options into their personalized health and wellness plans. Most of elephant's practitioners hold terminal degrees in their chosen fields or are licensed or certified by nationally recognized governing organizations.

Below are some explanations of complementary and alternative medicine based on information from the National Institute of Health's Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Complementary and alternative medicine is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.

Alternative medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice. Often, these systems have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States. Examples of alternative medical systems that have developed in Western cultures include homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine. Examples of systems that have developed in non-Western cultures include traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

Homeopathy

The term homeopathy comes from the Greek words homeo, meaning similar, and pathos, meaning suffering or disease. Homeopathy is an alternative medical system and takes a different approach from conventional medicine in diagnosing, classifying, and treating medical problems.

Key concepts of homeopathy include:

Naturopathy

Naturopathy is a system of healing, originating from Europe, that views disease as a manifestation of alterations in the processes by which the body naturally heals itself. It emphasizes health restoration as well as disease treatment. The term "naturopathy" literally translates as "nature disease." Today naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is practiced throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. There are six principles that form the basis of naturopathic practice in North America (not all are unique to naturopathy):

  1. The healing power of nature
  2. Identification and treatment of the cause of disease
  3. The concept of "first do no harm"
  4. The doctor as teacher
  5. Treatment of the whole person
  6. Prevention

The core modalities supporting these principles include diet modification and nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, massage and joint manipulation, and lifestyle counseling. Treatment protocols combine what the practitioner deems to be the most suitable therapies for the individual patient.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurveda, which literally means "the science of life," is a natural healing system developed in India. Ayurvedic texts claim that the sages who developed India's original systems of meditation and yoga developed the foundations of this medical system. It is a comprehensive system of medicine that places equal emphasis on the body, mind, and spirit, and strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual.

Some of the primary Ayurvedic treatments include diet, exercise, meditation, herbs, massage, exposure to sunlight, and controlled breathing. In India, Ayurvedic treatments have been developed for various diseases (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and neurological disorders).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete system of healing that dates back to 200 B.C. in written form. Korea, Japan, and Vietnam have all developed their own unique versions of traditional medicine based on practices originating in China. In the TCM view, the body is a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle.

Among the major assumptions in TCM are that health is achieved by maintaining the body in a "balanced state" and that disease is due to an internal imbalance of yin and yang. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi (or vital energy) and of blood along pathways known as meridians. TCM practitioners typically use herbs, acupuncture, and massage to help unblock qi and blood in patients in an attempt to bring the body back into harmony and wellness.

Treatments in TCM are typically tailored to the subtle patterns of disharmony in each patient and are based on an individualized diagnosis. The diagnostic tools differ from those of conventional medicine. There are three main therapeutic modalities:

  1. Acupuncture and moxibustion (moxibustion is the application of heat from the burning of the herb moxa at the acupuncture point)
  2. Chinese Materia Medica (the catalogue of natural products used in TCM)
  3. Massage and manipulation

Although TCM proposes that natural products catalogued in Chinese Materia Medica or acupuncture can be used alone to treat virtually any illness, quite often they are used together and sometimes in combination with other modalities (e.g., massage, moxibustion, diet changes, or exercise).

For more information on any of the above, please visit the National Institute of Health's Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at: www.nccam.nih.gov