In the 1960s Humanistic Psychology became the first major “alternative” movement in modern Health Care. In the 1980s Holistic Medicine was introduced; soon thereafter, the terms Complementary, Integral, Quantum, Integrative, and Alternative Medicine became synonyms for concepts of Health Care that did not fit into the allopathic convention that has dominated American Medicine for almost a century. In 1989, Dr. Elmer Green and colleagues substantiated the comprehensive and inclusive term, “Energy Medicine” by founding The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM). A few years later, Congress mandated the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine, later converted into the Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and most recently designated as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. NCCAM currently identifies five fields of complementary and alternative medicine:
Energy medicine as it is practiced and studied is not restricted to what NCCAM includes in Energy Therapies, but also overlaps with practices in the other four NCCAM fields, such as the Alternative Medical Systems of Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
During this forty-five year evolution, Americans and Canadians have embraced the many therapeutic approaches offered by the proponents of these movements. Now, each year almost half of Americans use some alternative therapy. Medical schools and hospitals are tentatively offering a few courses and programs which barely scratch the surface of the rich resources of Humanistic, Holistic, Complementary, Integral, Quantum Integrative, Alternative, and Energy Medicine.