Not to be confused with alternative medicine, which REPLACES conventional treatment with more "natural" techniques, complementary medicine is used along with the treatment from the hospital. Alternative medicine is not recommended by the American Medical Association, and is not well studied or scientifically understood. While conventional western medicine (chemotherapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, etc.) does its work, complementary therapy (literally "completing" therapy) works to balance you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Complementary therapy: 1. Relieves symptoms 2. Improves quality of life 3. Eases treatment side effects Before adding any complementary medicine to your treatment plan: - Talk to your doctor about them so that he or she can note it down in your records. - Check with your insurance company to see if the services are covered. - Search online to see if the complementary care is safe, and to find a good local provider.