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.: A Message by the Scientific Secretary

 An Introduction to “The Congress of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Iran”

In many parts of the world,health policymakers and experts are engaged in debates about concepts such as the safety, effectiveness, quality,availability,durability and disciplines of traditional and complementary medicine.

Today,peoples demands for traditional and complementary medicine are increasing rapidly,and policymakers are encouraged to meet these demands,accordingly. As a result,these treatments are being widely applied in many countries and are spreading among other nations,as well.

Conventional medicine or the medical system,which is responsible for providing global healthcare services,encompasses all evidence-based methods for the treatment of diseases. It is also referred to as Western or allopathic medicine.

Traditional medicine (TM) has a long historical background and is a combination of knowledge,skills and practices,based on theories,beliefs and indigenous experiences of different cultures. TM is applied for the prevention,diagnosis and treatment of mental and physical conditions,based on either verifiable or non-verifiable methods. Each specific geographical region is the birthplace of a unique school of medicine.        

Therefore,based on this popular tendency and the needs of the medical community,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,which is the only medical university in the country with both “Traditional Iranian Medicine” and “Complementary and Traditional Chinese Medicine” departments,is holding this international congress with the participation of scientists in the field of health during October 2015 in Mashhad. This congress aims at exchanging scientific ideas,mobilizing potentials in complementary medicine education and attracting the participation and support of medical scientists to move toward a scientific and objective presentation of “holistic medicine” or “integrative medicine”,which is an integration of different medical schools for improving public health.

Complementary medicine (CM) refers to a wide range of health care activities,which are not part of a countrys tradition and are not majorly involved in the health system of that country. CM is a group of disciplines that exist largely outside the institutions of conventional medicine,which shapes the dominant health system of a country. CM encompasses Chinese medicine,acupuncture, Ayurveda,chiropractic and homeopathy and can be used interchangeably with traditional medicine.

The congress organizers by holding this program hope to familiarize the medical community with the potentials of complementary medicine in the country. In addition,we aim to apply the experiences of other countries to facilitate the development of complementary medicine at national scientific centers. We also hope to provide the grounds for familiarizing health policymakers with the hidden potentials of complementary medicine and assist the design of integrative medicine systems.


Dr. Hamid Reza Bahrami
The Scientific Secretary of the Congress