What is complementary medicine ?

Complementary medicine is the term that is now widely used to describe the systems of health care that are not part of mainstream medicine. The boundaries are becoming more blurred, however, as many doctors and nurses adopt a more patient-centred approach.

In the UK, the main professions in this field are:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Homoeopathy
  • Medical herbalism
  • Naturopathy
  • Osteopathy

These disciplines have either statutory self-regulation or registers which uphold codes of practice, and insurance requirements. Their practitioners have primary care capability, that is, they can accept patients without referral. In addition there are a number of derivative therapies, such as aromatherapy, reflexology, and acupressure.

All these, and many others, are best defined by the principles upon which they are based rather than their position outside the mainstream. They are essentially natural approaches to the restoration of the body’s self healing processes.

To learn about these principles read:

More about naturopathy