Complementary Medicine

Complementary MedicineUNCONVENTIONAL / ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

The great revival of the ancient healing arts is in part a reaction against the amount of drugs used in conventional medicine, and our desire to achieve a more natural approach to healthcare. Aromatherapy and reflexology should not be seen as a complete alternative to 21st century medicine, but rather as an art that complements it and encourages the individual to care for themselves.

There have been many recent advances in the field of complementary medicine:

Both the quantity and quality of applied research in complementary medicine is growing rapidly

There is good evidence supporting the use of some complementary medicine treatments

Guidelines and consensus statements issued by conventional medical organisations have recommended some complementary medicine treatments

Complementary medicine is increasingly practised in conventional medical settings, particularly acupuncture for pain and massage, music therapy & relaxation techniques for anxiety and depression

Osteopaths and chiropractors recently became the first complementary medicine practitioners in the UK to be regulated. Since then, aromatherapy has become voluntarily self-regulated. Reflexology and other therapies are also working towards voluntary self-regulation. Voluntary self-regulation was required by the House of Lords Report on Complementary Medicine (2000) as presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health in 2001 for therapies such as aromatherapy and reflexology. The Department of Health will not allow any further therapies to become statutory regulated.

There is a more open attitude to complementary medicine among conventional health professionals. This is partly explained by the rise of evidence based medicine.