Show Summary Details
Page of

Complementary medicines 

Complementary medicines
Complementary medicines

Ursula Werneke

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 01 July 2022

Complementary medicines pose a particular challenge to medical practitioners who may feel that their patients need conventional treatment but often find themselves out of their depth when patients ask about complementary therapies. Pharmacological options include herbal medicines, certain foods, and nutritional supplements such as vitamins and minerals. Physical treatments include acupuncture, massage, and osteopathy to name a few. Treatments, which purport to achieve their effects through changes in internal ‘energy flow’ include reiki, reflexology, healing, and therapeutic touch, and also homeopathy and traditional Chinese acupuncture. All these treatments are either used alternatively, i.e. instead of, or complementary, i.e. in addition to, conventional medicine. In patients with mental health problems, depending on the definition and inclusion criteria, estimates of the prevalence of complementary medicine use range from 8 per cent to 57 per cent. Depression and anxiety seem to be the most common indications.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.