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Complementary or alternative?
Alternative medicine is an umbrella term for a range of treatments and therapies that exist outside generally accepted medical treatments. Complementary medicine uses additional and alternative therapies alongside conventional medicine. Examples of treatment used in conjunction with conventional medicine would be acupuncture, hypnotherapy, osteopathy and yoga.
So what should you do if you are considering an alternative treatment? You should speak with your GP. Many doctors are now open to prescribing alternative or complementary treatments. Of course, it will be down to a clinical judgement and you may find there is a funding issue that blocks your path.
Alternative therapy attracts plenty of criticism but the truth is the demand is growing and more treatments are being incorporated into the mainstream. Most therapies will have a professional body so you can research the therapy you have chosen and find out if you are dealing with a registered practitioner.
The NHS has an online library with a comprehensive list of professional organisations. There is also the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council, (CNHC) who have an online database of registered therapists. The nhsdirectory site can also help you get in touch with one of its own qualified practitioners. Always consult your GP before starting any treatment.
Have you had success with alternative or complementary medicines? Leave a comment and share your experiences.