What is complementary medicine

The term complementary medicine refers to the fact that many unconventional treatments are not used in place of standard treatments, but complement them and are intended to support the effect of scientific medicine or to build on it (especially phytopharmaceuticals, massage, reiki, acupuncture in certain cases, etc.). Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine to complement the basic methods of treatment. Appropriately chosen complementary methods can support the success of conventional therapy.

The rise of complementary medicine

In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of people trying to find a complementary method to improve their health and overall well-being. Therefore, there has been a regeneration and development of many types of traditional therapies and treatments.

Since the late 20th century, people no longer see Western medicine as the only option for health care. Complementary therapies are becoming increasingly available. According to some studies conducted around the world, there is an undeniable increase in interest in complementary medicine. For example, two-thirds of the Australian population, the majority of whom are women and/or more educated people, use some variant of complementary medicine. In 1990, a survey in the United States showed that there were more visits to alternative practitioners than to conventional practitioners. Another study showed that in 1997, 10% of the general public had visited an alternative doctor. In 1995, a survey in the United Kingdom showed that half of the public used complementary therapies and that 75% had visited an alternative doctor in the previous 12 months.

According to another survey, at least one in three cancer patients try to use a complementary treatment in addition to conventional medical treatment. This interest can also be observed in many private insurance companies from developed countries, which are increasingly including some non-conventional services in their catalogue of care.

Complementary medicine has already entered contemporary clinical medicine. It has joined the ranks of methods that can influence the success of therapy to some extent, and so we are hearing more and more about it.