Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of bmjThe BMJ
BMJ. 1994 July 9; 309(6947): 107–111.
PMCID: PMC2540528

Complementary medicine in Europe.


Complementary or unconventional treatments are used by many doctors and other therapists throughout Europe. The major forms are acupuncture, homoeopathy, manual therapy or manipulation, and phytotherapy or herbal medicine. The relative popularity of therapies differs between countries, but public demand is strong and growing. Regulation of practitioners varies widely: in most countries only registered health professionals may practice, but in the United Kingdom practice is virtually unregulated. Germany and some Scandinavian countries have intermediate systems. Legal reforms are in progress in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. European institutions are starting to influence the development of complementary medicine. Harmonisation of training and regulation of practitioners is the challenge for the future.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.9M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Pietroni PC. Beyond the boundaries: relationship between general practice and complementary medicine. BMJ. 1992 Sep 5;305(6853):564–566. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Eisenberg DM, Kessler RC, Foster C, Norlock FE, Calkins DR, Delbanco TL. Unconventional medicine in the United States. Prevalence, costs, and patterns of use. N Engl J Med. 1993 Jan 28;328(4):246–252. [PubMed]
  • Knipschild P, Kleijnen J, ter Riet G. Belief in the efficacy of alternative medicine among general practitioners in The Netherlands. Soc Sci Med. 1990;31(5):625–626. [PubMed]
  • Fulder SJ, Munro RE. Complementary medicine in the United Kingdom: patients, practitioners, and consultations. Lancet. 1985 Sep 7;2(8454):542–545. [PubMed]
  • Wharton R, Lewith G. Complementary medicine and the general practitioner. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Jun 7;292(6534):1498–1500. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Reilly DT. Young doctors' views on alternative medicine. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983 Jul 30;287(6388):337–339. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Swayne JM. Survey of the use of homeopathic medicine in the UK health system. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1989 Dec;39(329):503–506. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Meyer CT, Price A. The crisis in osteopathic medicine. Acad Med. 1992 Dec;67(12):810–816. [PubMed]

Articles from The BMJ are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group