Complementary medicine refers to a group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that exist largely outside the institutions in which conventional healthcare is taught and dispensed. In the 70s and 80s these disciplines were primarily paid in alterative conventional healthcare and thus became known collectively as ‘alternative medicine’. The name ‘complementary medicine’ has developed in the moment in which the two systems have begun to be used from one set to another, up to define the same disciplines group.
There are more than 300 types of approaches for the complementary medicine applications. A classification drawn up in 1999 by the National Institute of Health (NIH) provides for the following categories: food and nutrition, psycho-therapies (meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis), traditional therapies (Chinese medicine, indigenous healing methods), pharmacological or biological treatment (homeopathy), manual healing (massage, chiropractic, reflexology, reiki, shiatsu, therapeutic touch) and phytotherapy (herbal medicine, aromatherapy).