Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is generally regarded as a complementary treatment that is used alongside conventional medicine, whereas alternative medicine is regarded as a treatment used in place of conventional medicine.
There has been considerable interest in CAM, with a House of Lords Select Committee Report in November 2000 and a subcommittee of the Royal College of Physicians set up to examine certain aspects. They reported in Clinical Medicine in 2003.
The House of Lords Select Committee was very keen that there should be professional standards, registration and accountability in all aspects of CAM.2 Statutory regulation of the acupuncture profession has failed to happen and it is now thought any regulation in the future will be voluntary. Osteopathy is r