How to choose a CAM practitioner

Topic Selected: Alternative Medicine

General Article icon Type: General Article

If you have decided to use a complementary or alternative medicine (CAM), you’ll need to find a practitioner who will carry out the treatment in a way that is suitable for you.

If you think you may have a health condition, first see your GP. Do not use a visit to a CAMs practitioner as a substitute for a visit to a GP.

When you’re deciding whether or not to use a CAM, the first step is to learn as much as possible about the treatment.

You should find out:

  • What is the evidence that this treatment is safe for you to take? For example, ginseng has been associated with higher blood pressure and may be inappropriate if you already have raised blood pressure (hypertension).
  • If you are using the CAM to treat a health condition, what is the evidence that the treatment works for your condition?

You can learn more about evidence in What is evidence? (

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