A question frequently asked by healthcare professionals and journalists is, "Do complementary therapies work?" Such a\ud question needs to acknowledge that therapies that come under the umbrella of 'complementary and alternative therapies' are many and diverse. The extent to which therapeutic interventions are defined as complementary or alternative is influenced by the leading paradigm of the day, and the power of professional bodies. The House of Lords Select Committee report divides complementary therapies into three discrete groups (Table 1). This classification was essential to the Select Committee's conclusions regarding regulation, research and availability\ud on the National Health Service (NHS) of the approaches
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