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Evidence about which therapies are proving to be effective is growing all the time.  Get Well UK  is concentrating on delivering therapies that are known to be effective, are well regulated, and are already widely used in the NHS.

A Key Note Report “Alternative Healthcare, 2003” states that the most frequently used complementary therapies practised in primary care in 2000 were acupuncture (73%), osteopathy (43%), homeopathy (38%), chiropractic (23%) and aromatherapy (18%).

We have focused on most of these therapies, as well as massage therapy because of its growing evidence base and its wide acceptance and recognition by people from all countries. Acceptance and recognition is important as we are targeting communities of people who have previously not had access to complementary therapies, and may be unaware of what certain therapies are.

Our intention is to expand the range of therapies available over time, after perfecting our delivery mechanisms.  Also, we are only working with adults at the moment, to lessen complications that may arise when working with children.

We have chosen not to work with herbal medicine at this time, despite its strong regulatory framework and long history of usage, because of a lack of an established method of payment for the herbs themselves (average £5 per week per patient).  Also, complications arise with the possible interactions of herbs and other medications.

Please do send us information about the effectiveness of other treatments to help us in our quest to expand the range of treatments offered.

Acupuncture is the treatment of ill health by inserting needles into the skin at particular points. This stimulates the body's ability to heal. Acupuncture is part of a system of traditional Chinese medicine that developed in China around 4,000 years ago, which also includes herbal medicine.

Aromatherapy uses the natural healing properties of oils, which are extracted from plants, to improve health and prevent illness.

Massage therapy is a system of treatment of the soft tissue of the body. It involves rubbing, kneading or applying pressure to various parts of the body, with the aim of alleviating aches, pains and musculoskeletal problems, which are problems relating to the bone and muscle structure of the body, such as headaches and back pain.

Osteopathy is a healthcare practice that works with the body’s musculo-skeletal system, which is comprised of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue. Osteopaths diagnose and treat abnormalities in the way the body is working, as well as damage caused by illness.

This section has been compiled using information supplied by The Prince of Wales' Foundation for Integrated Health and from governing bodies representing the five professions.

The BBC website also provides an excellent source of information on complementary healthcare.