Learning About Using Complementary Medicine Safely

Skip Navigation

What is complementary medicine?

Complementary medicine is a nonstandard treatment that is used by some people along with their standard medical care.

This type of treatment may include:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Yoga.
  • Herbs and other supplements.
  • Massage.

How can you use these therapies safely?

  • Tell your doctor if you use or want to use this type of treatment.
  • Some of these therapies—such as acupuncture, massage therapy, or yoga—are very safe when people who are healthy go to a well-trained professional. Choose this person just like you would choose a doctor.

Know the risks

  • Don't use these therapies in place of standard care. You may miss important treatment that could save your life.
  • Use these treatments wisely. Natural health products like dietary supplements and herbs aren't regulated the way medicines are. This means the label may not be accurate. And they may cause side effects. Or they can interact with medicines that you take.
  • Consider the cost. Your insurance may not cover this type of treatment.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter R846 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Using Complementary Medicine Safely".




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.