House of Lords Report

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, sixth report On complementary medicine divided therapies into three separate groups.

   Group One embraces what may be called the principal disciplines, two of which, Osteopathy and Chiropractic, are already regulated in their professional activity and education by Acts of Parliament. The others are Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy. Their evidence indicated that each of these therapies claim to have an individual diagnostic approach and that these therapies are seen as the 'Big 5' by most of the CAM world.

   Group Two contains therapies which are most often used to complement conventional medicine and do not purport to embrace diagnostic skills. It includes Aromatherapy, The Alexander Technique, Body Work therapies, including Massage, Counselling, Stress therapy, Hypnotherapy, Reflexology and probably Shiatsu, Meditation and Healing.

   Group Three embraces those other disciplines which purport to offer diagnostic information as well as treatment and which, in general, favour a philosophical approach and are indifferent to the scientific principles of conventional medicine, and through which various and disparate frameworks of disease causation and its management are proposed.

These therapies can be split into two sub-groups:
       Group 3a includes long-established and traditional systems of healthcare such as Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine.
       Group 3b covers other alternative disciplines which lack any credible evidence base such as Crystal therapy, Iridology, Radionics, Dowsing and Kinesiology.