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Alternative and complementary medicine in Belgium
Most practitioners of complementary medicine are qualified doctors or physiotherapists in the case of osteopaths and chiropractors. By law, homeopathic remedies may only be prescribed by a qualified doctor, dentist or midwife and only as an additional activity to their main profession in the healthcare sector. Medical problems commonly treated by homeopaths relate to allergies, back pain, minor injuries and sleeping and digestive disorders.
Most homeopathic medicines can be found in pharmacies and the majority are partially reimbursed via complementary insurance.
Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine, involving inserting thin needles into the body at specific points. It is commonly used to relieve neck pain, lower back pain, headache and insomnia. Acupuncture is not yet legally recognised in Belgium. The Belgian Acupunctors Federation (BAF) is asking the government for this recognition.
Treatment by hypnotherapists can accelerate certain therapy processes. The physical and mental relaxation of hypnosis is primarily used to treat anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety and phobias. Certain health insurance funds partially pay back the cost of hypnotherapy sessions.
Osteopathy is increasingly popular, especially for the treatment of back and joint pain, but is not yet officially recognised in Belgium. Some osteopaths are also certified physiotherapists nabling them to process medical prescriptions for treatment.