The provision and use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been growing globally over the last 40 years. As CAM develops alongside - and sometimes integrates with - conventional medicine, this handbook provides the first major overview of its regulation and professionalization from social science and legal perspectives.

The Routledge Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicine draws on historical and international comparative research to provide a rigorous and thematic examination of the field. It argues that many popular and policy debates are stuck in a polarized and largely asocial discourse, and that interdisciplinary social science perspectives, theorising diversity in the field, provide a much more robust evidence base for policy and practice in the field. Divided into four sections, the handbook covers:

  • analytical frameworks
  • power, professions and health spaces
  • risk and regulation
  • perspectives for the future.

This important volume will interest social science and legal scholars researching complementary and alternative medicine, professional identify and health care regulation, as well as historians and health policymakers and regulators.

chapter |9 pages


Understanding CAM in the twenty-first century – the importance and challenge of multi-disciplinary perspectives

part |50 pages

Disciplinary frameworks, law, sociology and history

chapter |17 pages

Limits and Liberties

CAM, regulation and the medical consumer in historical perspective

chapter |11 pages

Power and Professionalisation in CAM

A sociological approach

chapter |20 pages

Legal Frameworks, Professional Regulation and CAM Practice in England

Is CAM “the special one”?

part |65 pages

Power, professions and health spaces

chapter |13 pages

Practising Ayurveda in the UK

Simplification, modification, hyphenation and hybridisation

chapter |11 pages

Shamanism and Safety

Ancient practices and modern issues

chapter |12 pages

The ‘Knowledgeable Doer'

Nurse and midwife integration of complementary and alternative medicine in NHS hospitals

chapter |16 pages

The Nexus Between the Social and the Medical

How can we understand the proliferation of complementary and alternative medicine for enhancing fertility and treating infertility?

part |142 pages

Risk and regulation

chapter |15 pages

Making CAM Auditable

Technologies of assurance in CAM practice today

chapter |15 pages

The Harm Principle and Liability for CAM Practice

A comparative analysis of Canadian and United States health freedom laws

chapter |21 pages

Risk and Regulation

CAM products, practitioners and the state – perspectives on ‘risk' and ‘protection of the public’ in the Australian media

chapter |23 pages

Regulation of Complementary Medicines in Australia

Influences and policy drivers

chapter |21 pages

Intuitive Spiritual Medicine

Negotiating incommensurability

chapter |9 pages

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Practitioners and the Canadian Health Care System

The role of the state in creating the necessary vacancies

part |113 pages

Critical perspectives on knowledge in CAM

chapter |21 pages

Cam and Conventional Medicine in Switzerland

Divided in theory, united in practice

chapter |16 pages

Patient Choice and Professional Regulation

How patients choose CAM practitioners

chapter |13 pages

(Re)Articulating Identities Through Learning Space

Training for massage and reflexology

chapter |14 pages

Towards a Learning Profession?

Adapting clinical governance for complementary and alternative medicine

chapter |8 pages

Concluding Chapter