Complementary medicine does not mean alternative medicine either because it is used with modern medicine. Alternative medicine is a set of methods that replace modern medicine. Complementary medicine is carried out by adding methods such as yoga, massage and acupuncture to modern methods such as surgical operation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between complementary medicine and alternative medicine.

Traditional and complementary medicine are methods and information that are used for protection from physical and mental illnesses, their diagnosis and treatment, and to contribute to healthwhich could vary from culture to culture. Complementary medicine methods are presented to the patient with the interdisciplinary work of specialist physicians from many medical branches.

The main purpose of complementary medicine is to give the patient some awareness and to enable the patient to take responsibility for his own health. Thus, the patient can fight his disease better during and after his treatment using standard medical methods. This is the main purpose.

Regulation on Complementary Medicine in Turkey?

In order to prevent irregular complementary medicine practices in Turkey, Ministry of Health has embodied “The Department of Traditional and Complementary Medicine Practices“. The regulation on traditional and complementary medicine methods entered into force after being published in the official gazette on 27 October 2014. Accordingly, the right to perform complementary and traditional medicine practices is only given to physicians and dentists.

Once physicians and dentists receive training in the fields determined by the Ministry, they can start applying complementary medicine practices on their patients.

Please find below the fields:

  • Phytotherapy (Herbal Treatment)
  • Acupuncture
  • Cupping Therapy
  • Leech Therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Ozone Therapy
  • Mesotherapy
  • Apitherapy
  • Prolotherapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Reflexology
  • Homeopathy
  • Chiropractic
  • Larval Therapy
  • Music Therapy

Let us now explain some of these complementary medicine practices.



Reflexology  It aims to treat certain organs and body systems connected to these points by applying different amount of pressure to the reflex points in the hands, feet and ears. At first it was invented 5000 years ago in China, which was Later thanks to physiotherapist Eunice Ingham laid the foundations of today's reflexology in modern style

Reflexology therapy are generally used to support standard medical methods in neurological diseases, joint pains, sexual disorders and mental disorders such as depression.

Larva Therapy (Maggot Therapy)

Larva Therapy (Maggot Therapy)

The process of removal unhealthy and infected skin tissues that cannot live on the wound and wound edge is called debridement. The body normally can heal such wounds on its own, but in immunocompromised patients, healing and tissue removal may take a long time. In cases where surgical debridement does not work, larval treatment can be used.

Larva therapy is performed by placing green bottle fly larvae called "Lucilia sericata" on the wound. The fly larvae consume and digest dead and bad skin tissues. The enzymes secreted by the larva allow the tissue to heal. One of the most important points in larval treatment is that the larvae only eat unhealthy tissues. The selectivity of larvae also prevents unnecessary damage to healthy tissues.

Cupping Treatment (Cupping)

Cupping Treatment (Cupping)

Cupping, which is one of the complementary and traditional medicine therapy, is called wet cupping treatment when blood is taken, and dry cupping treatment when it is done without blood. Wet cupping treatment in Turkey  is also called  as "hajamat".

Cupping therapy, which is thought to have a history of 3000 years, is especially used to distribute the lactic acid accumulated in the muscles and to relax the muscle. The bruising in the area where the cup is applied is actually a good thing because the healing chemicals in the body go to the bruising area and that area is going to be renewed and refreshed.


Cupping, known as wet cupping therapy, is the removal of toxic blood accumulated in some parts of the body in order to both get rid of the disease and prevent it from diseases. Light scratches are made on the area where blood will be taken and the cup glass is placed in this area. The pressure in the cup is provided to vacuum the blood. Hacamat is a complementary medicine practice applied in the West as well as in Eastern countries.

At this point, it is necessary to take care to get cupping treatment (both wet and dry) from a specialist physician who has been trained in this job. It should not be done in places called "backstreet", but definitely in the hospital environment.

In Turkey, complementary medicine methods are applied in both state and private hospitals.

Things to Consider Before Going to Complementary Medicine Application Center

When you go to a hospital, clinic or center that performs complementary medicine practices, make sure that it has a complementary medicine practice permit from the ministry.

Make sure that the person performing the therapy is a medical graduate. If you think that the person performing the therapy is not a physician, infor about this situation. Complementary medicine applications must be performed by physicians certified by the Ministry of Health.

Dentists can only perform complementary medicine applications related to teeth, gums and mouth. Practices that are not within the dentist's area of interest should be made by medical doctors.

And of course, where you go to get the therapy done, carefully read and sign the confirmation document before the transaction.