Complementary therapies

People affected by Parkinson's should be able to make informed decisions about their healthcare, and be able to make decisions based on all available evidence.

This policy statement has been developed with advice and guidance from people affected by Parkinson's, health and social care professionals and other experts.

What do we mean by complementary and alternative medicines and therapies?

These are diverse medical and healthcare practices and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine.

Read our A to Z of examples, from acupuncture to yoga, on our complementary therapies page.

What we believe

We believe that people with Parkinson's and their carers have the right to make informed choices about their healthcare.

This includes decisions on complementary and alternative medicines and therapies.

People with Parkinson's should be supported to make decisions based on all the available evidence.

Where evidence isn't available, people with Parkinson's should be encouraged and supported to ask questions to find out how safe and reputable therapists and remedies are.

Why we believe this

Many people with Parkinson's tell us that they have benefited from complementary and alternative medicines and therapies.

Many choose to use these medicines and therapies alongside conventional treatment, often at their own expense.

What's the evidence?

There is little evidence on the effects of complementary and alternative medicines and therapies to treat people with Parkinson's. There is either a lack of research or some research has failed to prove an effect.

However, there is a high rate of satisfaction for people who use complementary and alternative medicines and therapies.

There is little statutory regulation of practitioners in these treatments, which means a lower level of protection for people who use them.

So it's vital to ask questions and check accreditation of practitioners.

Full policy statement

Parkinson's UK policy statement: Complementary and alternative medicines and therapies (PDF, 105KB)