Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

af Jesper Madsen

On this website you will find information about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and how it is practiced in Denmark.

All the information you find om this website is edited by The Danish Patient Safety Authority.

CAM use in Denmark

Massage, acupuncture and reflexology are the most frequently used CAM treatments in Denmark.

  • 27 % have used CAM within the last year.
  • 53,2 % of the population have had CAM experience at some point during their lifetime.
  • The typical CAM-user is a woman, 35-54 years of age, with 13-14 years of education.

“Use of complementary and alternative treatment in Denmark” 2013, published 2015 by The University of Southern Denmark and The National Institute of Public Health. 

The most commonly used CAM therapies in Denmark are massage/osteopathy, reflexology and acupuncture. Most CAM-treatment providers in Denmark are practising outside the public health service. Only a few physicians provide CAM treatments.

No CAM treatment will be paid for by public health insurance, except for a few instances such as acupuncture carried out by a GP. Private insurance companies, though, will often reimburse expenses for reflexology and acupuncture - under certain conditions.

Denmark has a non-restrictive legislation on CAM. Anyone is allowed to provide CAM, but certain medical procedures and the treatment of certain diseases must be carried out by established health care personnel. Conventional health care personnel are showing a growing interest in exploring CAM. In 2006 the Danish nurses formed a CAM-organization within “The Danish Nurses Organization".