Rebate review finds no evidence for natural therapies

Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015


A Department of Health review of 17 therapies covered by private insurance has concluded that there is not enough evidence to suggest that any work.

The report headed up by Chief Medical Officer Chris Baggoley found “low to moderate” evidence that the Alexander technique, Buteyko, massage therapy, tai chi, yoga, may improve certain health outcomes for a limited number of clinical conditions.

However overall there was not “reliable, high-quality evidence available to allow assessment of the clinical effectiveness of any of the natural therapies for any health conditions”.

The report, commissioned by the Labor government in 2012, stressed that the lack of evidence did not mean the therapies did not work, but suggested more research needed to be done.

You can read full report here.

List of natural therapies included in the scope:

  • Alexander Technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Ayurveda
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Buteyko
  • Feldenkrais
  • Herbalism/Western Herbalism
  • Homeopathy
  • Iridology
  • Kinesiology
  • Massage therapy including:
  • Deep Tissue
  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Myofascial Release
  • Myotherapy
  • Remedial
  • Shiatsu
  • Sports Therapy
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Therapeutic
  • Naturopathy
  • Pilates
  • Reflexology
  • Rolfing
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga

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