Complementary medicine: a natural alternative

Complementary or alternative medicine is used to treat people holistically. A number of complaints can, for example, be alleviated through acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), herbal medicine of traditional European naturopathy or osteopathy.

Complementary medicine encompasses various diagnostic processes, healing methods and remedies.  It is used by a wide range of specialists such as doctors and naturopaths.

Conventional medicine and complementary medicine follow two different approaches. Traditional doctors search for symptoms and organic changes. Practitioners of complementary medicine, by contrast, are interested in what triggers the disorder. They also base their analysis on factors such as the patient's biography, environment, strengths and weaknesses.

If the medically prescribed therapy for an illness is not having the desired effect, complementary medicine can offer a natural alternative. It can supplement an ongoing course of treatment or in some cases even replace it completely.  Examples are the treatment of hayfever, rheumatic complaints and other chronic diseases.

Back of a person lying down with inserted needles

Read how one of the most important treatment methods of traditional Chinese medicine can cure ailments.

Read about situations where you can benefit from acupuncture during pregnancy.

four special cupping cups are placed on the back of a person lying down

What does cupping involve? What are the effects of this treatment? All about cupping therapy.

standing person places their hands on the side of the head of a person lying on their back

What does craniosacral therapy involve and which complaints is it suitable for? Find out now.

Traditional homeopathy is one of the of the most popular types of alternative medicine. How does this healing method work?

Learn about the methods used by kinesiologists and when kinesiology treatments are used.

Osteopathy activates your body’s self-healing powers. This holistic form of therapy is suitable for a range of symptoms.

You can support your child’s development with osteopathy for babies. Find out more.

Various herbs and medicinal plants

Find out here how you can use herbal medicine to effectively combat inflammation or pain, for example.

Medicinal plant, vial of oil and acupuncture needles

Learn about traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its healing methods: from acupuncture to moxibustion through to Tai Chi.

Insurance benefits for complementary medicine

Make use of contributions towards the cost of alternative forms of treatment and remedies.


You will receive generous contributions towards the cost of various outpatient treatments.


You receive contributions (75% outpatient, 100% inpatient) towards the cost of treatments and remedies.


Frequently asked questions about complementary medicine

We will reimburse you for the cost of complementary medicine where medical necessity has been established. Preventative treatment is not considered medically necessary and will therefore not be reimbursed. Treatment provided for many impairments of well-being, such as stress, tension or fatigue, is not considered medically necessary either.

Outpatient treatment

With SANA or COMPLETA supplementary insurance, you receive 75 percent of the costs for coverage for remedies and therapy methods provided by complementary medicine, such as osteopathy, kinesiology, acupuncture massage and Bach flower remedies, etc.

Inpatient treatment

With SANA and COMPLETA supplementary insurance, you receive 100% of the costs of complementary medicines and therapies up to CHF 5,000 per calendar year.

  • There is an established medical necessity.
  • Your doctor, naturopath or complementary therapist is recognised by us.
  • The therapy method is recognised by us.
  • Medicines are handed out or prescribed by a doctor or recognised naturopath and are approved by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic for the treatment of the existing illness. (Medicines on the list of medicines not covered by statutory health insurance (LPPV) are excluded).
  • The inpatient treatment is prescribed by a doctor and is performed in a medical institution or convalescent facility recognised by us.

You receive contributions towards the costs of the following types of complementary medicine:

  • Anthroposophic medicine
  • Classical homoeopathy
  • Phytotherapy
  • Pharmacotherapy within traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
  • Acupuncture

Please ensure that your doctor holds a recognised certificate of competence awarded by the Swiss Medical Association (FMH) for these treatment methods.

The costs are refunded according to the tariff in the canton where you live or the tariff for your work location.

No. However, in debatable cases we may ask you for information in order to review the medical necessity of the treatment.

It is important to us that we can offer you the benefits for complementary medicine at an attractive price. To ensure that this remains so in the future, we are refraining from expanding the scope of our benefits.

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Liability exclusion

The health information provided here is of a general nature and is intended exclusively for information purposes. It is not a substitute for medical advice. In the event of a health problem, you should always consult a doctor or medical specialist.

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