GER and Complementary Medicine

  • H. S. van der Heijden
  • M. M. TabbersEmail author


Complementary and alternative medicine includes practices that are not an integral part of the conventional healthcare system but are used by therapists and patients to supplement their patient’s care. The use of complementary and alternative medicine is increasing worldwide for treatment of different acute and chronic diseases including gastroesophageal reflux disease. Even 40% of parents of pediatric gastroenterology patients are using some form of complementary and alternative therapy for their child. Complementary and alternative medicine is especially used in children in whom conventional treatment has failed. In addition, school absenteeism and the occurrence of adverse effects of medication are also important predictors of using these therapies. In this chapter, we will discuss traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture), herbals and botanicals, and mind-body therapy including breathing exercises and massage therapy. Although interest in using complementary and alternative medicine use is increasing, there is a lack of randomized controlled trials investigating its efficacy and safety in children with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Therefore, well-designed studies in this vulnerable group of children are necessary in order to determine efficacy and safety of these different treatment modalities.


GER(D) Complementary and alternative medicine Traditional Chinese medicine Acupuncture Herbals Botanicals Mind-body medicine Breathing exercises Massage therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology and NutritionEmma Children’s Hospital AMCAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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