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Interview: Conventional and complementary medicine?

Kirsten Grosse Lackmann

Kirsten Grosse Lackmann

May 24, 2023

reading time

6 min

Around two months ago, the range of services at Zollikerberg Hospital was expanded to include anthroposophic medicine in the sense of integrative and complementary medicine. Kirsten Grosse Lackmann, Head of ZIMT, reveals the motivation behind this.

The Centre for Integrative, Complementary Medicine & TCM opened two months ago. Mrs Grosse Lackmann, what is the motivation behind the centre?

Interest in naturopathic treatments has risen sharply in Switzerland in recent years. According to recent studies, almost every second person living in Switzerland makes use of the wide range of treatments on offer, albeit often with therapists who have no in-depth medical training.

At our Centre for Integrative, Complementary Medicine & Traditional Chinese Medicine (ZIMT), patients have the opportunity to receive support from various naturopathic fields for chronic or acute complaints under professional supervision and/or guidance.

In addition to their medical training, our ZIMT team has received further training in the various specialist areas and offers applications and interventions from the fields of traditional Chinese medicine, anthroposophic medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.

In addition, there are various courses and seminars in which patients can receive additional information on various clinical pictures and are actively trained to be able to alleviate the symptoms themselves.

The programmes are a support or preventative offer alongside conventional medicine and offer patients the opportunity to actively do something for their own health and quality of life.

What were the biggest challenges?

It's great to see how much interest and resources are available for ZIMT in the various areas, departments and clinics of the hospital. I find that very impressive and it's really great fun! The hospital was already very well positioned in this area before the centre was founded. Since the opening, we have pooled these skills in a centre structure and can offer patients a varied programme with competent therapists and doctors.

The Stiftung Diakoniewerk Neumünster - Schweizerische Pflegerinnenschule also supports this idea and has provided us with additional space for this purpose, for which we are very grateful. The premises give us the opportunity to offer practical training and courses.

You promise a varied programme. What does it include?

The programme includes various interventions and consultations from the three naturopathic fields of TCM, anthroposophic medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.

In the area of external applications, we offer, for example, acupuncture or cupping therapy from the field of TCM, wraps and compresses or rhythmic embrocations in the sense of anthroposophic medicine or dry massages or oil massages from the field of Ayurvedic medicine.

There is also a wide range of herbal and naturopathic medicines. In TCM, the focus is on herbal and medicinal plant mixtures or teas, in anthroposophic medicine on phytotherapy or classical homeopathy.

If patients need or want mental support because they are confronted with a serious diagnosis or feel particularly tired or exhausted, they can take advantage of various services at ZIMT. We have a mediation couch that was made by a Buddhist monk and is equipped with different colours and sounds. We also use abdominal wraps and other compresses to help you relax and recharge your batteries. We also offer supportive infusion therapies or a mindfulness course.

The same principle applies to nutritional advice, the sports and exercise programme or the courses and seminars. Here we offer programmes from the three different naturopathic areas with corresponding focal points.

Doctor in white coat advises patient with information brochure in brightly lit practice.

Are the services covered by basic insurance?

Currently, we are not able to bill our services under basic insurance. Many interested parties have supplementary insurance for complementary medicine, which covers our services. We are working to ensure that the services can also be billed via basic insurance, but this is still under development.

Our offer is aimed at all interested parties, regardless of their insurance status. We recommend that you clarify with your health insurance company before starting treatment whether and to what extent cost sharing is guaranteed.

Portrait photo of Kirsten Grosse Lackmann

Kirsten Grosse Lackmann

Head of Outpatient Services, Gynaecological Clinic

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