Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.

This section should be read in conjunction with the entry on Health: Therapies (General)

What is Eastern Medicine?

Eastern Medicine combines several techniques, such as massage, herbs and dietary advice. Practitioners believe it restores the imbalance of mind, body, emotion and spirit.

What claims are likely to be acceptable?

Marketers may refer to the relaxing, non-invasive nature of the therapy, improving the sense of well-being and the gentle touch of the therapist. Impressionistic and sensory claims such as “encourages a sense of well-being” are also likely to be acceptable.

What claims are likely to be problematic?

To date, neither the ASA nor CAP has seen evidence that Eastern Medicine can improve health or that it can treat or alleviate medical conditions or their associated symptoms. Such claims are therefore unlikely to be acceptable unless the marketer holds a robust body of evidence (12.1).

What about serious medical conditions?

Claims to offer treatment on conditions for which medical supervision should be sought are likely to be considered to discourage essential treatment unless that treatment is carried out under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional (12.2).

Updated 23 November 2016

See ‘Therapies: Chinese herbal medicine or traditional Chinese medicine’.

Guidance on Health Therapies and Evidence QA (Sept 2011)

More on