Alternative therapies are on the rise. It was estimated that nearly a third of the population has tried complementary medicine at least once in their life.
Acupuncture by a doctor is covered by health insurance and nearly 70 percent of people have more health coverage for other alternative therapies, according to the Federal Health Office.
People in Switzerland are increasingly turning to Chinese medicine to cure ailments such as back pain, asthma, allergies and stress problems.
But practitioners say there is still a long way to go before the profession is fully acknowledged and need to be covered by basic health insurance.
Making progress is the ancient art of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which is performed by two physicians and qualified non-physicians.
Chinese medicine is a medical system that is not based on Western notions of the body, but the Chinese philosophy of the organization. It explains the disease and health in a different way, "said Simon Becker, president of the Swiss Professional Organization for Traditional Chinese Medicine (SBO-TCM) - the largest association of non-medical TCM therapists.
"Chinese Medicine is trying to influence with different modalities such as acupuncture and herbs, the harmonies that take place in the body when you get sick."
In 1999, it was provisionally included, along with four other alternative therapies, in basic health insurance.
But in 2005, after conducting an evaluation, the government decided to strike at those, saying they were too expensive.
Becker 1200 member of the association joined with other groups, including medical, to lobby for therapies to be reinstated by putting the issue to a national vote. But the decision was rejected by the government.
However, polls have indicated broad public support for the initiative.