In order to understand any social trend fully, it is necessary to understand the context in which it developed and the current issues that presently surround it. CAM did not develop in a vacuum, it arose from the myriad forms of health provision visible prior to the emergence of biomedicine. The range of CAM encompasses a very broad church of philosophies, beliefs and activities, but this section tries to discuss some of the key contextualising issues that affect the acceptance of CAM and its role in contemporary UK society.