This research focuses on the motivation of people to use, practice or promote complementary and alternative medicine, as opposed to conventional, biomedicine in the Netherlands. By making use of a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods Matika aims to identify themes in people’s personal motives in connection to societal structures and dynamics. Initial observations and questions that lead to the commencement of this research were ‘why do statistics show a great increase in the usage, practice, and variety of alternative medicine?’, and, ‘why do specifically so many women show interest in this field?’. Research will focus on possible fundamental differences in the motivation of the different genders.  Additionally, literature speaks of a connection between (new) practices of spirituality, alternative medicine, and women. A last question to be researched is whether such a connection can also be found in the Netherlands.

Matika Körmeling is a Master student of International Development Studies at Wageningen University and Research. During this Master she specialised in the sociology and anthropology of development and change. Recognising the lack of in-depth research on ‘taboo’ topics such as alternative medicine and spirituality, and simultaneously understanding their increased importance in Dutch society, has been leading in Matika’s interest to academically contribute to establishing a firmer scientific presence in the field.”