Complementary and alternative and therapies can help to overcome stress and encourage relaxation. These include massage, acupuncture, herbal medicine, homoeopathy, yoga, reflexology, aromatherapy. Alternative therapies (eg: herbal medicine and homoeopathy) work in place of conventional diagnosis and treatment from your GP, whereas a complementary therapy (eg: reflexology and tai chi hu’an) works alongside this.
Alternative and complementary therapies have grown immensely in recent decades both in popularity and use. Complementary therapies aim to treat the individual as a whole person (holistically) to mobilise the body’s own defences. Many therapies use the idea of a ‘lifeforce’ and that health and contentment depend on achieving a harmonious balance of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual natures.
Points to consider
- Personal recommendation or word of mouth is a good way to find a practitioner
- Check the practitioner is a member of the appropriate regulatory body or a professional association where no regulation exists
- Therapists should be willing to provide a scale of fees
- Therapists are unlikely to begin treatment without first building up a picture of you as an individual. Amongst other things, you are likely to be asked about your health, lifestyle and existing medications.
- Therapists should be able to let you know how long it will be before you will see an improvement to your condition or problem
- Session lengths will vary so give yourself plenty of time
- Medicines will often originate from a natural plant, herb, oil or mineral, many of which will be available from pharmacies and health stores
- Orthodox (traditional) drugs and complementary therapies can interact or interfere with each other. Make sure you keep your doctor and complementary therapy practitioner informed.
- If you have any questions, eg: you’re uncertain which remedy to take, talk to a qualified practitioner
- If you have an adverse reaction to your treatment, stop taking it immediately and seek advice
- If in doubt: don’t
Complementary and alternative medicine | NHS Choices
All about complementary and alternative medicine | NHS Choices
Difference between complementary and alternative therapies | Cancer Research UK
Complementary and alternative therapy | MIND
The Aromatherapy Council | The Aromatherapy Council
British Acupuncture Council | British Acupuncture Council
British Chiropractic Association | British Chiropractic Association
British Holistic Medical Association | British Holistic Medical Association
British Homeopathic Association | http://www.britishhomeopathic.org
British Reflexology Association | British Reflexology Association
British Wheel of Yoga | British Wheel of Yoga
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council | Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
Federation of Holistic Therapies | Federation of Holistic Therapies
General Osteopathic Council | General Osteopathic Council
Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique | Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
The Shiatsu Society | The Shiatsu Society