Complementary Therapies ‘complement the health’ as in they aim to treat the wellbeing of a person
There are a wide range of complementary therapies now available to the public. Some are used in conjunction with medical treatments, although often paid for privately, and some are simply chosen to complement wellbeing. The difference between complementary therapies and alternative therapies is very simple. Complementary therapies ‘complement the health’ as in they aim to treat the wellbeing of a person, and alternative is an ‘alternative’ to medical treatment. It is important to understand the facts and the difference so that you can gauge what would be the most successful treatment for you – whether it is complementary, alternative medicine or conventional medicine.
So why choose complementary therapies or alternative medicine?
Generally, people choose these options because they want to use a treatment which is more natural than medicines which may be chemically based. They want a gentler treatment and want to feel more in control of their body. They may have persistent long-term pain which they would rather treat without medical side effects. Sometimes it may just be that a complementary or alternative medicine actually seems to works better than medicine. This all depends on how your body responds as it can differ between people. These therapies in particular are viewed as a holistic treatment or holistic therapy, meaning they aim to treat the mind (mental), the body (physical) and the soul (spiritual). Their purpose is to relax, energise, remove blockages and revive the body. They can work on internal hurt or negative emotions which can also manifest as a physical condition. Many of our ailments are caused by the fast living of today, stress builds up and we tend not to make time to relax. Therapies are heavily aimed at helping the body to rest, relax and revive. Spiritual Healing can have a similar effect where it will bring calm to the body, mind and soul.
Complementary therapies target reducing stress and improving overall wellbeing
Different types of massage help to reduce stress and tension from the body. When we are under pressure or have stress in our lives we physically hold ourselves in a tense way, particularly our neck, shoulders and back. These are the target areas of stress and the tenser you are, the more you will suffer from headaches, back and neck pain and be susceptible to having long-term problems in these areas if you do not get treatment. Aromatherapy uses plant based essential oils which contain beneficial properties which can be mixed in an oil and applied with massage to the body. Shiatsu and acupressure work by applying gentle pressure to pressure points in the body, releasing energy blockages and helping the ‘chi’ or energy to flow. Reflexology works in a similar way but is carried out on the soles of the feet. It is believed that there is a map of your body on your feet and applying pressure to certain areas will connect with removing energy blockages in the related area of the body. All complementary therapies target reducing stress and improving overall wellbeing.
It is very important to remember that complementary therapies and holistic therapy are here to promote wellbeing and reduce stress. Spiritual Healing can also be of benefit to people. They should not replace medical treatment if it is needed. If you have a health issue that needs medical intervention, then you should seek professional medical advice. Doctors and medical experts do have knowledge of complementary and alternative therapies so it is certainly worth discussing your options with them and being open about your preference. Professional therapists should always refer a patient to a medical practitioner if they feel they will not be able to treat them successfully. However, it is worth exploring what is available and speaking to therapists to discuss whether you would benefit from a treatment whether it is holistic, complementary or alternative medicine.
PUBLISHED: 29 February 2016