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Good Health!

Complementary Therapies

Therapies are often termed as Complementary when used in addition to conventional treatments and as Alternative when used instead of conventional treatment.

Years ago, if you mentioned alternative therapies to your doctor all you would have received was a sympathetic 'there, there' smile. After all, as far as they were concerned, alternative therapists weren't 'real doctors' and their beliefs were often perceived as quackery. Things have changed somewhat today. Recent surveys have found that about one in five people in the UK has tried at least one form of complementary therapy and that one in ten GPs is actively involved in complementary and alternative medicine.

The five main complementary and alternative therapies are acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic, homeopathy and herbal medicine. Other well known therapies include naturopathy, nutritional medicine, aromatherapy and massage, while lesser-known therapies include kinesiology and crystal healing.

The term 'alternative' emphasised the fact that although two options existed - conventional and alternative - patients received one or the other. 'Alternative' has now largely been replaced by the term 'complementary', demonstrating how one works alongside the other.

It's now common for hospital clinics to offer some form of complementary therapy. Acupuncture, for example, has long been used in pain clinics, aromatherapy and massage are commonly used in cancer care, and osteopathy and chiropractic are recognised by conventional medical colleges as being beneficial treatments for back pain, alongside physiotherapy and heat treatment.

The growing amount of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of complementary therapies in the treatment of certain medical conditions has helped to smooth the path of acceptance among even the most difficult-to convince conventionally trained doctors. Moreover, complementary practitioners have recognised the importance of demonstrating that they're trained, qualified and insured should problems arise. This brings reassurance and confidence not only to patients but also to the NHS, which is becoming increasingly enthusiastic about responding to the wishes of patients and making complementary medicine more readily available.

Information Source: www.bbc.co.uk/health

Complementary Therapy 1: Shiatsu

Shiatsu image in chinese characters

Shiatsu is the sustained application of pressure to various acupressure points, meridians (as in acupuncture) and areas of the body using mainly the thumbs, knuckles, fingers and palms.

Treatment is usually given with the recipient lying on a floor mat and normally lasts 30 to 60 minutes. Loose clothing is worn. The aim is to restore and balance the flow of 'chi' (energy), release tension and induce relaxation.

Benefits of Shiatsu:

  • relaxes mind and body
  • restores and balances energy
  • eases tension and stiffness
  • improves breathing & posture
  • improves circulation
  • enhances well being

Some conditions which have been helped by Shiatsu:

  • back pain
  • headaches, migraines
  • whiplash injuries and neck stiffness
  • joint pain and reduced mobility
  • menstrual problems
  • digestive problems
  • asthmatic symptoms
  • sports injuries
  • depression
  • M.E., chronic fatigue & fibromyalgia

Want to learn more? Want to try Shiatsu?

Contact Helen Shipman BA (Hons), Shiatsu Therapist

Wirksworth Natural Therapies, 38 West End, Wirksworth

Phone: 0777 55 22 420

email: helen@theshipmans.demon.co.uk