What are Complementary Therapies?
Complementary therapies are also known as alternative therapies depending how they are used. Generally they are ways of trying to treat illness using methods that sit outside of conventional medicine. The use of these therapies (often alongside conventional medicine) is now very popular in the UK.
The word ‘complementary’ refers to the fact that they may be used in addition to the conventional medicine approaches advised by medical professionals.
Some practitioners use these therapies on their own, instead of conventional medicine. This use makes it an alternative therapy rather than a complementary therapy. It’s important to let your doctor know about any problems you’re having before seeking treatment with complementary therapies.
Some complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and hypnotherapy are based on older or traditional forms of medicine.
Remember: complementary therapies should never replace treatments prescribed by a medically qualified professional.
There is a range of therapies available at the Shen Holistics Clinic, and I will discuss which therapy is best suited to you and your requirements before booking an appointment. Below is a simple overview of each therapy. Click or tap on each heading to view more information for the therapy.
Traditional acupuncture is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world. Its origin lies in ancient China and other eastern cultures and can be traced back over 4000 years. Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world.
The focus of the treatment is on treating the whole person in its entirely rather than isolated specific symptoms.
Balancing the flow of ‘life-force energy’ or Qi (pronounced chee) through energy channels (Meridians) around the body is the Chinese philosophy behind acupuncture. Read more here.
Hypnotherapy is defined by the NHS as a complementary therapy that uses hypnosis, an altered state of consciousness, to achieve therapeutic benefits.
This is a wonderful tool that can therefore help with a huge array of life issues – everything from IBS, pain relief, weight management, smoking cessation, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, self esteem, phobias, exam preparation, enhancing performance, first night nerves…….the list goes on and on. Read more here.
Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture uses needles, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands. Acupressure involves applying pressure to certain points on energy channels around the body to relieve pain. Acupressure massage can be especially beneficial if there are wide areas of the body to be addressed.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese method of causing local congestion. A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place.
Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins. Read more here.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Read more here.
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