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Understanding Complementary Therapy

understanding complementary therapy

COMPLEMENTARY THERAPY — What Exactly Does It Mean?

Complementary therapy is a non-mainstream practice that is used 'together' with conventional medicine. It is a treatment that falls outside of mainstream healthcare.

What’s important to note here is that while “complementary” and “alternative” are used in the same category known as “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, there is a clear distinction between the two, although there are times that there can be an overlap between these two categories.

According to the NHS, “Aromatherapy may sometimes be used as a complementary treatment and in other circumstances is used as an alternative treatment” and that “A number of complementary and alternative treatments are typically used with the intention of treating or curing a health condition.

According to the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

- Complementary is defined as “a non-mainstream practice that is used together with conventional medicine” whereas;

- Alternative is defined as “a non-mainstream practice that is used instead of conventional medicine.

The fundamental principle of Complementary Therapies is to impact the whole of the individual to bring about balance and restore the flow of natural energy in the body.

Complementary therapists or practitioners take a holistic approach to care and incorporate your physical, emotional and spiritual needs when assessing your health requirements at a given time. It is important to remember that complementary therapies are designed to work alongside and are not intended in any way to replace any medical treatment you may be receiving.

The five main categories of complementary therapy are:

  1. Massage

  2. Reflexology

  3. Relaxation

  4. Herbal Medicine

  5. Acupuncture

Some of the commonly received complementary therapies include:

  • Aromatherapy

  • Swedish Massage

  • Indian Head Massage

  • Deep Tissue Massage

  • Hot Stone Massage

A great number of complementary therapies, such as Aromatherapy, focus on reducing stress and promoting relaxation. The aim of complementary therapies is to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and stress, calm the mind and increase the individual’s overall health and wellbeing.

Complementary therapies are also used for a variety of medical problems like low back pain, for example. Some of the complementary therapies promoted for the treatment of low back pain include massage, spinal manipulation and acupuncture.

Complementary therapies are viewed as safe, gentle or natural. But, this does not mean that they may not have their own side effects, which is why they should only be performed by experienced and qualified therapists.

A factor when considering complementary therapies is that these therapies are not centrally regulated within the UK, so the next time you're looking for a complementary therapist, be sure to do your research and find the therapist that best suits your health needs by looking up the registers of professional bodies like the Federation of Holistic Therapists and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council to name a few.

To find out more about the complementary therapy treatments offered by HOLISTICA, click the button below.

About the Author:

Juliana Rego, MFHT is the founder of HOLISTICA and a registered member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). She is a qualified Aromatherapist and Body Massage Therapist running her holistic therapy practice from locations in South East London.

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