Here’s why you should give holistic medicine a whirl, if you haven’t already…
Picture the scene: You’re sitting on a comfortable sofa with the sound of soft music gently drifting into your consciousness. The smell of clary sage fills the air and in just a moment you’ll be ushered into a private room. There, your therapist will listen intently and assess you as a whole, for who knows which of your ailments may be linked? It’s the promise of this experience that lures some people into trying complementary therapies, but for others it’s simply the chance to explore their wellbeing in a more gentle, holistic way. “Complementary therapies are very much focused on the person ‘as a whole’, with the therapist taking into account all aspects of your general health and wellbeing, so that they can choose and adapt a treatment to suit your individual needs,” says Mary Dalgleish, vice president of the FHT and a complementary therapy practitioner and teacher with more than 20 years’ experience. “As well as helping to restore balance to the body and mind, complementary therapies can often help to address problems that modern medicine struggles to treat effectively, from lower back pain and chronic fatigue, to a raft of stress-related complaints.” If you’re not already sold, here are 10 reasons why we think you’ll love it.
Over-the-counter medicines have their place, but tend to be a ‘quick-fix’ approach that address the symptom and not the cause. If a build-up of muscular tension in your back, neck and shoulders is responsible for those headaches you keep experiencing during a stressful time at work, wouldn’t it be better to have regular massages and address your working patterns, rather than keep reaching for painkillers?
Another challenge with certain medications is that they may come with undesirable side effects or even become addictive over time. Complementary therapies work naturally with the body to help restore balance, but bear in mind that just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s safe. Always book with a professional therapist.
Most complementary therapies are excellent at helping us to enjoy a good night’s slumber, the power of which should never be underestimated. Regular poor sleep can affect your mood and also put you at an increased risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and it can even shorten life expectancy.
The average doctor’s appointment lasts just 10 minutes and usually focuses on one health problem. When you visit a complementary therapist, they will spend time listening to all of your concerns, no matter how big or small. You’ll also enjoy continuity of care by seeing the same therapist each time.
The holistic nature of complementary therapies means that, even though you hope to address just one particular health issue, over time you may find that other little niggles start to improve, too. Most therapists will also offer you some general tips to improve your wellbeing. And what’s more, they’ll even show you some self-help techniques that you can use at home.
We all know that the mind and body are intrinsically linked, with the health of one usually impacting that of the other. In a recent survey of professional complementary therapists*, it was revealed that 82 percent regularly support clients with stress and anxiety, while 37 percent help with a diagnosed mental health condition, such as depression.
In the modern world, many of us live in a heightened state of arousal, juggling work and family commitments, and constantly checking our mobile phones, emails and social media accounts. Complementary therapies can help us to restore the balance in our lives and bring us back to a place of calm and tranquility.
As humans, touch is so important to us that if we are deprived of it as newborns, we can literally fail to thrive and grow. Even as adults, positive touch helps us to feel nurtured and cared for, and encourages us to respect and feel connected to our bodies.
Sometimes, there is nothing more empowering than knowing you have the ability to take charge of your own health, rather than be a ‘passive’ patient who has little or no control. Complementary therapies can be that vital first step in taking back the reins and will often prompt people to make other positive lifestyle changes, too.
Around 50 percent of those who regularly have complementary therapies are doing so not because they want to get better, but because they want to stay well. Taking good care of our physical and mental health helps to support a healthy immune system and makes us more resilient when faced by life’s challenges.
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