Why focus only on illness when there are complementary therapies that can help you focus on good health?
This is a question that I have thought about a lot.
We all want good health. We all want to feel positive. But we all need to take responsibility and work together.
I do a lot of reading and recently came across the Hewitt Report. This is the Government’s review of integrative healthcare. It’s about health, social care, the environment and resources, tackling inequalities and understanding individual lifestyle choices. It’s about partnerships, finance and finding new systems.
This blog does not undermine the huge task ahead for Governments or the complexities of health and social care. Still, I argue that complementary therapies can play a bigger role in helping people to be well and reduce ill health.
Many therapists already understand the importance of promoting good health rather than illness. However, many people only see a complementary therapist if they are ill.
Some might say that many complementary therapists are private, so they charge for their services. This means that most are not part of the National Health Service (NHS). True, but what is the cost of good health and the prevention of ill health? Furthermore, you could reduce the expense of taking time off work and paying for prescriptions if you aim to look after your health and well-being. Integrating complementary therapies more can be positive.
It’s worth mentioning here that complementary therapies are not the same as alternative therapies, although these terms are often used interchangeably. Alternative therapists other a different approach; while complementary therapists also offer a different approach, they also provide a holistic complementary service alongside other health services and social care interventions. It is about working together.
The number of complementary therapies is vast. Some have been around for centuries. Some are practised more in other countries, and some are becoming more popular in the UK.
But do they work? Well, the therapists obviously think they do. Many people getting help with complementary therapies after the therapy provide testimonials and report feeling better, so they also support them. But some people as sceptical, so more information and research are required.
There are a growing number of research studies to support complementary therapies. Governments and healthcare providers are now beginning to use complementary therapies in areas such as cancer care. Furthermore, they are considering integrating them more into other areas of mainstream healthcare.
Here are five ways complementary therapies can help promote good health. But if you are considering complementary therapies, please gather information from the therapist, do your research, and get advice from your healthcare provider if needed. And do not stop medication or start taking herbal or other remedies without consulting your pharmacist or doctor first.
Complementary therapies for relaxation and stress reduction.
People who feel stressed often feel tense. Ideally, we need to remove or reduce the things that are making us feel stressed, but when that is difficult complementary therapies can help.
Research and evidence show us that relaxation is better than being tense.
Tense people restrict the blood supply through muscle tension. We all need a good blood supply to our skin and organs to nourish and repair calls. Therefore relaxation promotes good health.
Many complementary therapies help us to relax, which helps to reduce stress. For example, massages, Reiki, aromatherapy and hypnosis.
Many techniques involve touch to help relax, while others, such as talking therapies, art therapy and hypnosis, help you to relax through words, rapport and the belief that you can let go of stress. It’s also about being given time to relax.
Some complementary therapies integrate movements with relaxation to stretch the muscles, move joints and increase blood flow. For example, osteopathy, yoga, and the Bowen technique.
But unfortunately, people do not often use these therapies to learn to relax easily. In some cases, reducing stress in the first place would help with future problems such as backache.
Complementary therapies for pain management.
Although many complementary therapies help chronic pain management, they can also help reduce pain. For example, hypnosis can be used in childbirth to help women reduce the pain of having a baby. So the therapy is used before the pain to control the pain.
Some complementary therapies can help before going into the hospital for surgery as they help reduce the worry of the surgery, and other evidence shows that they will also decrease the healing time in some people. Examples are acupuncture, herbal medicine and hypnosis.
Again therapies are often considered when someone has pain rather than before the issue that might produce pain.
Complementary therapies to aid good sleep.
Everyone knows the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Getting a good sleeping habit will help when going through difficult times and continue to help when those difficult times happen.
Relaxation, guided imagery and aromatherapy promote good sleep habits.
Mindfulness meditation can also help.
Complementary therapies for increased energy and vitality.
Tia chi, Qigong, and Emotional Freedom Techniques aim to balance energy levels. If practised regularly, they aim to improve mental and physical well-being.
But other exercises such as regular stretching, walking and swimming can also promote a sense of well-being and boost energy levels.
To get the best results, it’s about commitment to doing these things and working to your limitations.
Complementary therapies to boost the immune system.
It might not be the first thing you would think of when wanting to boost your immune system, but some complementary therapies can help.
Dietary changes can help. Probiotics have been shown to improve gut health. One study found that there is some evidence that probiotics can help with respiratory infections. However, more studies are needed.
Its also been found that vitamin C can help the body get over the common cold faster, although it does not prevent you from getting a cold.
Herbal remedies such as echinacea, astragalus and elderberry are used to boost the immune system, but currently, there are mixed reports on their effectiveness.
I believe that health and well-being can be achieved through good health and social care. Complementary therapies can also be important in promoting good health and helping people with ill health recover. There are many complementary therapies; some have evidence of their efficacy, while others do not even support how modern research demonstrates their work. More research, I believe, is needed.
While health and social care services are struggling to provide what a growing population wants and needs, complementary therapies may provide another way to help people stay healthy and feel better.
Hi, I’m Linda from Awaken the Change. I’m a retired nurse, so I know how hard people work in the health service to help us when we are sick. I know how difficult it is to provide health and social care with the available resources. There is nothing easy about providing enough of the best healthcare.
But for over 18 years, I have been practising as a hypnotherapist, counsellor, coach and EFT practitioner. I see health and wellness from different angles now and know that integrated services are the way forward. If you would like to chat and learn more about how I can help you promote your health and well-being or get support for a work or personal issue, please book a free initial consultation.