Medication and surgery are not the only way to help your health and get you better.
Complementary or alternative therapies are very popular. In the UK, around nine out of 10 of people have tried a complementary or alternative therapy at some point. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is treatment that falls outside of mainstream healthcare. Apart from acupuncture, there are other treatments that can be used to look after your health.
Massage therapy is used to help manage a health condition or enhance wellness. It involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body. Massage has been practiced in most cultures, both Eastern and Western, throughout human history, and was one of the earliest tools that people used to try to relieve pain. It is mainly used or relaxation and general wellbeing.
There are many techniques in massage therapy. The most common form of massage therapy in Western countries is called Swedish or classical massage; Other styles include sports massage, clinical massage. Massage traditions derived from Eastern cultures, such as aromatherapy massage Shiatsu and Tuina (Chinese medicine massage).
Osteopathy and chiropractic
Therapists use their hands to work on your joints, muscles and tissues. These techniques are often used to treat lower back, neck and shoulder pain. But they may also be used to manage sports injuries and headaches.
Osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person's muscles and joints. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together.
Chiropractors use different techniques to treat problems with the muscles and joints, including:
spinal manipulation – using their hands to apply force to the muscles, bones and joints of the spine and neck
short, sharp thrusting movements
gradually moving your joints into different positions
pulling or stretching your muscles in different directions
What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?
Chiropractors focus on spinal adjustment and use techniques that facilitate optimal nerve transition. Osteopaths aim to improve the body's overall healing system.
Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also help to reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future.
Physiotherapists consider the body as a whole, rather than just focusing on the individual aspects of an injury or illness.
Some of the main approaches used by physiotherapists include:
education and advice – physiotherapists can give general advice about things that can affect your daily lives, such as posture and correct lifting or carrying techniques to help prevent injuries
movement, tailored exercise and physical activity advice – exercises may be recommended to improve your general health and mobility, and to strengthen specific parts of your body
manual therapy – where the physiotherapist uses their hands to help relieve pain and stiffness, and to encourage better movement of the body
Mental health and talking therapy
Everyone might go through periods of emotional distress. If problems are short term and you can cope well and get through the difficult time, that is great. But sometimes for some people, talking therapy can help them going through the difficult time in their life and make differences how they feel. Talking therapy, or psychotherapy, is what mental health professionals talk through with their patients. The purpose of talking therapy is to help people identify issues that cause emotional distress and help them to cope with the situation better.
Hypnosis is a treatment option that may help you cope with and treat different conditions.
To do this, a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist guides you into a deep state of relaxation. While you’re in this state, they can make suggestions designed to help you become more open to change or therapeutic improvement.
Modern rapid lifestyle puts extreme strains on the mind and body. To keep the mind-body healthy, those ancient healing arts and holistic approaches help mind-body balance. Yoga is one of them. Yoga, a practice dating back over 2000 years to ancient India focuses on the integration of the mind, body, and spirit through the practice of physical movements, meditation and breathing exercises. Its relaxation benefits (meditation and breathing exercises) and stretching and strengthening movements (physical poses) are attracted to many people in modern era.
Qigong is a technique used in Chinese medicine to create Yin Yang balance and improve Qi circulation. It is an ancient Chinese healing technique that combines body movement, breathing and mental focus. It coordinates the body, breath and mind and opens the flow of energy in meridians used in acupuncture.