Health

Complimentary Medicines

Homœopathy, Reflexology, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Cranial Osteopathy, Reiki

Complimentary Therapies

Homœopathy, Reflexology, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Cranial Osteopathy, Reiki

Complimentary therapies have become a viable alternative to the mainstream medical system. Much work has been done to demonstrate their effectiveness. They are, in fact, very serious forms of alternative medical treatment and people seeking the help of a complementary therapist for the first time, should do so with care, that is, qualifications, insurance and experience should be checked.

The objective of this section is to explain what complementary therapy is all about with a view to leading up to a slightly more detailed description of some of the more commonly used therapies nowadays. Each therapy will be described in separate chapters.

Complementary therapies range from those that work solely at an energy level (the Qi energy of Acupuncture for example) through to those that deal with problems on a physical level. However, the aim all of these therapies is the same: to restore a bodily, emotional and spiritual balance. That is, to deal with the whole person in a Holistic way.

Therapists consider that all illness is caused by an imbalance in one or more of the three levels of a living being (body, emotional and spiritual). That is to say, if a person (or any other animal) is injured, let’s say an accidental burn or cut, then in addition to the physical trauma, that person usually experiences some form of emotional/mental distress and an overall sense of being unwell. This is an example of a physical trauma causing distress on the emotional and spiritual level and therefore, creating imbalances of the three states of wellbeing. An example of dis-ease being caused by the spiritual level being traumatised could be when someone’s ego is hurt in some way (insult or some injustice being experienced such as mental abuse). When this occurs, the affected person usually attempts to compensate in some way: withdrawing; crying; becoming angry. If the matter is not dealt with and the situation resolved, then the problem usually manifests itself on the mental level as depression, introversion or unsociable behaviour (to name a few) and eventually will become apparent on the physical level, perhaps as some form of skin or digestion problem (there are many more). What is being illustrated is the effect that the emotional/spiritual health of person will have on their body; it is these problems that most complementary therapists are confronted with and are trained to help treat.

The complementary therapies that utilise energy solely for their healing are Homœopathy and Reiki. These therapies seek to raise the energy levels of the body, mind and spirit so that it can overcome the energy of the disease and in this way encourage the body to commence a curative process.

In between the pure energy and physical therapies are those that utilise a physical process to remove energy blockages or balance out excesses/deficiencies of energy. Examples of these are Reflexology and Acupuncture/Acupressure where the surface of the body is stimulated by either applying pressure or a needle in specific points and thus encouraging an energy imbalance to be rectified and, in the process, allowing the body to restore its health.

On a more physical level is the much talked about/misquoted/misused therapy of Diet and Nutrition. This form of healing seeks to restore the imbalance caused by deficiencies of dietary intake which cause certain nutrients to be below or above very specific and well identified levels. By addressing these deficiencies, health can generally be restored.

In each of the following sections on complementary therapies, you will find one of the governing bodies for that particular therapy. There are others but the one that is given is considered to be the one that will cover the majority of reputable therapists. These organisations should be checked if there is any doubt about qualifications.

When selecting a complementary therapy and therapist, you must be aware that, with few exceptions, therapists of the therapies described on this web site are not permitted or capable of making a diagnosis, that is, being able to tell you that you have a specific, named medical condition. You should be wary of therapists making exorbitant claims to cure because they can only act as a means of helping the body (you) to heal itself (yourself) and if there are serious obstacles to healing naturally that require medical intervention, then the therapist is obliged to refer you to your doctor.

Other things to take into consideration are complementary therapies, as the name suggests, complement the main stream medical profession as well as each other. Hence it may be in your interests to consider a complementary therapy in conjunction with any medical treatment that you or your child may be receiving (advise your doctor first) and always consider using more than one therapy at one time so long as they are compatible. Examples of therapies that complement each other very well are Homœopathy and Reflexology; Diet & Nutrition should accompany all of them. In most cases the manipulative therapies (Osteopathy, Chiropractory, etc.) can have a counter effect on the more healing therapies such as Reflexology and Acupuncture.

Finally, when considering treatment with complementary therapies, allow sufficient time for a healing process to take place. It is of little use being treated by conventional medicine for several years then expecting a cure in one or two treatments. Complementary therapies enable your body to heal itself, therefore, always consider how long you have been ill and what other confounding factors are in place, that is, medication, constant stress levels and other strong maintaining causes.

The most important factor in choosing a therapy is whether or not you can identify with it and whether or not you feel you have some rapport with the therapist. The cost of the treatment is not the most important factor because this usually depends upon the vicinity of the clinic to the centre of major towns or cities, the "going rate" in a specific location and the confidence/experience of the therapist. Always talk to therapists before embarking on a course of treatment and be aware that, in some cases, it can be to your benefit to undertake more than one therapy at one time. Remember that your objective is to heal yourself as quickly as it is practically possible to do so.


For more information contact Harley Street Complementary Care on 0870 241 4025

 


Homœopathy

Homœopathy is a method of treating sick people with a medicine that will produce a cure that is gentle and fast in its action as well as permanent.

A Homœopath uses remedies that have similar symptom pictures as the diseases that are being treated. They will take into account the symptoms that are special to their patients in order to find this remedy.

As an example, conventional medicine (Allopathy) would treat a common headache with paracetamol, which blocks the making of a chemical in the brain that makes pain more intense, thus, alleviating the headache (but at the same time partially suppressing the immune system). On the other hand, a Homœopath would select a remedy from many possibilities based on the unique symptoms of the afflicted person. Such symptoms may be pain in the head and eyes with redness of the eyes and face where all pains are made worse by movement (especially the eyes) and noise, these symptoms would usually accompany a fever (as in influenza). The remedy (in this case Belladonna) would be selected because it has these very same symptoms (obviously, there would be many more symptoms to take into account so it is wise to not prescribe this remedy without consulting a Homœopath or having attended a Homœopathy First Aid Course).

In order to use the principal of finding a remedy with a similar disease picture as the patient, the Homœopath must find as many symptoms as possible by talking to the patient and determining what symptoms are causing distress at the present time and that have been persistent for some time. By doing this, the symptoms that the patient displays can be matched to one or more of about 2000 remedies.

Homœopathy can be used to treat people (and animals) from the time they are first born until the time they have reached old age. Because of its principal of treating all of the symptoms (totality) all illnesses can be either cured or helped in some way, regardless of whether conventional medicine is being used or not.
Infant/childhood illnesses that are helped on a regular basis with Homœopathy are allergies (eczema, asthma, etc.), difficult teething, side effects of vaccinations, coughs/colds/bronchitis, all common childhood illnesses, nightmares/sleep disorders, convulsions, conjunctivitis, bowel/digestive problems and many more.

For adults, the range of illnesses that can be helped is also quite vast and includes menstrual/gynaecological problems and infertility and many stress related problems (mood swings, depression, bowel disorders, sleep disorders and so on).

It is important to note that Homœopathy can quite often be used in conjunction with many other therapies, such as Reflexology, Diet & Nutrition and Reiki, in order to maximise the effect. Its true that you may not be sure which one is working but you can be assured that they are all working together for your good or whoever the patient may be.

Parents can also become proficient users of Homœopathic remedies by enrolling in a First Aid Homœopathy course, this will allow you to administer effectively the normal, over the counter remedies found in the shops to family members on an emergency basis until professional help can be sought.


For further information contact Harley Street Complementary Care on 0870 241 4025 or to find a Homœopath near you or simply to check qualifications, contact the Society of Homœopaths, 4a Artizan Road, Northampton, NN1 4HU, 01604 621 400.


Reflexology

Reflexology is safe, non-invasive and a very effective holistic treatment, at the end of which you will always feel very relaxed and uplifted.

Quite simply, Reflexology is the reflex reaction of specific organs or structures in the body to the application of pressure to specific points found mainly on the feet. There are, in fact reflex points all over the body: they can be found on the face, ears, hands and elsewhere. But those found on the feet are more precisely located and are more sensitive, therefore, most Reflexologists prefer to use them.

The best way to describe how Reflexology works is to remind you of the reflex action seen when you tap the area just below your knee cap, that is, you will see your lower leg jerk upwards. This is known as a "reflex action", and is simply the response of your nervous system, to a stimulus on the surface of the body that has a corresponding effect on the muscles in your upper leg.

In a similar way, it can be seen that Reflexology can have a reflex action on a person’s nervous and hormonal system or any other bodily systems or parts. That is, Reflexology can be directed to any part of the body, of the person, who is in pain or having some difficulty.

For infants and children, Reflexology is applied very gently. It can help with allergies such as asthma, sinus problems, digestion problems (colic, etc.), sleeplessness, restlessness, aggression, colds and frequent infections, coughs/bronchitis, constipation, headaches and many more.

For adults, Reflexology is suitable for the treatment of a wide range of complaints including stress/tension and related disorders (depression, aggression, mood swings and so on), insomnia, vertigo (dizziness), allergies, sinus problems, gynaecological problems, infertility, joint and muscle pain (frozen shoulder, etc.), frequent or painful urination, and digestive problems (IBS, colitis, etc.).

A major use of Reflexology is with pregnant women, many of whom are working long hours in very stressful jobs and have demanding home lives. These women need the chance to relax and have many of the common ailments, such as heartburn, nausea/vomiting, backache, pain in the pubic symphysis, fluid retention, fluctuating blood pressure and many more, relieved. Note that when selecting a Reflexologist for pregnancy make sure they have the required training and experience.

An important aspect that should not be overlooked when considering Reflexology, is the human contact element. A treatment is normally for one hour, so there is an opportunity to devote time to the patient making them feel less alone and receive some additional care.

Parents can be shown the basics of Reflexology for babies, which encourages bonding and helps with sleeplessness, colic and stomach problems.

Parents can also attend introductory courses in Reflexology enabling them to treat family members and friends. During pregnancy, fathers-to-be can be taught the basic movements to keep the mother-to-be relaxed and help ease pain prior to labour, during labour and postnatally.


For further information contact Harley Street Complementary Care on 0870 241 4025 or to find a Reflexologist near you contact the Association of Reflexologists at 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3XX or phone 0870 567 3320.


Acupuncture

Acupuncture is part of a method of healing known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM), that originated in China about 3000 years BC. The complete system of healing includes Chinese Herbalism, Acupressure, exercise (Tai Chi and Qi Gong) and diet.

No one can say for certain how Acupuncture came into being but, it seems likely that it stems from observations of how specific diseases reacted to pressure on points on the body. Over time, anatomical charts were derived that connected points that corresponded to a specific disease. The lines thus connected, are known as meridians; there are twenty four of them arranged into twelve pairs plus two more that run on the centre line of the body (front and back), giving a total of fourteen meridians.

Central to the philosophy of Acupuncture (and TCM) is the flow of energy around the body via the meridians: as it flows, it nourishes all vital processes. In addition, the concept of Yin and Yang takes into account the energy of the universe (of which the body is a part): Yin is feminine and is the stable, conserving and receiving aspect; Yang is masculine and is the creative, providing and giving aspect. The interaction of Yin and Yang gives rise to the concept of the flow of Qi (Chee) energy. An imbalance on Qi energy gives rise to ill health.

When there is an excess or a deficiency of Qi energy, the Acupuncturist will insert a needle into the appropriate point and redirect energy as required, thus, restoring the balance of energy throughout the body.

For infants and children, Acupuncture can help with many problems including: abdominal pain; constipation/diarrhoea; coughs and colds; fever; nasal congestion; allergies; nausea and vomiting; nose bleeds.

For adults, Acupuncture may help with a wide range of problems. In addition to those mentioned for children, other conditions that may be helped are: abdominal distension; piles; chest pains; vertigo; frequent/painful urination; frozen shoulder; insomnia; gynaecological problems.


For more information, contact Harley Street Complementary Care on 0870 241 4025 or to find an Acupuncturist near you contact the British Acupuncture Council at Park House, 206 – 208 Latimer Road, London, W10 6RE.


Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy, as the name implies, is therapy through smell or scent, or to be more precise, aroma. But the therapy known as Aromatherapy, does not use each and every aroma that exists, but only the fragrance of essential oils that have been prepared under very careful conditions. It is not necessary to be massaged with essential oils to experience the effects of Aromatherapy; many people burn or vaporise oils or soak handkerchiefs or other items that will allow the scent to be experienced fully and still other people experience the relaxing, therapeutic effects of Aromatherapy in conjunction with massage.

Essential oils are extracted from organically grown plants. The parts of the plant used depends upon the oil to be extracted, that is, it could be the roots, leaves, stalks or the whole plant. The oils thus extracted can be broken down into various chemicals, which have therapeutic properties. The training of an Aromatherapist centres on understanding the effects of these chemicals; it should be noted that in some cases they could be toxic when not applied correctly.

The scent of the oils enters the body via the skin (as in being applied during massage) where they enter the blood stream and act directly on the nervous system. Or, they enter through the nose where they act on the olfactory bulb and in turn on the hypothalamus (the main endocrine (hormonal) system gland the controls all other glands) located in the brain. In this way, Aromatherapy can affect the nervous and endocrine systems and, as a result, affect all bodily functions or systems. From this, it can be seen that such conditions as stress and depression can be helped which implies that many other related conditions can also be helped.

For infants and children, Aromatherapy may be able to help with: eczema; impetigo; coughs and colds; bronchitis; asthma; earache; mouth and gum infections; mumps; chicken pox; measles; influenza; fevers; anxiety.

Parents can learn to massage their babies and children with "Baby Massage". This gives an ideal opportunity for mothers and fathers to bond with their children, over the age of six weeks, as well as cope with problems such as hyperactivity, insomnia, colic and stomach ache. Babies that are massaged are said to be more alert, gain weight faster and be less anxious which means that they will sleep more soundly.

For adults, Aromatherapy may be able to help with: skin disorders; heart and circulation problems; breathing/respiratory problems; digestion system problems; disorders due to a suppressed immune system; calming the nervous system (stress, insomnia, depression, headaches, etc.).


For more information contact Harley Street Complementary Care on 0870 241 4025 or for an Aromatherapist near you contact The International Federation of Aromaterapists at Stamford House, 2/4 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 1TH, phone 020 8742 2605 or the Aromatherapy Organisation Council at 3 Latymer Close, Braybrooke, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 8LN, phone 01858 434 242.


Cranial Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a method of healing that is based on the concept that the body is one complete system of bones, muscles and nerves and, that they are all inter-related. An imbalance in musculoskeletal system due to injury/trauma or stress can cause ill health in the organs contained within the skeletal frame. Osteopaths utilise touch/massage of soft tissue and manipulation to realign bones, especially of the spinal column, to release blockages of body fluids and restore a person’s own healing mechanism.

Since its inception, Osteopathy has evolved into several branches one of which is Cranial Osteopathy. One of the most important uses of this branch of the therapy is in the relieving the effects of the birthing process and other traumas in new-born babies and infants.

The forces exerted by the uterus during labour, causes great physical stress to the baby’s skeleton, especially the skull as it passes through the birth canal. The baby’s skull is soft and flexible and can absorb these stresses and readjust itself after the birth but there are residual stresses and sometimes misalignments occur that, do not completely rectify themselves. This can result in babies that are irritable and always crying, experiencing feeding difficulties, being sick, colicky and windy and sleeping for short periods being easily disturbed by noise. Cranial Osteopathy may help with these conditions.

As a child grows up and if the effects of the birthing process are not addressed then, Osteopaths believe a child could become prone to infections due to a depleted immune system, frequent ear infections, loss of hearing, "glue ear", sinus and dental problems, behavioural and learning difficulties, headaches and aches and pains.

Osteopathy, in general, may be able to help people with spinal and joint problems, arthritis, allergies, cardiac disease, breathing problems, high blood pressure, headaches, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome and menstrual cramps.


For more information, contact Harley Street Complementary Care on 0870 241 4025 or for an Osteopath near you contact the General Council and Register of Osteopaths, 56 London Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4YR

Reiki

Reiki is a simple hands-on art of energy renewal. The results of Reiki include an all-pervading sense of inner calm and relief from stress and fatigue.

There are reports of Reiki in the healing of wounds including cuts, burns and bruises and the recovery from illness and accidents. It has also been beneficial to people who have been suffering with severe depression, long term, debilitating illness, chronic fatigue and many more conditions.

Reiki (Japanese for Universal Life Force), is experienced as a tingling sensation, warmth or heat, a distinct chill, tremors, pulsing, weight or weightlessness in the hands of the practitioner and/or in the body of the receiver. Reiki does not require exercise, special breathing, mantras, removal of clothing or a set environment.

Thus, Reiki is far more than a physical healing therapy; it also enhances mind, emotions and spiritual awareness, bringing the three aspects of life into balance. As the increased flow of life force aids rapid regeneration on the physical level, past negative experiences and mindsets are released from your bodies cells (the cellular level).

It is always difficult to explain how Reiki works. The conventional explanation is that the energy of the universe is channelled through the hands of a practitioner to the part of the body (of the person receiving the Reiki) most in need. Therefore, when a person is not well, injured, or feeling low, energy from the Universe is channelled to into the body and the imbalance is rectified and a healing process instigated.

Parents and children can learn how to administer Reiki by attending weekend courses after which, simply laying on hands can help ease some trauma of the self or some other family member or friend.

For infants and children, Reiki can help with sleeplessness, cuts and bruises, aches and pains and many other common problems that children seem to attract.

For adults, Reiki can be of great benefit in alleviating the symptoms of stress and fatigue. Many people who find it difficult to relate to other complementary therapies can obtain great relief from Reiki. As with many complementary therapies, an important aspect is the physical contact and time given to the recipient of the treatment: for many people, this is something that is lacking in their life.
As mentioned, it is very difficult to explain how Reiki works. The only thing that can be said is that it has to be experienced, to be believed!

Reiki can be used with other complementary therapies such as Homœopathy, Reflexology and many more. It can even be used to complement conventional medical treatment.


To date there is no one governing body for Reiki practitioners but a good place to start would be to contact Harley Street Complementary Care on 0870 241 4025 or the Guild of Complementary Practitioners, Liddell House, Liddell Close, Finchampstead, Berkshire, RG40 4NS on 0118 973 5757.

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