Complementary therapies (‘alternative’, ‘traditional’ or ‘holistic’ therapies) often claim to treat the whole person, rather than the symptom of the disease. You can of course get a few treatments on the NHS via the Pain clinics, but the waiting list is long but well worth getting onto. Some of the treatments available on the NHS are homeopathy, herbal medicine, reflexology, acupuncture, nutrition, shiatsu massage and aromatherapy.
According to the NHS website on Complimentary Therapies – to understand whether a treatment is safe and effective, we need to check the evidence.
Some complementary and alternative medicines or treatments are based on principles and an evidence base that are not recognised by the majority of independent scientists.
Others have been proven to work for a limited number of health conditions. For example, there is evidence that osteopathy and chiropractic are effective for treating lower back pain.
When a person uses any health treatment – including a CAM – and experiences an improvement, this may be due to the placebo effect.
You can also get some of these treatments from your nearest training college for a quarter of the price of normal salons. Other treatments available at college’s are pedicures, manicures, waxes which are certainly treatments I can no longer do myself.
You can also a number of voucher companies online that offer discounts in your area for a number of treatments which include spa’s and beauty treatments.
Our doctors and health services are overstretched as it is whereas most alternative practitioners have time to explore our problems in a bit more depth.
They should never be considered as a replacement for conventional medicine, but the two can certainly go hand in hand. Some treatments are far from ‘new’ with documentation on aromatherapy dating back to 3000 B.C.E.
With so many people now trying out complementary and natural remedies, it’s important that you find out that they are fully qualified.
The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council’s register, has practitioners who meet the standards of proficiency for their field. They must also hold professional indemnity insurance, have no criminal record and agree to abide by a code of conduct.