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Complementary Approaches to Care

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Complementary Approaches to Care Complementary medicine (CM) refers to many different therapeutic techniques of treating a patient. Which are considered unorthodox therapies and are used as adjuncts to conventional medicine (Freshwater 2005). These techniques are based on systems that were practiced thousands of years ago and are believed to be the original forms of medicine. All complementary medicine has one thing in common, which is that they treat the patient as a whole person rather than concentrating on their symptoms, this is called holistic care, many complementary therapists believe that disease is the result of disturbances in a patients physical, psychological, social, and spiritual levels and that the purpose of CM is to restore balance and help the body's own healing process. CM is becoming increasingly popular with the general public and media. Many medical professionals are now recognising the benefits of CM when combine with mainstream medical approaches. Some general practitioners are beginning to recommend CM along side medical treatment, for example many cancer patients are having acupuncture to help relive side affects caused by chemotherapy for example nausea and vomiting. There are many types of complementary approaches for example, eastern, manipulative, natural and also therapies involving external powers. Eastern therapies are therapies that were ordinarily developed in the east i.e. Asia, China, India, Japan and the Middle East, such as acupuncture, shiatsu and Chinese Medicine. Manipulative therapies is the "Application of an accurately determined and specifically directed manual force to the body, in order to improve mobility in areas that are restricted; in joints, in connective tissues or in skeletal muscles." (Korr.I 1978) There are many different manipulative therapies such as reflexology, Tui Na, body massage and chiropractic. Natural therapies are a way of healing the body by restoring your body's natural balance, which maybe of a physical, emotional or spiritual nature. Examples of natural therapies are herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, crystal therapy and gem essences. ...read more.


Acupuncture is mainly used for treating symptoms of conditions for example nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy or joint pain caused by arthritis. According to NHS direct there is some evidence to "suggest that acupuncture can encourage the body to make disease fighting antibodies, improve circulation and reduce the severity of allergic reactions." Most people who receive acupuncture have private treatments, however it is becoming more and more available on the NHS for example many physiotherapy departments at NHS hospitals offer acupuncture and more than two thousand G.P. are trained in certain acupuncture techniques. There are risks to acupuncture such as infection, punctured lung or spinal cord. However these are very rare and are usually due to bad practice, so if you are thinking about having acupuncture, make sure they are properly trained and a registered acupuncturist. As it is not a regulated profession and therefore anyone can say they are an acupuncturist. The main acupuncture authorities in the UK are the British Acupuncture Council (BacC), the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS), and the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP). If an acupuncturist is registered with one of these authorities then they are safe to use. Iridology is a complementary medicine which involves the study of the iris, the coloured part of the eye with the pupil at the centre. Iridologist's analysis the iris in order to asses a person's physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. The basic idea of iridology has been around for centuries. In 1690 a book published by Philippus Meyers called Chiromatica medica marked that signs in the iris indicated diseases. However it is Dr. Ignatz von Peczely how is referred to as the father of iridology. As a child he captured an owl, in its effort to escape the owl broke its leg, Ignatz observed that the owl developed a black line in its lower iris. After the owl's leg had healed he noted that the black line had changed in appearance. ...read more.


Your GP can also refer you to have a complementary therapy, many GP's have further education in complementary therapies and it is now compulsory for medical student to learn about complementary medicine. Some GP's may be able to provide certain therapies such as acupuncture and osteopathy form their surgery. Others may refer you to qualified complementary therapists in your area. If this is the case your GP has to be sure that they are sending you to a qualified and registered therapist. A resent survey carried out by pulse found that 56% of GP's either recommended or provided complementary therapies. The most popular was acupuncture with 40% saying they've referred patients for it. Complementary therapies can also found in private sector settings such as health farms which offer a wide range of complementary therapies, for example aromatherapy and reiki in a calm and relaxing environment which will help to relive the stresses of every day life and restore a clients body to it's natural balance. Some complementary therapist work as part of a health or fitness centre so they can provide holistic care and promote a natural approach to health and wellbeing. There are also independent practices, such as chiropractic practices, which is a health care profession, where practitioners diagnose and treat disorders of the spine and the musculoskeletal system. If you go to an independent practice you must make sure that they are qualified and registered with the appropriate regulatory authority. Nutritional and behavioral centre which offer individually tailored holistic care designed for your specific symptoms. A nutritional therapist can work with you to find out if you are lacking any essential vitamins or minerals which can lead to a person feeling unwell and tried. Behavioral center's can offer treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a psychological treatment which works by trying to identify and change a person's negative thoughts and beliefs (e.g. I'm a failure) which is affecting their behaviour. It also helps a person develop new coping strategies. ...read more.

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