When you suffer an attack of allergies or your face breaks out in pimples, do you reach for the prescription medication or do you try complementary therapies? Research shows that complementary therapies are far from strange and unusual. They actually have serious health benefits.
Complementary therapies are alternative medical practices like reflexology, aromatherapy, and hypnotherapy. In fact, a complementary therapy is any form of health treatment that is not offered as a standard by Western medics. But while it may not be standard, complementary medicine is far from strange.
Research shows that many complementary therapies are effective for treating a variety of different health conditions from asthma to depression, the common cold to a bad back. These therapies are also becoming increasingly popular with people who are tired of the side effects associated with traditional medical cures.
Find out more about the most common, and most trusted, complementary therapies from our shortlist.
The treatment called acupuncture is a highly common and very popular alternative therapy. Thousands of people use it to treat a diverse number of conditions. Many swear by its effectiveness. Acupuncture works through needles or electrical pulses that stimulate different areas of the body where there are energy blockages. Many studies show that it is effective for treating depression and pain.
Try acupressure if you want benefits similar to acupuncture but you don’t want needles. Acupressure is a way of clearing energy blockages from the body using the hands. The practitioner applies pressure to certain areas of the body that are linked to energy flow. Health problems are caused when these channels are blocked. Different research studies show that acupressure may be useful for treating anxiety as well as nausea.
Versatility and ease of use are two of the main benefits associated with aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils, which are extracts taken from plants, to heal various conditions. These oils can be massaged into the skin, inhaled, or taken by mouth. Each essential oil has different properties which make it useful for treating different conditions.
People use homeopathy like a vaccine. It treats a health condition by using the same substance that would cause a reaction, but in very small amounts. Practitioners work out which substance to use based on the patient’s medical history and symptoms. Homeopathy works for many people, and it is a safe treatment used for a variety of different conditions.
5) Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is a method of physical training that helps the body learn to combat negative posture and bodily habits and improve freedom of movement and natural posture. You learn how ingrained patterns are creating tension in the body and you discover how to correct them.
This treatment works by allowing people to control their own body processes that are normally automatic, such as blood pressure and skin temperature. How does it work? A therapist teaches a patient relaxation techniques and attaches electrodes to the body that measure bodily processes – the person can see when the body is reacting to the relaxation techniques. Experts are not sure why this process should work but it appears that it does for many people.
A practitioner applies pressure to different areas on the feet, the ears, or the hands in order to promote better health. The theory behind reflexology says there are different points on the hands and feet that correspond to different organs and bodily systems. You can do reflexology on yourself but it is best to have a session with a practitioner first in order to learn where to apply the pressure. Reflexology helps to treat anxiety, asthma, kidney problems, and even cancer.
This therapy also relies on the notion that there are life forces or energy flowing through the body and when these are blocked it results in poor health. The reiki practitioner attempts to transfer life energy from them to the patient. It can help to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, help reduce pain, and improve mood.
This therapy actually uses bee products and bees to bring health benefits. The treatment uses various bee products like royal jelly, beeswax, and honey. Apitherapy helps to stimulate the immune system, treat burns, reduce pain and inflammation. It also helps promote antibacterial and antifungal actions. The treatment is not especially popular but it is gaining in respect and use among the community.
This treatment is also known as hydrotherapy. As the name suggests, the treatment relies on the properties of water for health treatment. Balneotherapy treats various conditions including acne, swelling, pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is effective in a number of ways. Including through the use of wraps, water massage, and mudpacks. It is not the most researched out of all complementary therapies, although it is growing in popularity.