Historically, modern medicine evolved out of an assumption that the mind and body are separate. Disease and illness were viewed as mechanical breakdowns and, generally, it was these breakdowns and symptoms they cause that were treated.
Complementary therapies aim to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms of the disease or ailment. Complementary therapy is known by different terms including alternative therapy, alternative medicine, holistic therapy, and traditional medicine. Therapies include acupuncture, Alexander technique, aromatherapy, chiropractic, herbal medicine, naturopathy, osteopathy, reiki and yoga.
Complementary Therapy is done alongside or in addition to conventional medicine. The two practices complement each other.
Holistic Therapy is a generic term for any treatment/therapy session that intended to treat the individual as a whole on all levels; body, mind and spirit.
Alternative Therapy is used alone, or instead of conventional medicine. This therapy is outside the realm of conventional modern medicine.
Conventional Allopathic Medicine is particularly successful for acute conditions and surgical repair or removal where a particular body part of organ receives specific attention. Drugs may be used as part of the treatment of both acute and chronic conditions, although patients may sometimes suffer side effects which vary in intensity.
Why People use Complementary Therapies
People may have more than one reason for choosing a complementary therapy, and they may use other strategies at the same time to enhance their health. Some of the reasons for using complementary therapies include:
Complementary Therapies and Conventional Medicine
Today the gap between conventional medicine and complementary therapies is blurring. Many complementary therapies are as based on anatomy and physiology as modern medicine, while modern medicine has widened its scope to include a more holistic approach to healthcare and has adopted therapies that originated in complementary medicine.
You don’t always have to choose between conventional medicine and your preferred complementary therapy. They can often work well alongside each other. However, it is important to inform your doctor and your complementary therapies of all drugs, treatments and remedies you take. Herbs and homeopathic remedies can sometimes interact with prescription drugs and cause side effects.
Never stop taking prescribed medications, or change the dosage, without the knowledge and approval of your doctor.
The Scientific Basis for Complementary Therapy
Science has neglected research into complementary therapies, with the result that there is little scientific evidence to support -
The lack of evidence is, of course, simply that. The UK Government is keen to regulate complementary therapies and is encouraging rigorous scientific work to establish their merit. Many of the professional bodies are supporting research, while independent scientists and even pharmaceutical companies are also conducting studies.
For a medicine or procedure to be used in conventional medicine, it must go through scientific trials where its effectiveness has to be proven.
But when complementary therapies are tested, conventional testing techniques often fail to show how they work. Advocates of complementary medicines say it is because conventional testing methods cannot recreate the effect of the therapies reported by individuals.
Examples of Complementary Therapies We Offer
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