Complementary therapies are alternative medicines are treatments that fall outside of mainstream healthcare. Complementary therapy is known by many different terms, including alternative therapy, alternative medicine, holistic therapy and traditional medicine. These medicines and treatments range from acupuncture and homeopathy to aromatherapy, meditation and colonic irrigation. There are many reasons why people choose to use complementary therapies. Some people find they help them cope with the stresses caused by diseases such as cancer and its treatments. Many therapies are relaxing, and may lift your spirits when you aren’t feeling your best. Complementary therapies tend to share a few core beliefs, this includes:
Illness occurs if the body is out of balance.
The body can heal itself and maintain a healthy state if given the right conditions.
The whole person should be treated, not just the disease or the symptoms.
The gentlest therapies must be tried first before harsher ones.
Complementary and alternative approaches share a belief in the body's ability to heal itself. Some of them use an understanding of the working of the body, which is not studied by practitioners of conventional medicine, based on Eastern understandings of energy meridians and fields.
Special laws that ensure that practitioners are properly qualified, and adhere to certain standards or codes of practice regulate complementary therapies. One of these regulators is The General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies. Its purpose is to protect the public by promoting and enforcing high standards of education, performance and conduct amongst practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
“It was very important for me to feel I was actively doing something to make myself as prepared as I could be for the treatment.” - John