Any treatment that falls outside what we know as the NHS type system of mainstream healthcare, falls under the banner of complementary or alternative medicines.
There are many different treatments and medicines that count as alternative, such as:
- ear candling
- bach flower remedies
and many many more….
There is a difference though. As an example, complementary therapies usually go hand in hand with traditional medicine, hence the term, complementary. The doctor might treat a patient for anxiety and stress, and the therapist helps with well-being by giving a relaxing massage.
When the treatment is used instead of traditional medicine, it tends to be known as alternative.
At Sanctuary Training Academy, we focus on complementary therapies rather than solely alternative, however, the two are not mutually exclusive and do overlap significantly.
Aromatherapy can be both complementary and alternative, depending on the use by an individual person, who makes their own choices for treatments. Other examples might be using a chiropractor and herbal medicines from the chemist.
Which to Choose
This is simple. Ask your doctor, do the research on individual treatments, and make an informed choice. If you are trying to treat a health condition, see your doctor first. Always. Also check with your doctor to make sure any complementary or alternative treatment you are considering is safe, as some medicines may mean a particular therapy is unsuitable for you.
Find Complementary/Alternative Therapists
Choose your practitioner wisely. By law, there is no regulatory body for complementary and alternative therapies, apart from osteopaths and chiropractors.
If you decide to use a CAM, it’s up to you to find a practitioner who will carry out the treatment in a way that is acceptable to you.
Check Professional Registers, some of which are:
- Acupuncture Council
- Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
- The Guild of Beauty/Holistic Therapists
- The Federation of Holistic Therapists
As part of a consultation, or before your appointment, you should expect to know, or be able to find the following:
- treatment price and duration
- whether you are suitable for treatment
- pre-appointment advice
- proof of their professional status
- the aftercare advice