Optimising Selfcare: 5 Alternative Therapies to Complement Traditional Healthcare

Start talking about wellbeing and someone is bound to mention natural approaches and doing things differently to only following the advice of doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. Topics like acupuncture Brighton locals tend to prioritise and herbal products that Sydney residents add to their diets are popular conversation starters.

But is it something your health and wellbeing will benefit from?

Is it Smart Using Alternative Therapies?

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For one thing, alternative therapy is also called ‘complementary medicine’ so it’s clear that the goal is to provide additional assistance to patients. The focus is not necessarily to replace the treatments or medicine you may currently be on.

In such a scenario, many people have reported success stories of alternative therapies helping them experience positive outcomes. Even if treatments don’t lead to complete healing, combining different approaches may result in reduction of symptoms and more comfort for a patient.

And if you’re simply looking for a way to improve your general health, there’s usually no harm in trying out some integrative medicine.

5 Therapy Options that Benefit Many Patients

The world of alternative therapies is vast, so you’ll hear about multiple options when chatting to your friends. They may all carry value and the ideal option will depend on your current health and future goals.

We discuss five of the most popular therapies to consider and because of their similar origins and goals, you’re very likely to find one clinic that offers all of them for you to try out.

1. Acupuncture

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Acupuncture is based on the idea that Qi, which is viewed as the essence of life, travels throughout your body, via channels. If Qi can’t flow efficiently, it may be the reason you’re experiencing pain, sickness or discomfort.

These channels aren’t visible, but an acupuncturist can focus on known acupuncture points and use the insertion of needles to initiate better flow of Qi. This will hopefully result in better balance throughout your body and fewer bothersome symptoms.

The reason for requesting acupuncture is usually physical in nature but many people also experience an improvement in mental wellbeing. This can be because bringing the body back into balance can affect your entire being.

There are various conditions for which acupuncture is used as a complementary treatment, but the following are very common:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Women’s health

2. Chinese Medicine

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For clarity, here we’re discussing Chinese herbal medicines, and you can use it for improvement of general health, or as supportive treatment when you’re being treated by your doctor.

Note: do discuss any complementary treatments with your healthcare provider, as it could impact how your current medication and treatments affect your body.

What’s enticing to people about Chinese herbal medicine is that it’s all about customisation. Experts in the field consider all the following and create a tailored treatment:

  • Symptoms you report
  • Illnesses that have been diagnosed
  • The impact of different herbs

There are hundreds of different herbs known to provide users with beneficial outcomes. Therefore, you can imagine there are a few of them that will be appropriate for what you’re facing at the moment. Experts will usually combine a few to get the desired effect—even as much as 20 at a time.

3. Dry Needling

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This treatment can be associated with acupuncture as therapists use the same type of needles. However, the focus is to help improve functionality in a certain muscle and hopefully minimise pain.

The uses are not as vast as acupuncture but still valuable for people experiencing muscle pain.

This treatment is more rooted in Western medicine, so if you prefer such an approach, discuss it with your therapist and you may find this is the perfect compromise.

4. Massage

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A massage can be relaxing, but do talk to clinics and therapists about specialised treatments like a Gua Sha massage. The main elements are:

  • Using a tool like a spoon or piece of jade
  • The tool is rubbed on the patient’s skin
  • Friction results in redness on the skin and increased blood flow

Similar to acupuncture, the goal is to help move Qi more efficiently.

5. Cupping

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Here’s another treatment that can help the Qi flow, so your body no longer experiences such an imbalance. Your therapists will use glass cups in which they create a vacuum. They place this on your skin, which means your skin will be drawn into the cup.

Don’t worry, it’s a very gentle pull!

This action will stimulate blood flow and activate your body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Want a truly original experience? Ask your therapist about combining treatments, as cupping and Gua Sha massaging complement each other well.

Final Words

You may feel more comfortable first speaking to your doctor before embarking on the discovery of alternative medicines. Even healthcare professionals are often openminded about these treatments. They can advise you on optimising outcomes and also to look for warning signals so you know when to adjust something in your overall treatment.

Start by reviewing information like the summaries above, so you can gauge what alternative therapy will be best in terms of your current wellness goals.