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A list of alternative/complementary/holistic therapies

Complementary therapies list and health and healing information









Today’s modern, busy lifestyles present us with an ever-increasing demand for high-level energy, with which some of us are simply unable to cope. It’s said that ninety nine percent of our ailments and illnesses are brought on by nothing more than the stress of day-to-day living. And increasingly, we are being told that we should be healthy, happy and fit, by the media who are happy to portray that slim, svelte, mum of four, skipping down the street after eating such and such a probiotic yoghurt or taking such and such a multi-vitamin. Most of us would like to feel like that but seem unable to, somehow. And when we do give in and go to the Doctor we are only given a short time to visit, even if we can get an appointment. With modern medicine under such a strain, is it any wonder that people have become disenchanted and begun to seek healing elsewhere?

Many people are now turning to complementary or alternative therapies to help their healing processes. Complementary therapy works in a whole different way to conventional medicine. Conventional medicine focuses on the illness itself and on the part of the body that currently needs healing. You may be given antibiotics, which will wipe out the invading bacteria, but will also wipe out any good bacteria you carry as well. You may be given pain suppressants to minimise a pain without any attention being given as to why the pain is there in the first place.

A complementary or alternative therapist will work with the whole of a person, and not just the area currently needing treatment. The treatment will consist of therapy for the whole of the body along with the mind and spirit as well. And most complementary therapies use a ‘natural’ approach, which doesn’t involve pumping quantities of drugs into your body. Most complementary therapists will tell you they don’t actually heal. What they do is to kick-start your own body’s natural healing system so that your body can begin to heal itself.

Complementary therapies include a whole different range of services, which are designed to work alone, or to complement traditional medical practice.

Complementary medicine has been in use for centuries (much longer, in fact, than conventional medicine.) Many complementary therapies are derived from ancient healing techniques. Today there is an ever-expanding range of complementary therapies. Each one designed to restore the body back to balance and help with the healing process.

And complementary therapies are becoming an increasingly popular option. It has been estimated that as many as one third of people in the UK have tried at least one form of complementary therapy.

If you are planning to try a complementary therapy for the first time, I recommend that you find out as much as you can about your chosen therapy and therapist before you start. It’s great if your therapist is someone who is recommended by a friend who has first-hand experience of his or her treatments. It also helps if you can talk to your therapist beforehand too. That way you will see if you have a natural liking for them. If there is a registered body for your chosen therapy, make sure your therapist is properly registered. On the wall in their therapy room, therapists will usually have framed certificates relating to their chosen therapy and, of course, certificates of insurance.

Below is just a brief list of complementary therapies. Read it through and see which therapy you feel drawn to. Then ‘surf the net’ and see if there’s a local therapist in your area.

Eventually, I hope to provide a list of therapists local to the Beverley, Hull or East Yorkshire area on this page for you to browse through. However, for that, I need local therapists who are willing to be listed. If you are a local therapist who would like to be included on this list, please email me via the ‘Contact Me’ page for more details. And please let me know if there's a therapy missing. I'll be updating the list as and when I find new things to add.


ACUPUNCTURE (means ‘needle piercing’) and is an ancient Chinese therapy involving insertion and manipulation of needles at over 1000 different points on the human body. Used to relieve pain during surgery or in rheumatic conditions, and to treat many conditions including anxiety and depression, arthritis, asthma, pain, eczema, sports injuries, allergies and hay fever, migraine, menstrual disorders, and gastrointestinal problems. Acupuncture can also be used to help smokers to quit.

According to Chinese medicine, the body transmits energy or qi (pronounced chee) through meridians (pathways) in the body. When this energy flow becomes blocked a person becomes unwell and Chinese therapies are used to clear these pathways as well as to balance Yin and Yang energies.

AUPRESSURE is based on the same principles as acupuncture but without the needles. The therapist uses manipulation rather than needles to alleviate pain or other symptoms. Acupressure is administered by pressing with the fingertips (and sometimes the elbows or knees,) along a complex network of trigger points in the patient's body. Acupressure can be used to treat a wide range of health problems, but is particularly effective for headaches, tension-related ailments, depression and fatigue, as well as bowel and back problems.

ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE is a method of mind/body integration, which leads to ease of movement and awareness. The Alexander Technique is usually taught in individual lessons, during which the student becomes aware of patterns of contraction in everyday activities such as walking, sitting, standing, bending and lifting. Developed by FM Alexander for changing the way we 'use' ourselves in the activities of everyday life, be they in the home, at school or at work, or during sporting activities etc. Often, we develop bad posture and habits without being aware of it, and expend too much energy or muscle force to achieve a task. Alexander Technique teachers help to adjust the client’s posture to recognise the difference between current habits and what it feels like to use muscles with minimum effort and in a relaxed, fluid way.

AROMATHERAPY is the use of plant oils for preventative care, healing and general well-being. Although the term aromatherapy was not used until the 20th Century, aromatherapy dates back thousands of years and can be traced back through to ancient Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Chinese cultures. Essential oils are used in different ways, including massage, bathing and inhalation. When essential oils are inhaled, olfactory receptor cells are stimulated and the impulse is transmitted to the emotional centre of the brain, or “limbic system”. The limbic system is connected to areas of the brain linked to memory, breathing, and blood circulation, as well as to the endocrine glands that regulate hormone levels in the body. The properties of the oil, the fragrance and its effects, determine stimulation of these systems. When used in massage, essential oils are not only inhaled, but absorbed through the skin as well. They penetrate the tissues and find their way into the bloodstream where they are transported to the organs and systems of the body. Different oils are thought to act on the body in different ways, having a relaxing, energizing, calming or uplifting effect.

BIO-ENERGY Using hand movements, bio-energy practitioners are able to determine the nature of blockages and imbalances and correct them by raising the frequency and vibration of their own energy.

BREATHWORK Covers various focused breathing techniques. Old patterns of holding begin to break up and a sense of new vitality enters as the breath anchors the client in the present.

BOWEN THERAPY is a simple and focused form of 'hands-on' bodywork that can bring remarkable results. The technique prompts the body to reset and heal itself, promoting relief of pain and recovery of energy. The therapist uses thumbs and forefingers to make Bowen's unique sets of gentle, rolling-type moves, which are then alternated with leaving the client to rest for a few minutes. These short breaks allow the body to respond by making the subtle and fine adjustments needed for healing. The experience of a treatment is gentle, subtle and relaxing. Because the therapy is so gentle, it is considered to be suitable for all ages. The precise, light movements are applied either directly on the skin or through light clothing to the muscles, tendons or ligaments. A delicate, cross-fibre movement is used to release tension and energetic blocks held in the muscles, allowing the body to rebalance itself naturally and therefore maximise the potential for healing.

COLOUR THERAPY is practised by using the seven colours of the spectrum to balance the patient’s body energy centre, helping to stimulate the body’s own healing process.

CRYSTAL THERAPY uses crystals placed on specific parts of the body, which interact with the body’s energy field to promote healing.

COUNSELLING/THERAPY Qualified practitioners trained to counsel patients suffering from emotional or spiritual distress.

ENERGY HEALING incorporates a variety of hands-on methodologies accessing various levels on the human energy field. The healer facilitates the awakening of consciousness and the client’s natural self-healing process. Sessions may also include the use of extra sensory perception, spiritual counselling and gentle of cathartic release.

FENG SHUI creates harmony in the environment by using the placement of specific feng shui objects and/or the rearrangement of a room’s contents.

GEOPATHIC STRESS treatment relates to those suffering from living in a hostile or mis-aligned environment due to negative earth energies.

HEALING DANCE is used to dance your way to fitness and vitality with dance and music that will have you feeling energised, de-stressed and peaceful and balance the energy in the body.

HOMEOPATHY is based on the understanding that healing comes from within, from the body’s innate self-healing forces. These forces are stimulated by certain substances that would actually cause respective disease if given in a high doses; intending to heal an illness with its equal substance. Homeopathy uses plants, minerals, and some animal remedies, which work by stimulating the body’s own healing power. This stimulus will help your system to clear itself of any imbalances.

HO'OPONOPONO Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian spiritual technique which involves using four phrases to 'clean' our past lives and memories of things that are holding us back. We take responsibilty for everything and everyone that we come across in our lives and can use Ho'oponopono to 'clean' on others as well as ourselves. For more information, see the 'Ho'oponopono' page on this site.

HOPI EAR CANDLING Hopi ear candles are named after the Native American tribe who first introduced this gentle therapy to the West. Ear candles are used widely throughout North America and Asia and although the current treatment has come to us from the Hopi tribe, the use of ear candles to treat ear problems has been known for centuries, having been used by the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. Ear candles can help with the treatment of sinusitis, rhinitis, earwax, earache and irritation of the ears including tinnitus. Ear candling is also suitable for the treatment of headaches and migraines.

HYPNOTHERAPY uses the power of the mind to help heal physical as well as mental and emotional problems. It helps the patient discover the underlying emotional and psychological causes to their ailments. As such, it is particularly useful in helping people to deal with stress and anxiety related conditions such as panic attacks, phobias, insomnia and other emotional problems like depression, lack of confidence and self esteem, etc. Hypnotherapy can also help you change unwelcome habits such as smoking and nail-biting, and deal with problems relating to food and body image. Finding out what the real problem is and finding better, more positive ways to meet your needs, achieve this.

INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE is a treatment that involves working on the upper back, shoulders, neck, scalp and face. A variety of massage movements are used to relieve accumulated tension, stimulate circulation and restore joint movement. It is also used to aid the condition and health of the hair, particularly when combined with the use of natural organic oils. Indian Head Massage is used to help reduce stress and fatigue, increase mental clarity, and relax and rejuvenate the receiver.

KINESIOLOGY is the study of body movement, and helps to balance the movement and interaction of a person's energy systems. Kinesiology uses gentle muscle testing to evaluate many functions of the body in the structural, chemical, neurological, and biochemical realms. The body's natural healing responses are stimulated by attention to reflex and acupressure points, and by the use of specific body movements and nutritional support. These can lead to increased physical and mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Using massage, nutrition, and contact points, kinesiology helps with: emotions and anxieties, specific personal dietary intake and supplements for nutritional deficiencies, structural imbalances and energy blocks. Kinesiology balances the whole person that enhances health and well-being.

LIFE COACHING can give you professional guidance for all aspects of your life.

NATUROPATHY is a system of natural healthcare that believes the body has the ability to heal itself and it is the naturopathic doctor's role to facilitate this natural process. Naturopaths believe that the right kind of conditions must be in place to allow the healing process to begin, these include getting rest, relaxation and enough sleep, exercising, feeding the body nutritional food and removing toxins from the system. The underlying root causes of disease must be removed for complete healing to take place. These root causes can exist at many levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is the naturopathic doctor's role to identify this root cause, in addition to alleviate suffering by treating symptoms.

NLP is used alongside hypnotherapy and taps into the subconscious to change inappropriate behaviour, thought and feeling.

PAST LIFE OR REGRESSION THERAPY involves taking a journey into one’s past lives using many intricate techniques to bring about a healing resolution.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT is a variety of methodologies designed to transform the dysfunctional into a more functional life and to move those already comfortable in their life towards further enhancement and enjoyment.

POLARITY THERAPY recognises that energy has to move from a positive to a negative pole, through a neutral field - a scientific law fundamental to the movement of energy throughout the universe and earth - then applied to the human constitution. It works on many levels: muscular-skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, gynaecological and at emotional and mental levels.

PSYCHOTHERAPY enables a qualified therapist to ease psychological problems such as depression, phobias, anxieties, obsessions and a host of other related issues through simply talking.

REFLEXOLOGY is a form of complementary therapy in which the nerve endings primarily in the feet are stimulated by specific massage techniques to effect changes in another part of the body and thereby create health and help overcome disease. Reflexology uses massage to reflex areas found in the feet and the hands. Most commonly, the feet are treated. In the feet, there are reflex areas corresponding to all the parts of the body and these are arranged in such a way as to form a map of the body in the feet with the right foot corresponding to the right side of the body and the left foot to the left side of the body. Thus, it becomes possible to treat the whole body and the treat the body as a whole.

REIKI (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese word meaning Universal life force energy. Reiki is an energy which flows through all living things and which is activated by means of an attunement, for the purpose of healing. Reiki practitioners believe that everyone has the ability to connect to their own healing energy and use it for the purposes of healing others. The Reiki therapist channels the energy through his or her hands to the recipient, thus activating the body’s natural ability to heal itself. A therapist may gently lay hands on a client during a treatment, or may prefer to work just above the client’s body. However it is used, Reiki is a safe, natural form of therapy and can be used to treat mental, emotional and physical problems, as well as being the ‘ultimate chill-out experience’.

SHIATSU is also a traditional Japanese healing art. It can help a wide range of conditions - from specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. Shiatsu is also a deeply relaxing experience and regular sessions help to prevent the build up of stress in daily life. Your Shiatsu practitioner will use a variety of techniques to improve your energy flow. These may include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees or feet on the meridians and, when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.

SOUND THERAPY involves the use of sound on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies simultaneously bringing them into harmony and raising the vibratory rate to levels, which allow the body to accelerate its healing mechanisms.

SPACE CLEARING involves the clearing of energy within spaces such as home and workplaces. Practitioners clear stuck predecessor energy in a building and purify the space to promote health.

SPIRITUAL HEALING involves the healers becoming a channel for the transfer of healing energy to the patient, either by touch or by distant prayer.

THAI FOOT MASSAGE is a massage of the lower legs and feet that involves hands-on stretching and massage to “open” Sen (energy) lines, along with the use of a stick to stimulate the reflex points on the feet which correspond to the internal organs of the body. Thai Foot Massage stimulates these points to promote general health and well-being.

YOGA involves using Indian body postures and stretches to improve physical fitness and mental clarity. Often done at evening classes you may find a yoga teacher in your local paper.

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This page details the various alternative/complementary therapies available and has links to articles on health and healing.

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