Discovering complementary therapies

There’s no denying complementary therapies are on the rise. We’ve taken the guesswork out of discovering what these therapies mean and how they can be of benefit to you.

Osteopathy: Using observation and manipulation, the practitioner addresses any structural difficulties of movement which may affect the body and works towards realignment. May help with back or neck pain.

Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese therapy uses needles on specific meridian points, or ‘energy lines’, to address specific ailments and diseases. Based on the opposing forces of yin and yang. Can be used for a range of conditions including arthritis, allergies, asthma and insomnia.

Homoeopathy: Uses extremely diluted organic extracts. Based on the philosophy of ‘like cures like’ (not dissimilar to vaccines), homoeopathy is concerned with the underlying causes rather than the immediate symptoms. Has had good results in the treatment of colds, eczema, nausea and obesity.

Iridology: Analysing a person’s health by an examination of a person’s eye, specifically the iris. Often used by naturopaths and herbalists to identify the cause of a person’s illness.

Kinesiology: A system of muscle testing linked to the functions of organs and energy. Has been used in the treatment of allergies, depression, tiredness and back pain as well as identifying any vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Naturopathy: Looks at diet and lifestyle and may use numerous treatments including herbs, essential oil, extracts and natural supplements. The focus is on prevention and self-help.

Herbal Medicine: A sophisticated ‘complete’ medical approach that has many branches including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as traditional Western methods. Has been popularly used in Australia to treat skin conditions such as eczema as well as treating digestive problems and sexual difficulties.

Chiropractic: Similar to osteopathy but uses more direct thrusting movements to realign the body rather than gentle manipulation. May also employ X-rays for diagnosis. Most commonly used for back and neck pain and sports injuries.

Hypnosis: The patient is placed in a ‘trance-like’ state where the practitioner is able to address any hidden problems. Has been used as part of an effective treatment for phobias and addiction, particularly smoking.

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