We register complementary health practitioners from the following eighteen professions:
The Alexander Technique works through assisting a person to improve the perception of their posture and movement. This may result in a better understanding of their balance and coordination, helping to improve functioning and their reactions to stimuli.
NICE Guideline NG1 includes the statement that Alexander Technique should be considered for people with Parkinson’s disease who are experiencing balance or motor function problems.
In a typical Alexander Technique lesson a teacher will explain, and use gentle hands-on guidance, to help an individual find ease and balance in their simple movements and everyday activities such as sitting, standing, walking or bending.
Alexander Technique may be found to help people find relief from unnecessary tension and its effects. This can help to bring about a positive sense of well-being.
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils to help deal with everyday stresses and emotional well-being. Essential oils, extracted from plants, are thought to possess distinctive properties, which may be used to improve overall emotional and spiritual health imbuing the user with a sense of relaxation and calmness.
In a typical aromatherapy session, the aromatherapist will ask questions about previous medical history, general health, wellbeing and lifestyle. This helps the practitioner to choose and blend the safest and most appropriate essential oils for the individual. The oils may be applied in combination with massage or the aromatherapist may suggest other methods.
Aromatherapy may be found to be helpful to those wanting to reduce everyday stress and so help with the ability to cope, relax and sleep. As well as being used in individual therapy sessions and at home, it is also used in a variety of settings, including hospitals and hospices.
Bowen therapy is a soft tissue remedial therapy that involves the therapist using fingers or thumbs to move over muscle, ligament, tendon and fascia in various parts of the body. This therapy can be effective to help relieve everyday stresses and revitalise the whole person.
Each Bowen therapy session varies according to the particular problems of the client. By focusing on the lower and mid back and legs, the upper back, shoulders and the neck, a sense of wellbeing can be achieved, helping relaxation, aiding sleep – helping to remove everyday stress and anxiety that can make us feel under-par or prevent us functioning at our optimum.
What is colon hydrotherapy?
Colon Hydrotherapy involves introducing water to the colon with the use of hygienic apparatus, to aid the evacuation of waste from the large intestine. The treatment is also known as colonic irrigation.
The first appointment will usually last about an hour and a half and will include a consultation, medical questionnaire and a full explanation of the equipment and procedure.
This could also include suggestions about some positive lifestyle changes to support enhanced health and wellbeing.
Following the consultation, the therapy itself takes around 45 minutes, during which modern, hygienic equipment gently cleanses the colon using warm filtered water, in a simple, dignified procedure. This filling and emptying is repeated several times and massage is applied to the abdomen.
Unlike an enema, colonic hydrotherapy reaches the whole length of the large intestine, with the massage from the therapist helping to ensure an effective cleanse. The water pressure and temperature are carefully controlled and all waste is drained away discreetly in a closed system with no mess or odours.
Focusing specifically on the bowel, colon hydrotherapy can facilitate the management of occasional constipation. It can also provide a sensation of overall well-being and often inspires people to consider a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Colon Hydrotherapists are trained to recognise contra-indications. Your therapist may request that you seek the advice of a medical practitioner prior to your treatment. To check for contra-indications, see this link.
Craniosacral Therapy is a hands-on therapy that uses a light touch and whose origins are in the practice of Osteopathy.
The body has self-healing capabilities and is constantly striving for good health. Craniosacral Therapy can facilitate this natural propensity for balance and a feeling of wellbeing in the client. Craniosacral Therapy also recognizes the interconnection between mind and body.
Craniosacral therapists work with the presence of subtle rhythmic motions that are expressed within the body (particularly the head, spine and pelvis). The free and balanced expression of these subtle motions is related to our state of health and vitality.
In a typical session the client will lie (or sometimes sit) clothed on a treatment couch. The therapist makes contact by gently placing her/his hands on the client's body and uses a light touch to tune into the subtle motions taking place. The therapist can evaluate if there are any imbalances within the body and use a range of non-invasive therapeutic skills to relax and thereby promote self-healing within the client.
The history of Healing stretches back for thousands of years. Nowadays most Healers view their work as a natural and purposeful energy based process which, from mostly anecdotal evidence, is believed to help relieve everyday stress, provide a sense of physical and emotional revitalisation and on some occasions bring about a deep sense of peace.
Each healing session will vary according to the needs of the client, but there are some general themes. The client remains fully clothed and may be seated or lying down. In simple terms, healers work with a conscious intention to help and support. The process focuses on using the hands, placed on or above different areas of the body, often in sequence, in order to facilitate a natural sense of wholeness and wellbeing. Although there are some variations amongst Healers as to the philosophy and belief systems associated with it, most agree that Healing recognises the sanctity within the holistic nature of being.
Hypnotherapy is a skilled communication aimed at directing a person’s imagination in a way that helps elicit changes in some perceptions, sensations, feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
In a typical hypnotherapy session the hypnotherapist and client will discuss the intended alterations or therapeutic goals desired. The hypnotherapist will ask questions about previous medical history, general health and lifestyle to decide on the best approach for the individual.
Hypnotherapy may be found to be helpful for those seeking relief from a range of problems and is used alongside a person’s own willpower and motivation to seek a desired goal. It is often used to help relieve anxiety, aid sleeping, help to address bedwetting, address attitudes to weight, and help clients achieve behavioural change to stop smoking. It may also help with minor skin conditions that are exacerbated by stress and confidence issues, and may also be used to enhance performance in areas such as sport and public speaking. Hypnotherapy may help people to cope with and manage the relief of perceived pain.
Hypnotherapy has also been used with both adults and children to help manage the pain associated with irritable bowel. There is evidence to support its use in this condition for both adults and children and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Guidance (NICE) recommends the NHS should consider referring patients for hypnotherapy if their irritable bowel is persistent and has failed to respond to simple prescribed medicine.
Kinesiology is a complementary therapy based on the theory that manual muscle testing can provide information about imbalances and stresses in the body. A kinesiologist does not diagnose or treat, instead they work with the client to explore how to bring the body back into balance. This may involve massaging specific points, providing suggestions such as nutritional supplements, relaxation techniques, lifestyle changes, flower essences and more.
In a kinesiology session, the client remains fully clothed. The kinesiologist will place the client’s arm or leg into a specific position and will apply a light pressure against the muscle that is being tested while the client is asked to match the pressure. At no time should the client experience pain or discomfort with the testing.
Kinesiology is a relaxing, non-invasive therapy which encourages a sense of well-being. As such it may be helpful to those seeking relief from a range of minor symptoms and to ease emotional, physical or mental stress.
In all types of massage therapy, the intention is to relax the soft tissues, increase delivery of blood and oxygen to the massaged areas, warm them, and help the body to relax.
In a typical massage therapy session, the practitioner will discuss symptoms, medical history and the desired results. The practitioner generally performs some evaluation through touch before beginning the massage. Oil or powder help reduce friction on the skin and the therapist may use other aids, such as ice, heat, fragrances, or machines.
Massage may be found to bring relief from everyday aches, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address feelings of anxiety and tension, and aid general wellness. It can also be used in support of other therapies to assist in the rehabilitation of muscular injuries.
Microsystems acupuncture is based on the belief that small well-defined areas of the body, such as the hand, foot, face, scalp and ear, correspond to all organs and parts of the body. Evidence shows that stimulating these areas, usually with needles, may help to deal with symptoms such as anxiety or general stresses.
In a typical microsystems acupuncture session, the practitioner will ask questions about previous medical history, general physical and emotional health, as well as medication, drug use, diet and lifestyle. Treatment generally involves the stimulation of defined points on a distinct area of the body using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, electrical stimulation or pellets.
Microsystems acupuncture is commonly used in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, prisons, drug rehab units and complementary health clinics alongside medical treatments.
Naturopathy is a philosophy and holistic healthcare system that recognises the healing power of nature present in all living things. As an holistic system it aims to promote and restore health by employing various natural treatment approaches that may include: naturopathic nutrition, lifestyle advice, hydrotherapy, physical therapy, naturopathic psychosocial support and other appropriate techniques.
Naturopathic practitioners interpret presenting symptoms as the individual’s unique response to physical, emotional, environmental or genetic stress factors which can be identified by asking about your family history. The practitioner’s role is to identify these underlying causes and to promote the inherent self-healing power within the individual. Naturopathy is also a way of life and the naturopath will help empower individuals through education about lifestyle, diet and exercise.
The basis of nutritional therapy
Nutritional therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Nutritional therapy practitioners use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine. It is relevant both for individuals looking to enhance their health and wellbeing and for those with chronic conditions wishing to work with or 'consult' a nutritional therapist in collaboration with other suitably qualified healthcare professionals.
Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalized nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. They will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.
What a nutritional therapy session typically involves?
Before the first consultation, the practitioner usually provides a health and nutrition questionnaire for the client to complete. An initial consultation typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and in this time the practitioner asks detailed questions about current health concerns, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, medical history, family history, lifestyle, levels of physical activity, use of medication and supplements and diet. The practitioner then evaluates individual needs and uses the extensive evidence base for nutritional science to develop a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle programme.
Follow up consultations are generally after four weeks in order to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Further follow-ups may be required depending on each individual situation.
Reflexology is a complementary therapy based on the belief that there are reflex areas in the feet and hands which are believed to correspond to all organs and parts of the body. Some practitioners may also include work on points found in the face and ears. Reflexology works on an individual basis and may alleviate and improve symptoms such as everyday stress and tension.
During a typical reflexology session the reflexologist will take a detailed medical history. Sessions are usually performed in a comfortable chair or couch. If it is to be performed on the feet, the client will be asked to remove footwear and socks but other forms of reflexology require no removal of clothing. The practitioner will make a visual and tactile examination of the area to be worked before beginning the precise reflexology massage movements. The particular types of movements involved require the application of an appropriate pressure using the thumb and fingers.
Reflexology can be a wonderfully relaxing experience where you can take time out from everyday pressures. The therapist’s expert touch will help you relax which can help improve mood, aid sleep and relieve tension. The result is an overall sense of wellbeing.
"Reiki" (ray-key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy’, a term used to describe a natural system to help bring about an improved sense of wellbeing and a positive feeling of spiritual renewal. This tradition was founded by Dr Mikao Usui in the early 20th century and evolved as a result of his research, experience and dedication. It is a tradition that is open to any belief system and benefits may include deep relaxation and the promotion of a calm peaceful sense of wellbeing.
The method of receiving a Reiki treatment from a practitioner is simple. The recipient remains clothed and comfortably lies on a couch or sits on a chair. The practitioner gently places their hands non-intrusively, on or near the body using their intuition and training as a guide. There is no massage or manipulation. Reiki can be used on the person as a whole, or on specific parts of the body. It is also possible to receive Reiki at a distance.
Reiki is taught by Reiki Master/Teachers, who have trained in the tradition passed on, in person, from Master to student. Students go through a process of initiation/attunement to the Reiki energy. They are then able to treat themselves and others, not only from a personal and emotional perspective, but also as an aid to individual development and spiritual growth.
Shiatsu is a touch based therapy that applies pressure to areas of the surface of the body through loose comfortable clothing for the purpose of promoting and maintaining wellbeing.
A Shiatsu practitioner will initially consult with the client and plan the Shiatsu treatment. The client will then be positioned comfortably, with appropriate adjustments being made throughout the session. Clear and accurate aftercare advice will be given.
Shiatsu is a Japanese word that literally means finger pressure and derives its theoretical and practical roots from the ancient traditions of Oriental medicine.
Today it is an autonomous treatment method influenced by Chinese, Japanese and Western knowledge. In addition to being regularly used by thousands of people all over the world, a variety of charities, health foundations, NHS trusts and hospitals in the United Kingdom provide Shiatsu to support patients whilst receiving treatment for a range of health issues and to help them maintain their general wellbeing.
Sports massage is a soft tissue treatment, primarily aimed at athletes to ease muscular tension and minor injuries received as a result of sport. However, it is not exclusive to athletes, as many people prefer the often deeper, sometimes more intense, massage delivered by sports massage therapists.
Sports massage is predominantly used as part of an athletes training program, complementing progressive training and minimising potential incidences of injury by reducing muscle tension. It can be used in a variety of situations; pre-event which is typically used to prepare the athlete physically and help with mental preparation, inter or intra-event which helps prepare the muscle for subsequent activity, post-event which can aid relaxation following activity and can be used to assess muscle condition for potential injury. Sports massage therapists work alongside medical and health care teams as well as within sporting environments.
A typical session would begin with a discussion between the practitioner and the client to seek the client’s relevant personal details, medical history and reason for the visit. Using this information the practitioner may then further observe posture, client’s movement, evaluate the tissue by touch and carry out specific functional tests to establish the possible cause of discomfort or injury. Using this information, and in conjunction with the client an appropriate treatment plan will be developed. All assessments and treatment will be explained to the client and informed consent will be sought.
The client may be asked to undress or perhaps change into sports wear for the assessment and treatment. The treatment will be tailored to address the needs of the client and may include the application of a variety of soft tissue techniques and functional movement skills. These may necessitate movement by the client. Following treatment the practitioner will offer homecare advice to facilitate or continue the treatment effects and advise in the case of adverse reactions. The therapist may also suggest referral to another practitioner if treatment is not within their remit.