National Complementary & Alternative Therapy Week

Complementary and Alternative therapy or CAM is a term used when referring to any treatments that are not traditional, mainstream medicine or techniques. CAM could either be used alongside conventional medicine or instead of it. People may use CAM to help cope with the side effects of mainstream treatments, such as nausea, pain, and fatigue, want to use them instead of conventional medicine as it may have failed to work as expected or simply, they may feel that they are doing something to help with their own health or care.

Integrative medicine is an approach to medical treatment and care that combines conventional medicine with CAM practices that have shown through science to be safe and effective. This approach often stresses the patient’s preferences, and it attempts to address the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of health.

People may use the term “natural,” “holistic,” “home remedy,” or “Eastern Medicine” to refer to CAM. There are many types of CAM therapies and over the years, many of these therapies have shifted into conventional medicine.

However, experts often use five categories to describe them:

  • Mind–Body Therapies: These combine mental focus, breathing, and body movements to help relax the body and mind i.e. Meditation, Biofeedback, Hypnosis, Yoga, Tai Chi etc.
  • Biologically Based Practices: This type of CAM uses things found in nature such as Vitamins and dietary supplements, Botanicals, Herbs and spices, Special foods or diet etc.
  • Manipulative and Body-Based Practices: These are based on working with one or more parts of the body i.e. Massage, Chiropractic therapy, Reflexology etc.
  • Biofield Therapy: Biofield therapy, sometimes called energy medicine, involves the belief that the body has energy fields that can be used for healing and wellness. Therapists use pressure or move the body by placing their hands in or through these fields i.e. Reiki, Therapeutic touch, Whole Medical Systems etc.
  • Whole Medical Systems- These are healing systems and beliefs that have evolved over time in different cultures and parts of the world i.e. Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Naturopathic medicine etc.

Some CAM therapies have undergone careful evaluation and have been found to be generally safe and effective. These include acupuncture, yoga, and meditation to name a few. However, there are others that do not work, may be harmful, or could interact negatively with your medicines.

CAM therapies include a wide variety of botanicals and nutritional products, such as herbal and dietary supplements, and vitamins. These products do not have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before being sold to the public. Also, a prescription isn’t needed to buy them.

Some tips to keep in mind when deciding which therapy is most likely be the best for you:

  • Natural Does Not Mean Safe!
  • Herbal or dietary supplements may be harmful when taken by themselves, with other substances, or in large doses. For example, some studies have shown that Kava Kava, an herb that has been used to help with stress and anxiety, may cause liver damage.
  • Tell your doctor if you’re taking any dietary supplements, even vitamins, no matter how safe you think they are. Even though there may be ads or claims that something has been used for years, they do not prove that it’s safe or effective. This is even more true when combined with your medicines.

Complementary Therapists that we at Visiting Angels are in touch with:

1 . KiGong with Sam – KiGong (energy) Body Tapping & Point Massage.

Contact Sam: 07 904 46948 OR email

“According to TCM principles, a person’s qi must flow throughout the body in order for people to feel their best,” Dr. Lin explains. “If qi becomes stagnant in a certain area, health problems can occur.”

Qigong uses simple poses and breathing patterns to promote a healthy flow and reduce stagnation of qi. Proper flow of qi can help the body engage its own healing processes.

2. Holistic Accupunture Therapy Ealing

3. Ten Health & Fitness Massage Therapy

4.  UFixU Physiotherapy – Joe Dyer kick started UFIXU Physiotherapy over 10 years ago to form a team of specialised  physiotherapists, rehab coaches, personal trainers, and massage therapists. UFixU is based in Kingston!

Contact Joe Dyer (for massage therapy or stroke rehabilition): 07866 593454