Monday, November 26, 2012

Alternative Therapy – a Therapy Alternative?

Alternative Therapy – a Therapy Alternative?

Some people swear by it.  Some dismiss it out of hand and others don’t really know enough about it to have an opinion.   Alternative medicine comes in as many forms as there are opinions on it.   Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Bowen Therapy, Homeopathy, Hypnotherapy, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Reiki, Shiatsu, are just some of the therapies that have gained in popularity over the past years.   

Gwynneth Paltrow swears by a form of acupuncture called cupping, which involves placing heated cups over the skin and is said to relieve aches and pains while Kate Moss uses ear acupuncture.  Pamela Anderson is a devotee of Homeopathy and Madonna believes in the powers of herbalism.  Prince Charles and Sir Cliff Richards have also had treatment with alternative therapies.

So that’s all very well for them, I hear you say, What about the man in the street, isn’t this all a bit ethereal, a bit of a pastime for those with the time and the money and nothing very seriously wrong with them?  I used to think so, now I’m not so sure.

I want to tell, you the story of a friend of mine.  She had been unlucky enough to have to have major heart surgery before she was 50.  As if that was not enough of a burden to bear, she developed very severe arthritis in her hands, which became so disabling that she could barely carry out even the most basic  functions with them.   We used to meet when we were both on holiday and keep in touch sporadically in between.   As summer approached a couple of years ago, I half expected to hear from her to say that she would not be able to make it because she could not drive her car.   But no call came and when I bumped into her in our Cornish village, I could barely believe my eyes.  She was walking like a woman 20 years younger and her hands showed no more signs of arthritis than mine did!  It turned out she had discovered Reiki.   And not only discovered it she was training to be a Reiki practitioner herself.  Reiki is the name given to a system of natural healing which evolved in Japan.

The method of receiving a Reiki treatment from a practitioner is a very simple process. The recipient simply lies on a couch and relaxes. If they are unable to lie down the treatment can be given in a sitting position, the main thing is for the recipient to be as comfortable as possible. There is no need to remove any clothing, as Reiki will pass through anything, even plaster casts. The practitioner gently places their hands non-intrusively in a sequence of positions, which cover the whole body. The whole person is treated rather than specific symptoms. A full treatment usually takes 1 to 1½ hours with each position held for several minutes.
It is possible to heal at any level of being: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Acute injuries can be helped to heal very quickly but more chronic illness takes longer. In some cases such as terminal illness, there is not enough time for the progress of the disease to be reversed. However, in such cases there is usually great benefit and enhancement of the quality of life giving a sense of peace and acceptance during the time remaining.

The difference in her was astonishing and from that point I had to re-think my opinion on alternative therapies. If you would like to know more some links will be posted on the website.

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Amanda Thomas
UK Health Radio