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Complementary Therapy Week

Complementary Therapies

With the range of therapies available it can be confusing as to which one is the best one for your aches, pains or general niggles. All of the following have accredited training and practitioners should be insured to offer treatments. The difference will be the focus and the level of the training. Here is a simple guide on each of the better-known types of therapists.

Complementary therapist

Complementary or Holistic therapists work to regain physical and energy balances of the body.

The range of therapies are used in maintaining good health and well-being with the therapist assessing the whole body and lifestyle, not just the body, to find the underlying problems.

Therapists may be qualified in a number of accredited disciplines and hold insurance with the Federation of Holistic Therapists or another accredited governing body. Some therapists may specialise in one type of therapy such as Reflexology, Massage Therapy or Acupuncture.

It is important to remember Holistic therapy can work alongside conventional medicine and should never negate it.

A good holistic therapist will always work with your medical practitioner if you are receiving medical treatment.

Sports Therapist

Sports therapists treat musculoskeletal conditions with an aim for the patient to return back to sport or exercise. Training is normally a three-year degree or equivalent and covers areas on restoring, maintaining and maximising movement while reducing pain and improving quality of life.

They are typically exposed to a more sporting background than a general health background. Their governing body tends to be the Society of Sports Therapist although there are other governing bodies.

Physiotherapist

A Physiotherapist is a healthcare profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) normally entered into following a three-year degree programme. A chartered Physiotherapist will be a full member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

A physiotherapist helps all people with injuries, illnesses or disability through movement, exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. The basic skills they train in are neurological, neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory.

Osteopath

Osteopaths focus on muscoskeletal disorders such as bones, muscles, tendons, fascia, and ligaments. They are medically trained and able to diagnose, treat, prevent and rehabilitate. Training takes about 4 years and involves approx. 2000 hours of hands-on experience. The background behind osteopathy is that the body functions as a whole and to a certain extent is able to heal. Imbalances and strains prevent the body from working at its optimum level. An osteopath will likely look at lifestyle and other factors to influence a treatment plan. There are a lot of similarities between Osteopathy and Physiotherapy although Osteopathy involves more hands-on therapy.

Chiropractor

Chiropractor is related to the joint and body bio-mechanics. They tend to focus on the alignment of the spine and can use diagnostic imaging such as X-rays and MRI scans. As with Osteopaths they also use observation and touch to help diagnose. Training is a 4-year degree and masters accredited The General Chiropractor Council, with which all Chiropractors need to be registered.

Chiropractors use manipulation to adjust the position of the spine and joints in order to improve nerve function and healing ability.

Whatever therapy you choose, or are referred to, it must work for you. Never be afraid to discuss your concerns, fears, or specific requirements with your therapist.

The more information they have, the better they will be able to tailor the treatment programme to meet your individual needs, condition and circumstance.

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