Some people with mental health problems find it helps to use complementary and alternative therapies. But what are they and what can they do to help?
What are complementary and alternative therapies?
Complementary and alternative therapies, such as Swedish massage and Reiki, which are available at The Wellbeing Therapy Hut, are classed as complementary therapy because they aren’t part of mainstream care. They aren’t going to be offered at a hospital, for example. However, they can be a great addition to physical care or treatment that you are receiving, as well as complementing any counselling that you are having.
Different complementary and alternative therapies can help with different ailments or symptoms, as well as being great for general wellbeing and relaxation. Therapies like Swedish massage and Reiki can focus on both of your physical and mental wellbeing.
Can complementary and alternative therapies be used to help mental health problems?
Complementary and alternative therapies are a good choice if you are suffering with your mental health as they can be used to help your mental health problems. Although there are some studies that are too small or inconclusive to say that they definitely work, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from people that have regular massages and that regularly feel calmer and less stressed, as well as less anxious and less depressed; there are many people who use complementary therapies and who find them helpful. We are all different so it is a good idea to find something that works for you and can help you on your mental health journey.
What types of complementary therapies are there?
There are a range of alternative and complementary therapies that you can try. Some examples are:
Massage or reflexology
Reiki or energy healing
Massage is where a massage therapist will use their hands, or in some instances, hot stones, to rub your body in order to help get rid of tension and aches, with the aim to help you to destress and relax. Swedish massage is what we offer here, which is where the massage therapist, Helen, uses long kneading strokes and light tapping strokes to help, as well as using movement of the joints in order to relax the muscles and aim to relieve tension. There are other types of massage that you can try too, such as Shiatsu massage. This is where there is pressure put on certain points of the body, to help balance energy.
Reiki is a form of energy healing originating from Japan, which is a type of alternative medicine. Reiki practitioners will use palm healing or hands-on healing, as it is known. Then a universal energy will transfer through the palms of the Reiki practitioner, to help you to heal, whether it be physically or emotionally.
There isn't a lot of research into the effects of Reiki on your mental health. However, there is some that suggests that it can help with symptoms of depression. It has shown that it can also help when feeling stressed or anxious, and help with insomnia.
To book with Helen, please click here.
Massage sessions last for one hour and the cost is £40. Reiki sessions last for 45 minutes and are £35.