Over the last few decades complementary medicine has grown in popularity as the public appreciates there are many ways of improving health. More GPs and hospital doctors are also realising the role the various therapies have to offer in the management of patient care.
Complementary medicine can help in the treatment programme of all states of ill health, often working alongside other health care practitioners. It can be useful particularly in dealing with the “unwell” state. It offers the patient options in dealing with their health through different means, from the subtle administrations of the acupuncturist to the elegant therapy of the shiatsu practitioner. As well as treating the patient, there is frequently the chance for the individual to learn about his or her condition, manage it and discover ways of preventing the condition from re-occuring.
Conventional western medicine practitioners evaluate the human condition using a background knowledge of anatomy and physiology; the structure and function of a healthy individual. They then study pathology; the cause, origin and nature of disease. To treat a diagnosed condition they will prescribe medication, (drugs), remove or replace diseased tissue and organs, (surgery), or administer other procedures, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or various electromagnetic stimulations. For emotional or mental conditions counselling, psychotherapy or psychiatry might be recommended.
However, there are many states affecting people which do not fit into a neat pattern of diagnosis. Blood tests, X-rays, body scans and other such clinical tests prove negative, and yet the patient is still “unwell”. Complementary and integrated medicine offers choice and the opportunity for the person to improve their quality of life. It is important to recognise how certain disciplines are apposite to certain conditions.
When I had my massive stroke and complications in 2008, I did not need the administrations of an acupuncturist or a herbalist. I needed the knowledge and skills of a neurosurgeon to stitch my brain back together. To fully recuperate I needed the help of neurological physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Following this amazing treatment and therapy through NHS channels the work of The Clinic’s acupuncturist and naturopath helped enormously in my further rehabilitation. I am eternally indebted to the skills of these practitioners.