Complementary Therapies

There are evidences that prove the effectiveness of complementary therapies to help the patients cope up with a variety of mental health problems. Complementary therapies are alternative methods to treat certain illnesses. These methods vary greatly from the typical western medicine we are all accustomed to.

Complementary therapies are used to support or complement other therapies, if not to replace it. Being given the term as an alternative therapy, it gives another set of options aside from western medicine. But patients are advised that even if some therapists who practice alternative therapies claim that their methods are effective, they should follow the trend with caution. No such therapy is proven safe and effective unless critically studied and scientifically confirmed.

The following is a lost that includes a variety of complementary therapies:

  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • aromatherapy
  • anthroposophy
  • movement and relaxation
  • Bach Flower Remedy
  • exercise
  • homeopathy
  • touch and healing therapies
  • western herbal medicine
  • massage
  • hypnotherapy
  • nutritional therapy
  • naturopathy
  • traditional Chinese medicine
  • reflexology
  • transcendental meditation
  • yoga

    Uses for complementary therapies

    There are many factors that contribute to the public's interest in complementary therapies. There is an increase in using complementary therapies inside the NHS especially amongst the nurses. NHS reforms have allowed clients to consider other types of health care services available based on their effectiveness and costs. There has been a change of attitude between the commissioners and the providers of the health care services.

    Many patients have dissatisfaction regarding some psychiatric treatments and this has led them to look for safer and effective alternative therapies. This has also led to the development of ways to manage the side effects of the psychotropic therapy.

    • But there are still a large number of factors that limit the utilization of complementary therapies. The insufficient researches regarding the effectiveness of complementary therapies are one of the reasons why this happens. Also, the lack of funds in the NHS restricts the use of the therapy.
    • Regulation, registration and training are concerns for the preservation of the standards of the therapy. There are also political oppositions which do not endorse the use of complementary therapies.

    Current researches on complementary therapies: uses and treatment for mental health problems

    There are a large number of available researches on some of the complementary therapies like the following:

    • Acupuncture has a positive effect for patients with schizophrenia
    • Herbal medicines like St. John's Wort, has been known to relieve cases of moderate depression
    • Homeopathy has been known to relieve the symptoms of those with severe mental health problems. If this is used for a long-term use along with anti-psychotic drugs, it can cure the illness
    • Massage has been known to lessen the levels of stress, depression and anxiety
    • Dietary and nutritional medicines have demonstrated that the lack of essential nutirnets can lead to psychiatric symptoms. The lack of folic acid increases the risk of schizophrenia and depression. Taking in amino acids in the form of supplements can also relieve symptoms for depression
    • Reflexology aids in relaxation and does a lot to relieve distress and restore lost energy. It also helps in reducing some of the side-effects of psychotropic medicines. It can also be a good mood stabilizer for mood swings
    • Hypnotherapy, transcendental Meditation, yoga, relaxation, exercise, aromatherapy and massage have been shown to effect in the reduction of stress, anxiety, tension and mental distress

    Conclusions

    Further studies regarding the effectivity of using complementary therapies in mental health problems should be done. Case reports of using complementary therapies are plenty but clinical trials about it has not been done.

    As related by the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, the case reports done about complementary therapies remain to be isolated studies with no structured framework. Because of the lack of funding and rarity of doing researches about complementary therapies, it has remained to have a low profile as an alternative for treatment.

    Researches done by the Mental Health Foundation points out that clients and patients who have mental health problems want to have greater access to use complementary therapies. But due to demands of NHS to produce evidence-based treatment, investments, quality researches and service training should be taken into account before complementary therapies becomes popular among clients.