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Natural Therapy

Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism, which posits that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation. Naturopathy favors a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment and generally avoids the use of surgery and drugs. Among naturopaths, complete rejection of biomedicine and modern science is common.

Nature Therapies offers you complimentary services that help heal and maintain health, regain life balance, and restore your spirit. Time-honoured natural therapies include acupuncture, sports injuries management, muscle and joint pain solutions, remedial massage, nutrition/diet services, life/business coaching and professional supervision.


Natural therapies which are often used in psychiatric practice to treat psychiatric symptoms may produce changes in mood, thinking or behavior as a side effect, or interact with psychiatric medications. Unfortunately, scientific research about these therapies is inadequate to permit definite conclusions about the efficacy or safety of most natural therapies, despite countless reports and anecdotal testaments.


Types of natural therapies


Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine (phytotherapy) involves the treatment of illness with plants, parts of plants or plant extracts. It has a long history of use in medicine, with many modern drugs having botanical sources. In Australia, the US and the UK, phytotherapy is left largely to naturopaths or herbalists. However, herbal medicine is an integral part of orthodox prescribing in continental Europe as well as in Eastern Asia.


Acupuncture

The practice of acupuncture is thought to have begun with the discovery that the stimulation of specific areas on the skin affects the functioning of certain organs of the body. It has evolved into a system of medicine believed to restore and maintain health as a result of the effects of stimulation produced by the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points just beneath the body surface.

Normally, acupuncture is carried out in specialized clinics by doctors, or more commonly, by qualified therapists. During acupuncture treatment, needles are either inserted for a second or two, or left in place for up to 20-30 minutes, depending on the effect required. There may be a heavy sensation in the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation during this time.


Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves a combination of gentle massage techniques with the inhalation or skin- absorption of essential plant oils. Essential oils are considered to be a condensed form of the vital life essence of aromatic plants and flowers. The ways of administering aromatherapy are by:

  • breathing the aromatic vapors using an aroma diffuser or air freshener
  • absorbing diluted oils through the skin in a bath or during massage.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a system of healing which claims to assist the natural tendency of the body to heal itself. It teaches that all symptoms of ill health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person, and that it is the patient who needs treatment and not the disease. In this respect it is not unlike several traditional healing approaches developed in Eastern Asia and India and also has tenets which are similar to those of Western orthodox medicine in its development of the concept of 'holistic medicine'.

Homeopathic remedies are usually administered in the form of tablets, powders or liquids. Instructions usually include that nothing else should be put in the mouth for 20 minutes before or after taking the remedy, not even toothpaste or cigarettes. The homeopath will usually advise the avoidance of coffee, peppermint and preparations containing menthol, eucalyptus and camphor, as these are thought to interfere with the action of the homeopathic remedy.


Massage therapy

Massage therapy involves methodical 'hands-on' application of mobilization and pressure to the body's soft tissue including muscle and fascia. The supposition that this has therapeutic effect lies in the belief that massage promotes blood and lymph flow locally as well as making muscle and connective tissue supple. Following muscular exertion massage is said to aid in dispelling the build up of lactate that might cause cramps.

The principles of modern-day massage techniques were described over 100 years ago by the creator of Swedish massage called Per Henrik Ling. Massage therapy is an accepted therapeutic practice in most health care systems where it may be used to treat a variety of symptoms including pain, other physical symptoms and even mental symptoms. It has not been shown to have any curative effect in grave or life-threatening medical illnesses but its benefit for people with mental disorders may be as a form of relaxation therapy.

A massage therapist may use one of the many techniques in use today, utilizing an array of different application methods to meet the specific needs of the client. Massage can be used on people of all ages. Sessions vary in time but a full body massage usually lasts about one hour. Massage therapy can also be combined with other therapies, for example, the use of aromatherapy or reflexology where pressure is applied manually to specific reflex points on the feet. Several techniques are below.


  • Percussion: The use of rhythmic drumming movements over the body part, especially the back.
  • Trigger point therapy: the use of focal and sustained finger pressure to painful taut areas in the muscle and surrounding tissues referred to as trigger-points. These occur in such conditions as fibromyalgia.
  • Sports massage: this employs various massage techniques in the sports setting where the goal is to enhance performance as well as augment recuperation from injury (strains, tendonitis) and prevent injury.
  • Deep tissue massage: Powerful manual strokes of slow rhythm combined with concentrated finger pressure to areas of chronic tension or stiffness. It aims to relieve stiffness and regain flexibility of an area such as a stiff neck or a tight shoulder area.
  • Petrissage: This involves grasping the tissue group and applying pressure via kneading, rolling, or pressing in an on-off rhythmic manner.




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