To answer this question, is similar to someone asking you what’s the best film you’ve ever seen?
The answer is always going to be subjective and will determine largely on what, if any, previous treatments you have had, what access you have to treatments and maybe how confident you are of trying something new.
Holistic Therapies is a general term and there are many therapies that could be classed as Holistic under the ‘Holistic Umbrella’. It may also depend on what the individual therapist classes as Holistic.
Holistic originates from the Greek root ‘holos’ which translates as ‘whole’. The Cambridge Dictionary describes holistic as relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just it’s parts. Specifically, in terms of medicine, it says Holistic Medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease. This suggests that it’s any health therapy that treats the body as one.
Why are holistic therapies popular?
I think many people these days are looking for something different. I say this as numerous customers over the past 2 years have said to me that as good as normal conventional treatments are, it could be argued that they have their limitations. They have also said to me that they have had problems in the past with the long-term dependency and possible side effects that pharmaceutical drugs carry. Holistic therapies offer an alternative which is why I think they have had a surge in interest. In 2008, The Nursing Times claimed that 6 million people received some form of holistic therapy in the UK.
Which holistic therapies are the most popular?
According to a survey conducted in 2019 by the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) it stated that in the UK the most popular therapy requested by clients was Body Massage followed by Reflexology, Aromatherapy and then Reiki.
Everyone needs a massage, don’t they? It’s a lovely relaxing treatment that soothes any aches and pains and it’s a safe, fast, convenient and an alternative way to ease and held tension within the body. We all encounter stress at some stage of our lives and it’s for all these reasons and many more that people prefer massage more than any other holistic treatment.
I have met some people that love having their feet massaged and I have also met a lot of others who hate having people touch their feet and that’s why I reckon Reflexology is a bit like Marmite; you either like it or you don’t. Reflexology works mostly on the soles of your feet and studies have shown that putting pressure on certain reflex points can ease stress, help with circulation, reduce pain and restores a natural balance.
Simply it’s a massage with oils. I love smells and the sensation of smelling the beauty of essential oils is the wonder of aromatherapy. When you realise that the oils have therapeutic qualities this makes aromatherapy a wonderful holistic experience. Awakening the senses by having the oils naturally absorb through your skin is “one of the most pleasurable and relaxing practices”, one of my clients once remarked on.
Does using our hands to heal someone sound a bit ‘woo woo’, to you? Think about what happens if we fall off our bike or we accidently bang our head on a cupboard door. The natural reaction for most of us is to touch the area or rub it to make it better. Have you realised what you are actually doing? You are healing yourself and this is what Reiki can provide to you. The Reiki practitioner helps to ‘fix’ any internal or external issues on a much deeper level. Reiki can help regulate emotions and help to restore balance, it can help ease feelings of anxiety and generally has a calming effect on your body making this a popular alternative to achieve optimum health.
Nursing Times (2008) https://www.nursingtimes.net/roles/nurse-managers/use-of-complementary-and-alternative-medicine-is-rapidly-increasing-23-11-2008/
FHT Survey (2019) www.blog.fht.ord.uk/2019/05/17/body-massage-is-the-most-popular-complementary-therapy-with-clients/