Complementary Therapy Jobs on the Rise

Each person is treated as having their own particular health DNA/make-up that is able to prevent, battle and in some cases to cure their own symptoms of concern relying on his or her own healing mechanisms and behaviour to recover from illness.

For thousands of years, there wasn't much of a variation or difference between medical conventional practices and other alternative therapies that claimed health cures for those suffering from illness.

With the advancement and increased progression of orthodox medicine in the late 1800 and early 1900’s, Alternative Therapies were demoted to having a less convincing impact on health; and were promoted by Scientific Medical Professionals in having an irrelevant role within medicine.

Though alternative therapies such as Aromatherapy, Acupuncture, Homeopathy and other botanical therapies (to name a few) had been used for years, according to Orthodox Medical Professionals they were deemed to have a placebo effect and these “quack therapies” were only practiced by charlatans; their claims to help and cure illness were seem as unfounded and lacking sufficient scientific evidence.

In recent years, there has been an increased surge of interest in health care. The popularity of Complementary Medicine treatments has carried a wider appeal with those therapies that offer diverse methods of diagnostics, prevention and treatment in all aspects of Mental, Emotional and Physical illness. The use of these therapies offers the individual a much more pro active role, asking the individual to take control of their own well being.

Is there a shift in opinion?

It appears that those looking to help relieve or manage symptoms of ailments have tried different means of orthodox medicine in the past and now appear to seek a change of direction in terms of their own health.

A number of patients use Complementary Therapies, whilst some consider working with a combination of both Complementary Therapies and Orthodox Medicine/treatment (Integrative Medicine) and others seek Alternative Therapies, which replaces conventional medicine as the main treatment for health.

In recent years, the increase and demand of people looking for other health care options has increased and previous “Quack Therapies” are not only being considered as integral in one’s own well being but is also now challenging the current health care service and the insistence of a better provision of care .

Changing perception of complementary therapies both from general public and NHS

Complementary Therapies is growing in popularity again in the fight to combat physical, mental and emotional ailments. The key to their continuing success with those who have tried them has been the nature in which they work.

The rapid and increased growth of complementary and alternative medicine suggests that a number of people are not fully satisfied with conventional medicine. In the UK alone over 50% of us use some form of complementary and alternative medicine in one’s own lifetime. This may be because symptoms are not fully controlled by conventional/orthodox medicine or perhaps it may be due to a need to use treatments that are more natural and 'self-empowering' (meaning feeling more in control) outside the mainstream of medicine.

Can Conventional Orthodox Medicine work with and alongside Alternative therapies to offer a better provision of care and service?

In the past, patients attending doctor’s surgeries, medical centres and hospitals may not have considered the potential of complementary therapies to broaden their health care service.

All Medical Health Professionals recognise the increased popularity of Complementary and Alternative medicine. Many health care systems and institutes have begun to integrate therapies by presenting Integrated Medicine into health care practices that are not typically used in conventional orthodox treatment; this proposes a greater range of choice towards the outcome of the patients well being.

Due to the increased popularity of complementary medicine in this country Complementary therapies are becoming more widely and readily available on the NHS. Inviting alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, into mainstream medicine acknowledges that healthcare professionals do not have all the answers in orthodox medicine and there is a place for safe and effective practice within the Health Service.

The Role of a Complementary Therapist

As well as many people seeking therapies, there is also an increase of people wanting to be trained in various Complementary / Alternative Therapies. The promotion and the increasing demand from consumers to opt for therapies has a particular interest for those wanting to become Therapists.

Whilst Therapies like acupuncture, homeopathy and counseling are widely accepted there are still those therapies that are currently working towards a more convincing and legitimate appeal to gain further evidence based research to challenge those that still feel that Complementary Therapies are practiced by charlatans.In order to make a promising career within Complementary Therapies, Practitioners ought to select therapies that can be adapted to mainstream healthcare with a registered body and valid insurance of practicing privileges, outlining a framework to adhere to.

Therapists, have a unique understanding of the need to allow and encourage the body to heal itself and take pride in empowering people to participate in their own well being. This encourages most Therapists to develop a greater perspective, by widening their realm of knowledge in studying various traditional/cultural, orthodox and spiritual theories of practice.

All therapists that undertake a lifelong commitment carefully consider their role in practice within the healthcare profession before deciding to choose this as a professional vocation. More and more colleges and Universities offering courses on complementary/alternative medicine, also suggests that working within this field of expertise increases the potential for vacancies within medical clinics and hospitals.

The rising awareness for Therapists to continue professional development (CPD) further is paramount, and suggests a directive focus on providing a better service and standard of care to those health service users who want a varied, broad and eclectic means of treatment.

The Positive impact on those working both as Complementary/Alternative practitioners and those within Orthodox Medicine is:

Growing Trend: Amongst providers of health care, the promotion of integrative care is growing in momentum with many patients showing a genuine interest.

A change in Healthcare: Many individuals and health care providers are integrating various practices.

Training: There is also a real drive for conventional /orthodox practitioners to continue their professional development (CPD) and gain further knowledge in various aspects of alternative, traditional practice and post modern orthodox medicine.

Referral: GP’s and Consultants should refer patients to qualified and accredited complementary/alternative therapists.

Research and funding: The lack of scientific proof and funding has been limited in recent years. In many instances, lack of research makes it difficult for people to make an informed decision and so relies heavily in the continued support from charity organisations and government backed schemes to continue its progress.

Evaluation: For those seeking Alternative Therapies, there seems to be a real need to provide an evaluation of clinical competence and safety for those that are administrating treatments and those that are being treated.

*Of course all alternative medicine is subject to funding, research and clinical trials to identify benefits and relief in symptoms


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