Which Alternative Medicine Practitioner Should I See?
When you take a first step into the world of Alternative Medicine and Complementary Practices it can be uber overwhelming. With a plethora of modalities taking up a field which provides a non-invasive, non-toxic, all natural method of healing in comparison to Conventional Medicine, it can be difficult to know which complementary practice is right for you. This guide gives you a general overview of why you might reach out to some of the many forms of alternative practitioners out there and an insight into what they can offer.
Everyone has an opinion on the best type of healer, the best techniques and methods. However, the best is always subjective and ultimately it boils down to what elicits the desired outcome for your body in response to the symptoms you are facing. What works for one, may not work for another and sometimes, it requires a bit of trial and error to find a practice that you align with.
All of these Alternative Practioners share one common belief- the body can heal itself, it just needs a helping hand. Whilst many of these practitioners do treat many or all of the issues listed below depending on your symptoms, needs and options for treatment, we've aligned the most common predicaments to their best suited alternative medicine practice.
FOR: Migraines, Sleep Issues, hormonal imbalances, Generalised Anxiety + Stress
(and you don’t mind needles)
Utilising the ancient techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acupuncturists work with a method which employs the use of ultra thin needles insterted into specific points along the meridian lines of the body to unblock, or realign the Qi – your vital energy force. This practice helps to remove stagnation, revitalize the organs, provide support to the nervous, circulatory and musculoskeletal systems and assists in reducing tensions in the body. Rather than a one specific treatment, when utilised in consecutive sessions, it can help lower stress levels, balance hormonal issues, increase general wellness and enhance sleep patterns.
If your body responds well to TCM, you may also find the practices of cupping, Tui Na and Chinese Herbal remedies helpful in eliciting similar benefits to the meridians and flow of Qi in the body!
FOR: Digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, depression, insomnia
(and you don’t mind drinking potions)
Herbalists practice the most fundamental form of non-toxic functional medicine, utilising a vast array of Western herbs to create specific tonics, remedies or mixtures that support the body to function at an optimal level. Natural medicine treatment prescribed and created by Herbalists will use herbs, seeds, roots and plants to support the body's numerous systems. As an all-natural method of treatment, a herbalist will holistically address the core root of any issue(s) presented, often addressing diet and lifestyle factors, and consequently prescribe a herbal treatment in order to supplement and support the body in it’s process to return back to prime health and wellness.
FOR: Allergies, asthma, arthritis, generally feeling under the weather, anxiety, depression
Nautorapths are trained as general practitioners who specialise in natural medicine. With an intention to treat the whole person and do no harm, they utilise the healing power of nature to holistically assess, address and treat the root causes of illness or pain. Utilising non-toxic and natural treatments which may include herbal remedies, nutritional supplements or bodywork techniques, the aim is to not only treat the presenting issue, but continue to provide education to the clients and prevent further illness from developing.
FOR: Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Muscular Aches
Osteopaths offer remedial work that takes a holistic view of the body. The method primarily incorporates the whole musculoskeletal system of the body, including the joints, muscles and spine and addresses the many enegertic, kinetic and functional pathways of the body. As a healing practice, the body should feel supported and encouraged to find its alignment which results in positive effects on the bodys nervous, circulatory and lympathic system. Often, the osteopath will not immediately address the site of pain presented, but the root cause area – which surprisingly may be far away from where the pain site is, via an array of physical hands on methods and movements.
FOR: Back Pain, Joint/Skeletal Issues, Postural Deviations
Chiropractors focus on realignment of the joints and skeletal system working on the understanding that when the musculoskeletal system is back in alignment, the body will be allowed to heal itself. As a method by which to assist, and ultimately eradicate bodily aches and pains, the spine is acknowledged to be at the foundation of the system. Key to the practice are adjustments, which include hands on treatment utilising force, leverage, push/pull to manipuilate the musco-sketal system back to its preferential alignment.
FOR: Injury, Acute Inflammation, Pre/Post Natal Care
If you’ve had a sporting injury, sprain, twist, roll or pop you should head along to a physiotherapist. More towards the conventional medicine side of the scale, Physiotherapists are renowned for offering treatments for rehabilitation and prevention purposes. Working with the muscular system, they assess, treat and consequently implement a long term recovery plan with specific exercises to help you get back up and running. If you struggle from any muscular imbalances or postural alignment issues, they will help you remedy the issues to reduce your pain and enhance general muscular endurance and engagement. Additionally, for those in a pre or post natal phase, physiotherapists can help with specific exercises for pelvic floor support, engagement, mobilisation and strength exercises to encourage safe movement patterns before and after birth.
FOR: Energetically Blocked, Stress, Anxiety
(and are open to a more spiritual practice).
This Japanese practice translates directly to Rei (Spiritual) and Ki (life force energy). This modality involves the channeling of the life force energy from a Reiki practioner into the body as a means to heal. As a hands on healing approach this can help restore the optimal energy balance by unblocking stagnant energy and releasing held trauma, and as such releasing the physical and emotional effects of pent up stress. Sitting within a more spiritual framework, as the vital energy is transferred and channelled to help the body heal itself, it is said to offer a level of spiritual and vibrational healing, affecting not only the physical state, but the emotional and mental additionally.