The amount of people using complementary therapies has seen a dramatic increase in recent years. There are many reasons for this increase, and many reasons to believe that the increase is a trend that is set to continue.
The motivation to use complementary therapies can be broadly categorized into those seeking a remedy for a particular ailment or condition, and those who desire to use therapies to promote personal well being.
Traditionally, complementary therapy could be defined as the use of therapies in addition to those that a local GP was able to prescribe and refer clients to.
Today, this definition is outdated and has changed. In recent years more and more complementary therapies have become available through the NHS and the prescription of these therapies is becoming more common-place. When considering the use of therapies widely accepted and prescribed by local GPs, the definition of Complementary really is one of Therapies that go together with, accompany and complement conventional medicine.
Acceptance and Recognition
This recognition of many individual therapies by the National Health Service has helped to promote them and their acceptance in the public eye. There is a growing recognition both within the medical profession and in the minds of the public that Complementary Therapies have a role to play in our healthcare. This growing acceptance goes hand in hand with the increase in popularity of using Complementary Therapies, which in turn has helped to remove many of the unwarranted stigmas attached to using alternative forms of medical practice.
Health Service and Private Appointments
The increase in use of Complementary Therapies is only due to a small part to the NHS.
A client's desire to seek the use of Complementary Therapies is not always satisfied by the NHS. Not all GPs will prescribe Complementary Therapies as with all initial diagnosis and prescriptions what is recommended is a matter of clinical judgment. Furthermore, not all Health Trusts are structured and or funded to provide Complementary Therapies. In addition, those that have been prescribed a Complementary Therapy may as with all NHS referrals; find an appointment may involve a lengthy waiting period.
The use of private appointments to see complementary therapists is a significant area of growth and this is not just due to clients that want to avoid waiting lists.
The use of a private complementary therapist is often based on disappointment with conventional medicine and the growing acceptance and recognition that an alternative exists.
A patient may have the need to seek a remedy that wasn't found through their local health service. Many complementary therapies offer solutions which do not involve the use or perceived use of drugs or harmful treatments. Sometimes, just an alternative to the NHS experience is sought, after previous negative experiences with a local GP, surgery or the system. Sometimes an individuals opinion on health care may just be different from those of conventional medicine.
Personal Well Being
There has also been a significant increase in the use of Complementary Therapies by those who use therapies to promote general personal well being. The growing acceptance of Therapies, the removal of the stigmas attached to seeing a therapist and the general increase in personal awareness, health and wellbeing, has resulted in more and more people investing their time and disposable income in complementary therapies.
It is estimated that every year in the UK over five million people visit a Complementary Therapist. This is a figure that is destined to rise.
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