What are complementary Therapies?
Complementary therapies are alternative therapies that can be used along with medical treatment to help the patient feel better. No one should begin a complementary therapy without speaking with his or her physician.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy involves touch and different techniques of stroking or kneading the muscles of the body. It can involve only part of the body or a full body massage. Massage may be done through one’s clothing or on the exposed skin. It can be done in specialized chairs or on a table. Massage therapy should only be done by a licensed massage therapist.
Why is it done?
Massage is used for muscle and bone discomfort, improvement of circulation, reduction in swelling, relaxation, and pain control. It can be used as a complement to other treatments and as a stress reducer and feel good therapy. Studies have shown that massage can improve the relaxation response and the general sense of well being.
What is Therapeutic Touch?
Therapeutic Touch is a process of energy exchange in which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to help the healing process. It is based on the idea that human beings are a form of energy. When we are healthy, the energy is freely flowing and balanced. Disease on the other hand, is believed to be an imbalance or disturbance of the energy flow.
How does it work?
Therapeutic Touch treatment may vary from 5-30 minutes depending on the needs of the individual. Exact methods vary between practitioners, but generally they will hold their hands 2-4 inches away from your fully clothed body, moving them from your head to toe, and over your front and back. Research has demonstrated that therapeutic touch promotes relaxation, and a sense of comfort and well being. Research has shown it to be effective in decreasing anxiety and altering the perception of pain.
Why is physical exercise important?
Physical exercise improves the overall functioning of the body and quality of life. Exercise therapy may decrease stress, pain, nausea, fatigue and depression. Regular exercise affects your hormonal balance as well as most of your body systems. Regular participation in physical activity raises the heart rate and maintains an increased heart rate for a period of time.
How should I begin?
Depending on your physical condition, and after the advice of your physician, you may begin walking 5-10 minutes twice a day with a goal of increasing activity for 45 minutes at least three times each week. It is important that your exercise time be without interruptions. This is time for yourself. If you are unable to walk, there are other ways to exercise (i.e.,stretching, isometric exercises).
What is Relaxation Response?
Relaxation is a state of being free from anxiety, tension, and distress. A state of relaxation can be achieved using different styles, such as, diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, repetitive affirmation, prayer, yoga, and guided/visual imagery.
What is the result of Relaxation Response?
When practiced regularly, relaxation response can improve sleep, concentration, and the ability to cope with stress. Relaxation can help with management of pain, nausea, and anxiety.
How can I find out about it?
You may find free tapes or booklets at libraries or low cost materials in stores. You may also choose to attend groups or work groups for no or minimal fees. Once you have learned the technique, relaxation response can be practiced without cost.