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What is holistic therapy?

Treatment for the body, mind, spirit and emotions, holistic therapy simply refers to treating the whole person rather than individual symptoms. Also widely known as CAM – complementary and alternative medicine – holistic practices assist in regaining the physical and energy balances of the body.

What can holistic therapy help with?

Holistic therapies have been effectively used for centuries and can play an important role in maintaining good health and overall well-being. Rather than addressing individual symptoms, a holistic therapist will look for the underlying cause by considering physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual states of health and well-being.  

‘Holistic’ comes from the Greek word holos, meaning ‘whole’

We cannot live a happy and meaningful life if we are disconnected and fragmented. This is why it is so important to look at all the elements of health simultaneously. Holistic therapies can provide support with:

  • Physical health: bodily aches, chronic pain, illnesses, tension, fatigue and diseases.
  • Emotional health: feelings such as anger, sadness, or worry.
  • Mental health: all our limiting beliefs that manifest as depression, anxiety and stress e.g. “I am not good enough.”
  • Spiritual health: feeling empty, lost, incomplete, disconnected and fragmented.

Types of holistic therapy treatment

Holistic therapists may be qualified in multiple disciplines and can often make use of a variety of treatments and techniques to help their clients. But, it is also common for practitioners to offer one type of holistic therapy, and to specialise in that field.

Some of the more well-known types of holistic therapies include:

  • Reflexology: applying pressure to and massaging certain areas of the feet, hands and ears. It aims is to encourage healing and relieve stress and tension.
  • Massage therapy: using manual, hands-on movements and manipulation of the soft tissues and muscles in the body, to promote healing and enhance a person’s overall well-being.
  • Acupuncture: having very fine needles inserted into various points on the body to stimulate nerves in your skin and muscles, producing different effects.

To find out more about the different treatments you could benefit from, browse our list of holistic therapies.

In holistic therapy, a lot of focus is placed on the individual taking responsibility for their own well-being. In that respect, holistic therapists tend to concentrate on educating clients about lifestyle changes and self-care practices that they may undertake to promote balance and wellness.

How does holistic therapy complement other treatments?

It’s important to remember that holistic therapy doesn’t negate or disregard Western medicine; holistic therapy can work alongside conventional medicine in a complementary manner. For this reason, the term holistic therapy is often used interchangeably with ‘complementary therapy’.

For instance, while medication may be part of a person’s treatment, a holistic approach may include other treatments such as acupuncture or reflexology to address unresolved issues and triggers, relaxation techniques, massage, and more.

Increasingly, we are discovering that health is truly holistic. We are healthy and happy when our physical body, mind, emotions and soul are all in alignment. 

Our body knows how to heal itself

You may wish to visit a holistic therapist as a complement to seeking traditional Western medical advice. You may also wish to schedule some appointments with a holistic therapist if you are looking for advice on how to make small changes to your daily routines that may promote a better or healthier lifestyle and restore a sense of balance to your life. 

Holistic therapy is a completely natural and non-invasive treatment, suitable for all ages. Depending on which holistic treatment you choose, therapy can help you to relax, alleviate stress as well as ease a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms.

How does holistic therapy restore balance?

Holistic therapy is being used increasingly by individuals wanting to find more balance and harmony within themselves. A therapist can help to restore the body’s natural balance, leading to a more sustained and rewarding quality of life.

Holistic therapies have gained popularity especially among those looking to manage chronic stress. Studies show that ‘taking time out’ for holistic therapy treatment can help individuals to manage stress; aiding relaxation and improving longevity.

Holistic therapy is effective in addressing countless other physical and psychological concerns, from muscular aches and pains to hormonal imbalances, to improved sleep and mental clarity. As well as being deeply relaxing and providing relief from the everyday stresses, holistic therapy treatments can also be a treat for individuals who enjoy pampering themselves.

Your next steps

If, after reading this, you’re feeling ready to start your holistic therapy journey, here are some next steps we advise:

  • Identify what you would like holistic therapy to support you with. What are you seeking from therapy?
  • Ask yourself which type of holistic therapy would suit your needs best right now.
  • Use our search tool to browse therapists listed with us.
  • Read more about them, their skills and experience on their profiles, to understand if they could be a good fit for you.
  • Contact the therapist and set up a consultation or book a session.

If you have any other questions about holistic therapy, visit our FAQs section or get in touch

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