Wouldn’t the government love to cut the £8.2 billion spent every year on drugs? Wouldn’t it be great if doctors offered you some alternatives – acupuncture for the pains in your joints (instead of drugs), reflexology for your problems with conceiving (instead of fertility drugs), or chiropractic for your bad back (instead of anti-inflammatories), or hypnotherapy for your anxiety (instead of anti-depressants)?
Despite the fact that 50 per cent of the British public have tried complementary therapies, there is still a concerted campaign by certain parts of the media and medical establishment to quash them, citing lack of evidence. The public, however, is not so concerned with scientific evidence (provided there are no safety implications, which in the case of gentle therapies there are not) and they just want something that makes them better.
Many people are driven to complementary therapies because there of lack of success with conventional treatments. For example, IBS, cystitis, multiple sclerosis, indigestion, headaches, CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), migraines, eczema, asthma, infertility, back pain, arthritis, anxiety, and so the list goes on, are not always that well resolved with drugs, which tend to suppress symptoms rather than cure them. However, they normally have to pay for them.
Lots of people choose to try acupuncture, nutrition, reflexology, homeopathy, chiropractic, hypnotherapy, in addition to their conventional treatments, or some prefer the more natural approach. As the programme The Food Hospital has shown changing your diet can do wonders for your health. And there are no side-effects, so what can you lose? If you try it and it works you’re better, if it doesn’t you haven’t damaged your immune system or encountered unpleasant side-effects.
A few enlightened practices offer access to therapies, and acupuncture is quite widely available on the NHS. Read our articles: Complementary Therapies on the NHS; NHS provision of complementary therapies: Visionary healthcare.