Thursday 11 January 2024

Massages on prescription

I’ve been getting regular massages now for over a year. I see a lovely lady called Hollie who specialises in  complimentary therapies for people with health issues. Whenever I see Hollie no two treatments are ever the same because she tailors each treatment to how I’ve been around that time, such as if my lower back has been particularly painful, or my legs have been in spasm more or my circulation has been worse and so she’ll focus my treatment on those issues. Her treatment room is also a little more specialised especially the massage bed which is like a profiling massage bed, the head of the bed raises up and down as does the foot of the bed and the bed also raises in height so people can be made more comfortable when they’re having a massage or other treatment. Another thing I like when I’m having a massage is the fact that I don’t lay on my stomach, instead I lay on each of my sides hugging a pillow when Hollie massages my back and shoulders.

I personally feel that massages like the ones I get with Hollie and by people trained like Hollie should be more readily available and accessible such as on prescription because of the benefits massage can give to people, especially those with certain chronic health conditions that may have little other treatment options or conditions that may benefit from massage, just like you can get acupuncture through the NHS for certain health conditions.

The reason why I feel that some complementary therapies should be available are that I personally believe that care should be supplemented and that medication doesn’t work alone both for physical and mental illnesses. Other things have to be done alongside medication to treat a person’s illness for a positive holistic approach outcome and this in turn, through treating a person holistically or in a person centred way may reduce the patient’s reliance upon medication or may aid their care, recovery, or help to improve quality of life. Idealistically I feel the holistic approach would include the biopsychosocial model of care with things like complimentary therapies, allied healthcare services such as occupational therapy or physiotherapy, talking therapies and social prescribing alongside traditional medical practice care.

There are many complimentary therapies that can be beneficial and aid physical and/or emotional wellbeing such as massage, nail care, Indian head massage and reiki.


About and the benefits of complimentary therapies:

Personally these are the complimentary therapies I feel should be available to patients on something like a prescription for those with certain health conditions because of the physical and/or emotional benefits these therapies offer


Massage

Massage relaxes the muscles and soft tissue, it also increases the delivery of oxygen and blood to the area that is being treated as well as warming the area. Massage has been found to relieve pain, reduce stress, increase the sense of relaxation, reduce anxiety and generally aid a person’s wellness. In rehabilitation massage can also be used to assist with the repair of muscular injuries.

This is the main treatment I have with Hollie and I’ve seen a great deal of benefit physically over time. It also relaxes me reducing any emotional stress or anxiety I’ve been experiencing. Hollie works in a person centred way so she focuses on the issues I’ve been experiencing with my health at the time. I find that it does aide the relief of my pain and my circulation has been a lot better since Hollie has been working on improving that.


Reiki

This is a non-touch though it can be hands on depending upon the needs of the client; it’s a non-invasive and non-manipulative treatment which may benefit some people over having a massage. Reiki is traditional Japanese natural healing therapy that tunes into the body’s energies and chakras from therapist to client. Reiki works on both emotional and physical healing.

I’ve had reiki in the past and found it deeply relaxing and I found the lack of touch was helpful as I felt the benefit of what the therapist was doing but by not touching my body reduced my body’s hypersensitivity to touch that I was experiencing at the time I had the treatment. It’s something I’d definitely try again.


Indian head massage 

This is an ancient treatment practiced for over a thousand years; it works on the Ayurvedic system of healing. The treatment works on the the muscles, tissue and joints of the head, face, neck and shoulders. This treatment is especially good for stress, tension, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, migraines and sinusitis.

When I have my full body massage Hollie also works on my head, neck and shoulders especially to relieve my ‘migraine fog’.


Nail care

Certain illnesses or treatments for some illnesses can affect a person’s hands, feet and nails. Complimentary therapies to treat a person’s hands or feet including their nails can be beneficial cutting, filing and performing cuticle work on the nails as well as massaging the hands and arms or feet and legs can help with symptoms as well as aiding relaxation and helping clients to feel clean, refreshed, hydrated and soothed.

I think that this nail care complimentary therapy should be offered alongside allied healthcare such as podiatry as well as hand therapy, diabetes, oncology and neurology clinics etc.


Resources 

Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council - you can find a therapist here

Amethyst Trust