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Do complementary treatments have a place in modern healthcare?

  • Comments (6)

Howard V, Halldorsson R (2013) Using Indian head massage to aid recovery. Nursing Times; 109: 25, 14-16.

“Creating an environment that focuses on individual recovery within an acute inpatient environment can be challenging. To add to the therapeutic nature of a mental health assessment and treatment ward for women, we conducted a pilot of six Indian head massage taster treatments for patients. Feedback was obtained from patients and staff through the questionnaires, observation and verbal feedback.

“The feedback showed individual positive experiences and that the treatment enhanced experiences of care. These outcomes are being used to explore the benefits of the use of IHM in ward environments. The feedback indicates IHM training for multidisciplinary ward staff would be beneficial.”


Let’s discuss…

  • What are the benefits of using complementary treatments, such as Indian head massage?
  • Can these types of treatments work effectively as a placebo?
  • Do complementary treatments have a place in modern healthcare?


  • Comments (6)

Readers' comments (6)

  • I am a qualified Mental Health Community Nurse. I have also qualified as a massage therapist. I have written a policy for the use of Complimentary Therapies within the Trust I work. This has been a very long drawn out procedure. It still hasn't been agreed. Are there any other Trusts using complimentary therapy? The medical team have approved massage therapy to be used, it seems different disciplines can't agree on the policy. There is enough research for evidenced practise. I think someone should really push for this. Please note the preferred term is complimentary therapy and not alternative. Alternative means to replace, complimentary means to compliment another therapy. VERY IMPORTANT.

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  • Anonymous

    I haveseen far too many severely diseased body parts soaked in formalin in my hospital museum with labels explaining how they got there. Many were caused by the consumption of plants, weeds and herbs! I have also nursed one or two live specimens who after treating their conditions themselves with the above or stuff from drug stores in the name of compiimentary or alternative medicine, because they thought they knew best, came far too late for anything but palliative medical/nursing care!

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  • Anonymous

    Complimentary actually means "free".

    Complementary means completing or making a whole, ie adding to and/or supporting an existing medical model.

    It's complementary medicine we're talking about.

    Let's get it right if we're going to express opinions so strongly.

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 24-Jun-2013 9:20 pm

    there is no mention in the article about complimentary or complementary medicine!

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 24-Jun-2013 3:52 pm

    Just bear in mind that most drugs are based on plants, weeds and herbs. There are also a lot of formalin soaked bodies in your hospital museum which are there due to medics and nurses instituting all manner of drugs and treatments, who insisted they knew better...and didn't.

    There are a lot of things wrong with some of the so-called complementary treatments, there are also a lot of things wrong with modern medicine.

    Neither side should be dismissing the other completely out of hand.

    patricia ford | 24-Jun-2013 3:34 pm

    I qualified as a massage therapist many years ago whilst working in a hospice. Myself and two other nurse colleagues completed the course and were able to offer it in addition to the care already provided within our hospice. There is no doubt it enhanced the patients' feelings of wellbeing.
    I went back into acute care after some years and now work in clinical research. I'll have a look through our resources to see if there have been any good quality studies into massage therapies (particularly any which have resulted in policies) and post any info and/or links.

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  • I fully believe that any therapies that support the well being of the patient and where the person is properly qualified (I think this is where the question lies)can only assist. I say properly qualified as I have looked recently in doing something along theses lines and am often shocked how little training someone needs to be able to say they can practice in this area. Also much of it seems to be unregulated which makes the situation somewhat unsafe.

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