Guide to Alternative Therapies Part Four

This article is the last in our series of alternative therapies. Next week, we’ll discuss where you can find therapists and how to make the therapies work for you.

Bowen Therapy

Bowen therapy was developed in Australia in the 1950’s by a man named Tom Bowen. It was limited to Australia until Bowen passed away, when it was aptly named and then spread to other areas of the world. It’s a simple therapy that is rooted in a holistic approach to treating illness. The Bowen therapists use their thumbs and fingers to create very gentle rolling movements across the surface of their patient’s skin. These movements are altered with short breaks for the client to allow the benefits of those movements to do their job. Because these movements are very gentle, this is a therapy that’s generally suitable for patients of all ages. This movement is used to release tension and to release blocked energy stuck within the muscles. The sessions usually take around 45 minutes and they’re thought to help with a variety of pain problems, including tennis elbow, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure and stress.


Hypnotherapy is another therapy that’s been around for a huge amount of time. The therapy is generally based around the concept of hypnosis, whereby the practitioner sends the patient into a deep, hypnotised state. In this state, the patient can discover the emotional problems that may be causing them physical ailments. It’s a brilliant therapy that’s used for stress, anxiety and dealing with intense emotional difficulties, and it’s also used to rid people of habits such as smoking and nail-biting. It’s thought to be very effective and is often recommended by doctors.

The length of your treatment will depend on your problem, but you can expect to have up to ten treatment sessions. You may also be taught how to hypnotise yourself.

Massage Therapies

Massages and massage therapies have recently seen a large surge in popularity, losing the old stigma that used to be attached to getting a massage. Unfortunately, massage parlours used to be thought of as synonymous with ladies of the night, but recently more and more people are seeking massage therapy as a way to treat aches, pains and tension, as well as to relax themselves. There are many forms of massage, including light, gentle touches, kneading of the muscles, and there are actually thought to be over eighty types of massage.


Reiki is a form of therapy that uses a combination of healing touch and distant, hands-off techniques. Reiki therapists treat the parts of your body that they deem to be emitting weak or weakened energy, by laying their hands close to where the problem area is. They then channel their Ki through their hands, allowing it to flow through you, activating your body’s natural healing abilities.

What to Expect from an Alternative Therapy

You should expect the unexpected. All alternative therapies are slightly unusual and in that respect, you have to lay your reservations to one side and believe in them. Those who say that these therapies don’t work tend to say that the therapies act like a placebo – that they only work because you believe in them. That may be somewhat true – if you believe something is going to make you feel better, it’s more likely to work than if you really believe that something’s not going to work for you. You should only ever use a licensed practitioner – someone that’s had training and experience. Don’t ever go to a practitioner that can’t prove to you their qualifications because you never know what might happen if you end up in the wrong hands.