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Complementary Therapies in Health And Social Care

University: University of London

  • Unit No: 11
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 14 / Words 3564
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: N/A
  • Downloads: 20783
Question :

This sample will let you know about:

Explain different types of complementary therapies.

Explain the role of complementary therapies in orthodox treatment.

Answer :


Complementary therapy is known as alternative medicine, holistic therapy and traditional medicine in which different services are delivered to the patients in unique manner. There are many types of treatment that typically exit under complementary therapy and which also involves conventional medical system (Barcelona de Mendoza, Harville, Savage and Giarratano, 2016). Most popular therapies are aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and yoga. These therapies are important in the realm of health and social care because it underpins the practices of service delivery process.

Therefore, in this respect discussion has been made on types of complementary benefits and how it aids in improving the life of a person. The entire study has been made on Lifeline which is entitled in delivering complementary therapy services; thus in such respect focus has been laid on role of complementary therapies in orthodox treatment. Furthermore, discussion is also included regarding reliability and validity of information sources on complementary therapy. Lastly, discussion has been made about use of existing legislation and code of ethics which helps in regulating complementary therapies in society.

Explain different types of complementary therapies

Pharmaceutical mediated

Physically mediated

Psychological mediated

Herbal medicine is also regarded as herbalism which includes botanical medicine wherein plants or plant extracts are applied to skin to treat any patient (Gregory and et.al., 2017). This is also a traditional method that could be used by Lifeline to treat illness. At the same time, it also ensures to assist bodily functions

Osteopathy comes under alternative medicine which is also called as pseudo medicine and which includes massage of muscle tissue and bones.

Counselling is one of the most common services given by Lifeline that is delivered to the patients who are unable to discuss their health problems. For instance- counselling service is rendered especially to patients suffering from depression (Carpenter, Webb, Bostock and Coomber, 2017). Appropriate discussion is held among patient and counsellor at Lifeline so as to discuss health problems.

Homeopathy is another category of alternative medicine which believes that the substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people (Johns, Bobat and Holder, 2016). It is usually given to patients having problems related to acne and other skin.

Acupuncture therapy is used for the purpose of managing the pattern of energy flow through the body and it is also essential to maintain health and wellbeing (Hu and et.al., 2016). It is generally given to older patients at Lifeline. Cupping therapy is one of the examples of acupuncture.

Hypnotherapy is regarded as alternative healing method which is also used for creating subconscious change in patient's thoughts and attitude. Thus, it includes hypnotizing the patient.


Another physical mediated technique includes aromatherapy which involves yoga and body massage to relax the patients (McFeeters, Pront, Cuthbertson and King, 2016).

In Psychotherapy, psychological methods are used at Lifeline as it aims to improve an individual's wellbeing and mental health.

Assess complementary therapies including advantages and disadvantages

In the above section, discussion has been included about complementary therapies; however in this section emphasis has been laid on physically mediated and psychological therapies.

Acupuncture and Aromatherapy



Acupuncture is useful for the purpose of giving appropriate knowledge to the patients of Lifeline regarding the use of body massage and other pressure points.

Improper use of pressure points can lead to other health issues and this can also affect the functioning of bones (McFeeters, Pront, Cuthbertson and King, 2016).

Aromatherapy basically aids in giving relaxation to the patients; hence this can assist in relieving mental stress and tension (McVicar, Greenwood, Ellis and LeForis, 2016). With the help of this therapy, health and wellbeing aspects can be encouraged accordingly.

Such therapies take time to give positive outcomes; hence most often patients at Lifeline drop the idea to continue to the treatment.

Such therapies are costly; however they are the most modern methods of providing medication to the patients. Complementary therapies can also work as supportive treatments which also aids in controlling health problems which usually arise in different age groups.

This also brings changes in the lifestyle; hence sometimes patients of Lifeline do not get ready to adopt such treatment.

Counselling and hypnotherapy



Counselling is highly significant for the purpose of improving the mental state of a person as it involves open and clear discussion about the health conditions.

Since, it consumes time; therefore it does not give immediate benefits to the patients. However, counselling is effective only when the patients give optimum support to the counsellors of Lifeline (Rose, Browne and Bryden, 2016).

In addition to this, Hypnotherapy is also useful in helping the patients who smoke and drink too much especially on continuous basis. At the same time, it also assist in eliminating phobias and fears (Smith, Chang, Brownhill and Barr, 2016).

Counselling services does not bring suitable benefits when the patients have severity of depression. Hence, prior delivering the services patient consent is required to be given.

Both the complementary therapies are useful for the purpose of managing patient's health aspects in suitable way.

Hypnotherapy sometimes bring negative results as well especially after completing the process of treatment. For instance- patient may feel insecure while revealing all the secrets.

Analyze the factors that influence the access to complementary therapies

  • Geographical factors: Lifeline is located far away from the city side; hence patients find it difficult to reach the health care centre (Stub and et.al., 2016). Thus, due to geographical distance, many patients do not get suitable services.
  • Socio-economic factors: Apparently, complementary services are costly; therefore some patients find it difficult to get access for the same treatment. In this respect, it is clear that due to unavailability of economic sources, most often patients do not get the opportunity for proper psychological treatment (Tussing and Wren, 2017).
  • Cultural factors: There are various people who do not prefer to undergo for complementary therapies due to their social and cultural values. For instance - most of the youngsters do not go to counsellors as they get insecure about their social status.
  • Educational factors: Today's world is technologically integrated; however still there are varied patients who do not have proper knowledge and education about complementary services (Carpenter, Webb, Bostock and Coomber, 2017). Hence, this is another factor that reduces the chances of easy access of complementary services.
  • Referral systems: Complementary services are sometimes given through reference basis; therefore many people do not find it reliable; hence they do not get access for the same.

Compare the role of complementary therapies in orthodox treatment

Orthodox treatment involves greater use of drugs and medicines to treat the patients; however there are various health problems which can be treated effectively through combining complementary therapies. For instance-

  • Muscular skeletal disorder: It is also known as carpal tunnel syndrome which creates injuries or pain in joints, muscles, ligaments, neck, back and tendons. Usually, the disorder is treated through drugs; however Lifeline can also make use of complementary therapy to treat specific health issue (Graham and Gray, 2016). In this respect, assistance can be acquired from Osteopathy therapy which involves massage to the bones and affected muscles. Therefore, along with Orthodox treatment, health care practitioners of Lifeline can ensure that proper massage and bone relaxation techniques are being used to treat the patient effectively.
  • Metabolic disorder: Inherited metabolic disorders are based on genetic conditions and that also results in metabolism problems (Johns, Bobat and Holder, 2016). It usually depicts defective gene which results in enzyme deficiency. Lifeline complementary services are required to consider appropriate delivery of drugs and medicines so that such deficiency could be improved balanced. For example- patient having diabetes can switch to complementary services such as to Chromium which may improve in controlling diabetes. Chromium is required for a diabetic for the purpose of making glucose tolerance factor and at the same time it also helps insulin to generate positive results (McFeeters, Pront, Cuthbertson and King, 2016). Apart from this, Ginseng can also be given to the patient who have some glucose- lowering effects in different stages.

Thus, from the above discussion it is clear that with the help of complementary and orthodox services, prominent services could be delivered by Lifeline in different areas. Another instance - problems in endocrine functioning can also affect a person's capability in managing diverse activities and practices.

Evaluate the attitudes in general towards complementary therapies

People have developed different perception regarding complementary therapies; however it differs according to positive and negative attitude. Some people have developed positive attitude about complementary services as they have accepted the benefits of the same. In this area, many people say that because of complementary therapies, there are distinct health problems which have solved yet (Hu and et.al., 2016). Furthermore, people have also accepted the services because complementary services of Lifeline are easily available. Along with this, people also consider complementary services beneficial because it does not have side effects.

People also have a perception that complementary services are enjoyable especially during massage and other relaxing services (Johns, Bobat and Holder, 2016). However, on the other hand some people have negative attitude as well regarding complementary therapies because of less information. Lack of education and knowledge is one of the apparent factors that changes the mind-set of people towards diverse health care services. Further, most of the people also consider it time consuming activity because the outcomes which it gives takes too much time.

Thus, according to the negative and positive perception, it is clear that people have difference of opinion about complementary therapy; hence this also changes the opportunities of access. It is also identified that due to cultural values and norms, some people do not prefer to get assistance from counsellors and therapies; thus they only prefer to get treatment through drugs (Kerr and et.al., 2016). At the same time, people also believe that complementary therapy services do not have any specific cure; hence less people get access for the same.

Assess the psychological effects of complementary therapies

Complementary therapies have several psychological effects; however this varies as per the health problems and disorders (Barcelona de Mendoza, Harville, Savage and Giarratano, 2016). For instance- a college going student is facing mental health issues because of depression; hence for the same the patient needs to get assistance from counselling services so that to come out with all the internal problems. At the same time, it can also be said that because of depression, the person is feeling lonely and isolated; hence with the help of suitable counselling services, all such issues could be managed accordingly. In terms of stating about psychological effects, it is evident that counsellors can enhance the comfort zone of the patient so that the problems could be revealed. Similarly, this can also aid the patient to feel better after disclosing all the health problems.

Hence, counselling not only improves mental status; but also it encourages the person to switch towards a healthy and balanced life (Carpenter, Webb, Bostock and Coomber, 2017). Another example can be quoted here of a patient having learning disabilities. At the time of managing such patient, Lifeline is required to make use of alternative techniques (under complementary therapy) so that interest of patient can be identified in the same care provision. This is also useful for the purpose of involving the patient in care services. Thus, in order to treat autistic patients, health care practitioners of Lifeline are required to focus on psychological therapies suitably (Graham and Gray, 2016). This involves close monitoring, suitable communication and direct interaction with the patient; hence this is one of the most effective methods of dealing with autistic patients.

Explain what contraindications present between orthodox and complementary therapies

On the basis of general terminology, a contraindication is a specific situation wherein a drug or surgical procedure cannot be used because of its harmful effects to the person. There are basically two types of contraindications such as relative contraindication and absolute contraindication (Gregory and et.al., 2017). It is also the opposite of indication which gives a justifiable reason to use a specific treatment. Absolute contraindication means that there is no reasonable circumstance to undertake any course of action. For instance- when children have viral infection, they should not be given aspirin because it develops the risk of Reye's syndrome. This might also enhance allergy in the child.

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The other category is relative contraindication in which the patient is at a risk of developing more complications; however such risks may be balanced by adopting different measures of health management. For example- in pregnancy, women usually avoid getting X-rays; however such risks may be balanced through proper diagnosis of any other serious health issue (Hu and et.al., 2016). Contrary to the same, it can be said that in order to treat an autistic patient, it is essential for the health care practitioners to focus more on complementary therapies as compared to orthodox treatment. In this situation, contraindication should be avoided as delivery of drugs and medicines can affect the patient differently. Thus, assistance could only be delivered through complementary therapies.

Analyse the reliability and validity of information sources on complementary therapy

Validity of an assessment is the degree which measures all such aspects which are supposed to be measured. This is different with that to reliability up to an extent and it also gives measurement results which are typically very much consistent (Johns, Bobat and Holder, 2016). However, on the other hand reliability is considered as the degree to which an assessment tool helps in producing stable and consistent results and outcomes. Both the terms (reliability and validity) are useful for the purpose of defining the accuracy aspects of information. Apart from this, there are different sources which are useful to provide information to people regarding complementary services such as internet, radio, journals and newspapers (Kerr and et.al., 2016).

Articulating all the sources, Lifeline can make use internet and published articles to generate awareness among people regarding the availability of complementary services. However, prior using any source, it is essential for Lifeline to emphasize on all such factors that make the source valid and reliable (London, Muller, Handlin, Harlén, Lindmark and Ekström, 2016). For instance- before getting any information from internet sources, it is vital to analyse the authencity and accuracy aspects as that only makes the source highly reliable. In addition to the same, while getting information about any profession, it is crucial to focus on expertise advice and opinion so that level of accuracy and authencity can be defined. Proper emphasis should also be laid on the type of information as that could only allow the user to implement the information in requisite area (McFeeters, Pront, Cuthbertson and King, 2016).

Evaluate the Evidence

The above picture of the journal is depicting usefulness of yoga in treating diabetes. The study also states that yoga is one of the most effective complementary therapies which aids diabetic patients to control the level of glucose in the body (McVicar, Greenwood, Ellis and LeForis, 2016). At the same time, it also ensures to keep balance in the body functioning through use of diverse exercises. In the journal, it is discussed that diabetes mellitus is a chronic progressive metabolic disorder which is also characterized by hyperglycemia and that mainly occurs due to absolute or relative deficiency of insulin hormone. Thus, stating about the health issues, it is mentioned in the journal that exercises and physical activities can assist diabetic to change the health dimensions.

At the same time, focus has also been laid on changing the lifestyle so that varied health problems can be managed accordingly (Rose, Browne and Bryden, 2016). In the study, discussion has also been included about obesity that comes especially in diabetic patient; hence to improve the same, researcher has shed light on the benefits of exercises and physical practices. In the journal, it is mentioned that a diabetic should focus on many complementary medication such as stress management, diet management and change in lifestyle intervention. Therefore, such interventions are useful in dealing with different health problems. Concluding the article it is clear that in conjunction with orthodox treatment, health care practitioners of Lifeline should emphasize on providing complementary therapy services to diabetic patients.

Recommend complementary therapy for a specific group of users in health and social care services

On the basis of above discussion, it became clear that complementary therapy services are quite effective in terms of dealing with health problems of people. For diabetic patient, complementary therapy services are crucial (especially for older people) as through that several aspects of the health can be managed in systematic manner (Smith, Chang, Brownhill and Barr, 2016). Therefore, yoga and physical activities are suggested to older people so that they can improve their health dimensions. Similarly, this can also aid in improving lifestyle of the patient. Hence, along with physical fitness, the patient will be able to improve the lifestyle.

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Another example is for depressed patients who can get assistance from counselling services (Stub and et.al., 2016). In counselling, the person can speak about all the health issues and personal problems and after having specific discussion, patient and counsellor can come to a conclusion. Therefore, according to the health problem, these two therapies are being suggested to both the groups. Counselling services seems to be beneficial for depressed patients in many ways. Henceforth, concluding the discussion it can be said that there are varied benefits of complementary therapy services. Both the recommended services ought to be provided as per the health requirements as that can benefit the patient in diverse contexts (Tussing and Wren, 2017).


Concluding the overall research procedure it can be said that as per the health care requirements, prominent services could be delivered to the patients. This is not only useful in eradicating health consequences, but also it will aid in enhancing life aspects of the patient. The study has also made it clear that prior acquiring information about any health care provision, it is useful to analyse the reliability and validity aspects. Furthermore, in the research work, it is also ascertained that legal and ethical dimensions are required to be followed while delivering complementary services in place of orthodox services.

Read more - Holistic Therapy


  • Barcelona de Mendoza, V., Harville, E., Savage, J. and Giarratano, G., 2016. Association of complementary and alternative therapies with mental health outcomes in pregnant women living in a postdisaster recovery environment.Journal of Holistic Nursing. 34(3). pp.259-270.
  • Carpenter, J., Webb, C., Bostock, L. and Coomber, C., 2017. Effective supervision in social work and social care.Health.
  • Graham, L. and Gray, L., 2016. P-42 Positive contact in palliative care? pilot study: efficacy of person-centred complementary therapies in improving the quality of life of care home service users.
  • Gregory, R. and et.al., 2017. Effects of massage therapy on anxiety, depression, hyperventilation and quality of life in hiv infected patients: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL.Complementary Therapies in Medicine.
  • Hu, X. and et.al., 2016. A pragmatic observational feasibility study on integrated treatment for musculoskeletal disorders: Design and protocol.Chinese journal of integrative medicine. 22(2). pp.88-95.
  • Johns, L., Bobat, S. and Holder, J., 2016. Therapist experiences of equine-assisted psychotherapy in South Africa: A qualitative study.Journal of Psychology in Africa.26(2). pp.199-203.
  • Kerr, J. G. and et.al., 2016. Examining Evidence for Conventional versus Complementary Therapies to Address Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.Journal of General Practice. pp.1-4.
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