This is a reprint of an original blog I posted in May 2016 on a different website

Sometimes I refer to myself as an holistic therapist, sometimes complementary. I’ve lately taken to calling myself an holistic therapist because I’m looking at someone as a person and bringing my toolkit to try and help their sense of wellbeing.

I am also a complementary therapist, as I do feel there is a time and place for therapies and also a time and place for medical care. I know some people attack therapies as placebos, unscientific etc, but there is research coming out all the time. It’s also worth bearing in mind that scientific evidence isn’t so robust for some pharmaceutical areas, and the model used to try to analyse holistic and complementary approaches doesn’t translate from the scientific to the therapies field very well. Despite this though, it’s the main approach to try to confirm what we’re trying to do.  At the other extreme it’s worth remembering that therapies don’t have the answer to everything. I know some therapists who have a disdain for the medical profession, but I know which one I would rather use in an emergency.

I wanted to explain a recent example to show you how I personally use a complementary approach. I don’t tend to get ill very frequently, but every once in a while it does happen. Recently, over the course of a few hours I had an idea I had tonsillitis beginning. By the next day I knew I would have to cancel clients, and I was grateful it was a quieter week with a bank holiday. By the Friday I wasn’t sure it was a virus – I’m weary of antibiotics, as I know that each time they’re being used when they shouldn’t that we’re encouraging resistant strains that are going to cause future problems. I also know a GP won’t prescribe antibiotics for a virus, as your immune system needs to work the virus through your system.

So, I was left with a dilemma, I had been taken ibruprofen and paracetamol for 2 days to try to keep on top of the aching pain (not very successfully) and knew that it could go either way over the course of a long weekend. Was it bacterial or viral? I wasn’t sure and that’s why a GP is there.

And it turned out I needed antibiotics.why therapies are complementary

I wasn’t happy at the prospect of 10 days of antibiotics, but I also know the importance of continuing the course. I’m grateful there’s still a medical solution that will sort my problem quite easily. I’m not happy at the current gut issues I’m now encountering due to taking the antibiotics, but I know it’s temporary.

So to help my body, I have a kinesiology session booked which will give me supplements to help support my gut flora and get it back to where it should be as soon as possible. I have a massage session booked (I have them every 2 weeks because of my job being physical) but this session will be to ensure my body is released of the physical tension I accumulated from 4 days of aching and 5 days of doing nothing. A week after my kinesiology I have a reiki session booked, so I can ensure that I release any emotional residue lying around and to ensure my body feels it’s getting all the support it needs to be healthy and well.'Complementary' works

And that is how ‘complementary’ works. It’s not about vehemently arguing one side is better than the other, it’s about appreciating that every situation is individual and you have to decide what aspects of each approach will support you the most. It’s about doing what you feel is right for your body and being grateful you can use medicine and therapies together to remain healthy and well.

Louise is an holistic therapist who owns Therapy Centre, Bristol BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information about Louise you can visit her website  The therapy centre website is, the contact number is 01275 217160