Modern medicine is incredible. It has cured or made manageable, numerous diseases, chronic illnesses, viruses, and health emergencies that once held society back.
We’re experiencing a level of medicinal, scientific, and technological advancement that, at times, borders on fictitious.
Not long ago in the alcoves of human history, the thought of a surgeon completing open heart or brain surgery was fantastical. The same can be said for the array of pills now available. There’s a pill for everything, or so it feels. All we must do is visit our GP for a few minutes, get our appraisal, and walk away with a blister pack. Job done. Or is it?
The Problem with Modern Medicine
Unfortunately, there are still health conditions slipping through the diagnoses net and a rising trend of over medicating. Of course, some medications are genuinely a lifeline—but it’s a for profit industry. Therefore, from a business perspective, it makes sense to sell more and more pills, regardless of efficacy, side effects, or alternative options. The needs of capitalism are often not compatible with the needs of society.
There’s also the issue of an understaffed, underfunded, and overworked NHS—with GPs at breaking point trying to cope with a global pandemic, alongside their usual intense workloads. This has caused long waiting times for appointments and GPs seeing more patients than is safe for their health. Consequently, they are unable to deliver on their duty of care properly. A sad situation for doctors and patients alike.
However, where modern medicinal infrastructure falls short, many are seeking alternative medicines and therapies—for anything from cancer to depression. Whilst the science of alternatives is hotly debated, it doesn’t change the fact they are exploding in popularity. If there’s the possibility it might help me, why not? This is the ethos underpinning people’s decisions.
Though not a substitute for modern medicine, alternative therapies such as reflexology and reiki can offer an extra boost to health. Particularly in the patient care and attention departments. Here at the Glass House, we’re committed to exploring new avenues of wellness, including through alternative therapies.
Alternative Therapies at the Glass House Retreat
Soon we’ll be inviting experienced practitioners to offer, for the first time, reflexology and reiki sessions at the Glass House. If you’re new to these terms, you’re probably wondering what they are and their associated benefits.
What is Reflexology & Reiki?
Like many alternative therapies, reflexology and reiki have roots in traditional medicine, most commonly in Chinese and Japanese practices.
In simple terms, reflexology involves, with varying levels of pressure, massaging the feet, hands, and ears. It is thought these extremities are intrinsically linked to the basic bodily systems that secure our wellbeing. When we’re stressed, unwell, and generally in a malaise, traditional Chinese medicine says our qi (“chee”) is constrained—which roughly translates as “life force” or “vital energy”. To feel well again our qi must flow freely.
When you hear the phrase “qi imbalance”, this is what it’s referring to. By using pressure point maps reflexologists can ease the flow of qi or energy through the body, allowing it to reach areas in need of attention.
Science has theorised that the healing effects of reflexology may come from the relaxing sensation of massage and touch, which is known to calm the central nervous system. Our bodies, being an interconnected biological web, often have radial problems—reflexology takes a radial approach to solutions.
Japanese reiki works from the same principles as reflexology, however, massage is not involved. A practitioner of reiki will place their hands on specific parts of the body, ones in need of healing, and transfer energy to these places – unblocking the flow of rei-ki – “universal” “life energy. As healing aids some practitioners will use special crystals, each with a positive property aligning to body chakras (the seven energy centres of the body).
Benefits of Reflexology & Reiki
The wellness benefits of reflexology and reiki vary from person to person, and unfortunately, scientific studies haven’t discovered specific treatment uses for them. Despite this, as complementary therapies, there are studies showing they help reduce pain and anxiety. Both can be symptoms of other health issues, and by reducing them, reflexology and reiki have a potentially strong place in the health world as support for conventional treatments.
If you’re interested in trying these therapies for yourself, be sure to look out for our reflexology and reiki sessions at the Glass House.
Thanks for reading.