Complementary and alternative therapies typically take a holistic approach to your physical and mental health. This means that they consider all aspects of your physical and emotional wellbeing as a whole, rather than treating particular symptoms separately. For example, some complementary therapies focus on the mind, body and spirit or on the flow of energy through your body.
Many of these approaches have roots in ancient Eastern philosophies of health, or the kinds of traditional healing methods used widely before the development of the treatment
models currently used by the NHS. By contrast, NHS treatment models are are largely based on clinical evidence and academic research (sometimes called 'modern medicine' or
Some people may use either of these terms to broadly describe any kind of treatment that isn't available through the NHS.
There are many reasons you might decide to try complementary or alternative therapies.
Whatever your situation, if you have any worries about your mental health you can seek advice from your GP, and talk through all your options through with someone you trust.
"When I could no longer take SSRI antidepressants due to side effects, I tried St John’s wort as an alternative. It has definitely helped with my depression and my mood has lifted quite a lot."
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