Oxford has long been one of the UK's major centres for things alternative, with many established healthfood shops, groovy bookshops and alternative health centres. Complementary Medicine is basically that which is used in addition to (i.e. it complements) standard or conventional medicine and therapies. It is also referred to as Alternative Medicine, usually when used alone. Some of these practices are widespread, supported by evidence, legislated and may even be prescribed or recommended by GPs in the UK; others are considered more controversial, or less scientifically proven. Most of the therapies listed below have their own systems of regulation, for instance the National Institute of Medicinal Herbalists.
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Based on the principle that health is dependent on the balance of vital energy forces within the body. Lists of practitioners are available from: The British Acupuncture Coucil, 63 Jeddo Rd, London W12 NHQ; The Traditional Acupuncture Society, 1 The Ridgeway, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick CV37 9JL.
Oxford Natural Health Centre, 3 Church Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 3JR.
Bigroom Acupuncture Clinic - Multi-Bed clinic at Eau de Vie, 24 Cowley Rd, OX4 1HZ, 01865 200678.
Cumnor Clinic - The Old School, 7a High Street, Cumnor OX2 9PE. 01865 863646
Local practitioners include: Rebecca Minton BSc (Hons) LicAc, (Central Oxford Osteopathy, 23 Park End St - just by the train station; tel 07912 936222), Michael McIntyre MRTCM (Midsummer Clinic, Kingham; tel 01993 830419), Helen Midwinter-Morten (Witney; practices at Pirate Fitness, 01993 705533, and Oxford Natural Health Centre - details above) and Jonathan Bruce at the Iffley Acupuncture Clinic, and Claudia Smith Lic Acc MBAc at Cumnor Clinic.
Improve your posture in order to improve your general health, well-being and with-it-ness. Oxford's centre is in Headington; info on AT in Oxfordshire can be found here; and the UK society is a good source of info for beginners/nationwide. Tel. Stephen Cooper: 01865 765511.
A system of diagnosis and treatment using muscle testing as functional neurological evaluation relating to structural, chemical (food intolerance, allergy etc.) and psychological dysfunction. Contact Clive Lindley-Jones B.Ed. D.O. M.R.O. Registered Osteopath, member of the International College of Applied Kinesiology, 17 Warwick Street, Oxford, tel 01865 243351.
Bach Flower Remedies
A simple and natural method of establishing equilibrium and harmony by means of wild flower extracts. General information from: The Bach Centre, Mount Vernon, Sotwell, Wallingford, Oxon OX0 0PZ (SAE please). Tel 01491 834678.
Chiropody / Podiatry (foot care)
Not a complementary therapy as such, and available free on the NHS (depending on local arrangements), chiropodists / podiatrists treat conditions of the foot and lower limb - from ingrown toenails to arthritis. A quick Google search will reveal several Oxford specialists. Shuropody on New Inn Hall Street is, conveniently, a shoe shop and chiropodist in one. Oxford Foot Clinic on North Hinksey Lane offers treatment for corn/callus removal, verrucas, ingrowing toenails and arthritis; nail surgery; insoles/orthoses; sports injury treatments; diabetic foot health assessments and musculoskeletal assessments, including gait analysis. Contact them on 01865 204311 / email@example.com
...is concerned with the mechanical disorders of the joints, particularly those of the spine, and their effects on the nervous system. Diagnostic methods can include X-ray. Treatment is mainly by specific manipulation, without drugs or surgery. Oxford Chiropractic Clinic: contact Jonathan Howat DC (USA), 14 Holyoake Road, Headington, Oxford (tel 01865 761802) - member of the British Register. Institute of Pure Chiropractic (McTimoney technique - a particularly gentle form of treatment with no cracking and crunching, suitable for all ages and pregnant women): PO Box 126, Oxford OX1 1UF, tel 01865 246687. Olivia Thompson B.Sc (also McTimoney): 36 Chester Street, Oxford OX4 1SN (and also Henley), 07966 436312. The McTimoney Chiropractic Clinic, tel 01865 761272, has a reduced fee for those on a low income. Dawn Akers is the practitioner at the Cumnor Clinic in Cumnor, OX2 9PE.
A type of gentle, non-manipulative osteopathy created in 1899, with therapists laying hands on a patient in order to 'tune in' to rhythms within the body in order to realign them. Find out more from The UK Craniosacral Therapy Association. Available from Oxford Natural Health Centre (01865 715615; review here), Eau de Vie (01865 200678), by Silvie Hylton-Potts at The Well Being Clinic (01865 751111) and Helix House (01865 243351), and the Cumnor Clinic (01865 863646).
Counselling / Psychotherapy
Oxford Counselling & Psychotherapy service. No waiting list. www.oxfordcounselling.co.uk. 01865 515324 / 01865 865927.
Counselling for anxiety, stress, cultural issues, eating disorders, work problems, relationships available from Dr Anastasia Economou (Counsellor, Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). For more information call 01865 510270.
Counselling & Psychotherapy, Oxford û Jaimie Cahlil (BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist; UKCP Registered Psychotherapist).
Enquiries: 01865 453131 (weekdays 8am-8pm).
Plain Talking in Oxford: Low cost counselling, psychotherapy, coaching. 07582 542 453. www.plaintalking.org.uk
Uses plant remedies. Contact: Janet Scanlon MNIMH MBTER, Medical Herbalist and Bowen Technique Practitioner. She practises from Summertown Clinic (362 Banbury Road, OX2 7PP) and also has a clinic in Kidlington. Tel 01865 513388 / 07970 179662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uses small doses of naturally occurring remedies to stimulate the body's own curative processes. There are several practitioners and one homeopathic vet in the area.
The Oxfordshire Homeopathic Group has monthly meetings. For details, contact: David Morgan, 11 Besselsleigh Avenue, Wootton, Abingdon, tel (01235) 726136.
Sue Anello PHSH, homeopath, offers special rates to students seeking treatment for stress, emotional adjustment, concentration, chronic ailments such as asthma and skin problems, and general well being. She also specializes in women's health and children/teens. 0787 191 2207 or email@example.com
Karima Brooke (LCPH, PhD) has a homeopathic practice in Botley and can also do home and workplace visits. Specialities: alternative travellers' health service; PTSD; fertility; mother & baby; flower essences. Contact: 01865 429339 or firstname.lastname@example.org
...'attempts to address an individual's subconscious mind, using the power of suggestion for beneficial change'. This quote comes from The UK Hypnotherapy Directory, which you can visit to seek a qualified, registered hypnotherapist near you, as well as to find out how hypnotherapy might be able to help you with anything from quitting smoking to recovering from trauma. There are several practitioners in Oxford and the surrounding area.
Massage stimulates circulation of the blood and lymph fluids, fuels the muscles with fresh oxygen and nutrients while flushing away metabolic waste products, releases physical tension and soothes the nerves by lowering the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine and by releasing endorphins in the brain.
Sue Evans has also been trained in lymphatic drainage, trigger therapy, Indian head massage, pregnancy massage, reflexology, acupressure, shiatsu and hot stones. Receive 15% off in the shop if you have a treatment with Sue Evans at Neal's Yard Remedies, 56 High St, Oxford OX1 4AS. Visit her website Or to book call 07799 411994.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP is an alternative therapy that works by analysing and managing your stream of semi-conscious thoughts and attitudes. It has elements in common with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but uses a more holistic approach - working with visualisation as well as mental patterns caused by your personal history. It can provide effective help with a range of problems: anxiety, stress, weight loss, phobias etc. It can also help you to improve your performance in, for example, music or sport.
Chris Grimshaw of Turning Point uses NLP, hypnosis and related disciplines to help rewrite your mental programming in productive ways. 01865 251116 or 07765 633798.
Nutritional Therapy aims to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of any health concern whilst alleviating any symptoms through dietary and lifestyle adjustments. By supporting the bodyÆs natural healing mechanisms it helps prevent disease and illness, and achieve long-term sustained health.
Osteopathy is a way of detecting and treating damaged parts of the body such as muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. Osteopaths treat a variety of common conditions, including changes to posture in pregnancy; babies with colic or sleeplessness; repetitive strain injury; postural problems caused by driving or work strain; the pain of arthritis and sports injuries.
The Statutory Register of the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) opened on 9 May 1998. The title "osteopath" became protected by law from 9 May 2000 when the transitional registration period ended. As a result it is a criminal offence, liable to prosecution, to describe oneself as an osteopath in the UK unless registered with the GOsC. The above summary, and much more information, is from www.osteopathy.org.uk
For an index of Oxford Osteopaths, click here.
Registered Osteopath, Kuno van der Post, BSc(Hons), BOst, can help many different health problems including digestive and muscular pain and sporting injuries. Student rates available. Horspath, Oxford, OX33 1RG; tel 07970 657696.
Physiotherapists use current evidence-based techniques such as manual therapy, massage, postural correction and exercise therapy to help fix common complaints such as neck / back pain, soft tissue injuries, joint / arthritic pain and work-related injuries such as RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome.
OxPhysio - Advanced Physiotherapy Service comprises 6 experienced physiotherapists whose areas of special interest include: back and neck, orthopaedics, sports injuries, foot and ankle, tendonopathies, rheumatology and osteoporosis, arthritis, hip, knee, ante and post natal conditions, pilates.
They have clinics in Summertown (within Ferry Leisure Centre, Diamond Place, Summertown, OX2 7DP) and Botley (Raleigh Park Clinic, 45 Raleigh Park Road, Oxford. OX2 9AR) and they also do home visits. Tel: 01865 764613. The team also run Pilates classes in Headington and Risinghurst Community Centres.
The Physio Practice is based at Westminster Sports Centre, Botley (part of Oxford Brookes University) and OXSRAD Sport Centre, Marston. They concentrate on musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Contact David on 07765 245505.
The Oxford Physiotherapy Service in Summertown aims to provide an initial appointment within 3 working days of initial contact. They also offer a termtime clinic at Wadham College for Oxford University students. They are Chartered Physiotherapists & Members of the Health Professions Council. Find them at 322 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7ED. Tel: 01865 311686, fax: 01865 558686.
Oxford Physiotherapy Clinic specialise in the treatment back and neck pain. Their Chartered Physiotherapists have over 25 years experience in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. They are located at Prama House, 267 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7HT. Tel: 01865 479298.'
Reflexology treats all health issues as it balances your mind and body. Specialist massage works major organs, glands and chakras in the body as your feet are a mirror of you. Find out more on the Association of Reflexologists website. Local practitioners include Sue Evans at Neal's Yard Remedies, 56 High St, Oxford.
Japanese for 'Universal Life Energy', 'reiki' aims to strengthen the body's internal energy flow ('ki', 'ch'i' or 'qi' - pronounced 'chee') in order to promote self-healing. Reiki practitioners gently lay hands on a (clothed) patient in a series of strategic locations. Find out more on the UK Reiki Association website. Local practitioners include Silvie Hylton-Potts at The Wellbeing Clinic (Headington), Helix House (off Iffley Road, east Oxford) and Sue Evans at Neal's Yard Remedies, 56 High St, Oxford.
Japanese for 'finger pressure', shiatsu uses (clothed) massage to relax the patient and relieve many different symptoms. Find out more via the UK Shiatsu Society website. Local practitioners (as under Reiki) include Silvie Hylton-Potts.
Structural Integration (Rolfing)
A method of aligning the body through hands-on techniques, experienced similarly to a deep-tissue massage, which release and re-organise the structural blocks of the body to bring about permanent change - relieving chronic pain and optimising health. Vicky Wright is a local practitioner located at Healthy Oxford, 33 Canal Street, Jericho. Tel: 07779 854957
Traditional Thai Yoga Massage
Traditional Thai Yoga Massage has its origins in ancient India over 2,000 years ago, and has also been influenced by Chinese Medicine. Its aim is to promote the smooth flow of energy through the channels (sen-lines) of the body. Pressure is applied systematically along the sen-lines and at pressure points - using thumbs, palms, elbows and knees, depending on how much pressure needs to be applied.
Supha Prawatto-Mandel is a local practitioner located at Oxford Thai Reflexology Tel: 07423 549826. She also runs a Saturday clinic at Eau de Vie, 24 Cowley Rd, OX4 1HZ, 01865 200678.
www.alternativevet.org is a good source of information on alternative medicine for animals. Its centre is based at Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxon.