What is alternative health?
Alternative or complimentary health is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but with a more holistic view of the whole person, rather than the symptoms of a disease. It consists of a wide variety of healthcare practices, products & therapies, each of which has its own unique theory & practice.
Philosophy of alternative health
Complementary therapies tend to share a few core beliefs, including:
- Illness occurs if the body is out of balance.
- The body can heal itself and maintain a healthy state if given the right conditions.
- The whole person should be treated, not just the disease or the symptoms.
- The gentlest therapies must be tried first before harsher ones.
- There is no quick fix, since healing and balance take time.
- Natural products are preferable to synthetic ones.
- What is it? This traditional Chinese medicine technique uses thin, metal needles to stimulate various points around the body. Each point corresponds to a specific condition and can be manipulated by the hands or electrical stimulation. The aim of acupuncture is to restore a balance of energy and good health to the body.
- What is the evidence? More study needs to be done into the benefits of acupuncture. However, evidence suggests that acupuncture holds promise for relieving vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It also may help ease some chronic pain conditions, including headaches, low back pain and osteoarthritis.
- What is it? The Feldenkrais Method® facilitates learning through lessons that explore movement, posture, breathing. It is person-centred and is adapted for individuals and specific populations.
- What conditions can the Feldenkrais Method® assist with? The Feldenkrais Method® is beneficial in a wide variety of applications – from childhood development to older adults, sport and performance to chronic conditions, injury prevention to rehabilitation. People of all ages can participate, from babies and children through to senior citizens with interests ranging from dancers, musicians and athletes to people seeking to relieve movement difficulties, stiffness or pain, or simply to learn a new way.
- How does the Feldenkrais Method® work? The Feldenkrais Method® uses the brain’s natural ability to change in response to specific sensory input.
- Available Services:
- Awareness through movement lessons (ATM): A Feldenkrais practitioner guides the participants through a planned sequence of movement explorations. Attention is drawn to the process of each movement pattern. Through observing their movements, participants learn easier ways of moving in everyday activities. Exploration of movement in these classes is designed to improve overall wellbeing.
- Individual lessons called ‘Functional Integration’: A hands-on process which addresses particular individual problems. Functional lntegration lessons are tailored to each client’s needs. The Feldenkrais practitioner guides movements through precise touch. The client lies or sits, comfortably clothed, on a low padded table. The practitioner brings present habits into focus and offers new movement options. The learning is then applied to everyday activities such as reaching, sitting, standing and walking.
- What is it? Qi Flow is an exercise class that draws from the principles of qigong, yoga, pilates as well as using meditation allowing us to recharge our batteries and become more present.
- Qigong is an ancient form of exercise used in traditional Chinese medicine. It uses patterns of movement that are designed to encourage the flow of qi or energy along our meridians in order for us to restore good health.
- The benefits of yoga are widely recognised to increase strength, flexibility and balance – did you know it can also decrease your blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels and improve your vascular flexibility?
- Pilates is an exercise regime designed specifically to increase core strength which can support and improve our spinal health.
- Meditation is easily the most effective way we can improve our mental and emotional health as well as having a positive effect on all body systems. In today’s busy world, meditation is as important as any other form of exercise we undertake. And the more you practice, the easier and more effective it becomes.
- Who is the class suitable for? Qi Flow is low impact exercise that is suitable for all age groups.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
In Australia, physiotherapists and Chinese medicine practitioners are first contact practitioners, so a referral is not required to attend for treatment.
Are alternative health services claimable on a private health fund?
Yes. Alternative health services are claimable under your usual physiotherapy or “complementary/alternative” code. The amount of rebate available is dependent upon the level of cover.
Are Flex Out Physiotherapy preferred providers to any private health funds?
Yes. Flex Out Physiotherapy are a preferred provider for both Medibank and BUPA which provides members with additional discounts and maximum rebates on services.
Does acupuncture treatment hurt?
Most clients have stated that there is little or no pain as very fine, sterile, disposable needles are used.
Payment options and subsidies:
Private health rebates are applicable
Under the Chronic Disease Management Program, Medicare rebates are available for patients with chronic and complex care needs on referral from their GP. Additional rebates may also be applicable for those with diabetes and those identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA):
Entitled DVA clients may be eligible for services under a valid D904 referral form.
All therapists are workcover and TAC approved. GP referral required.