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Natural Therapies The Experts Love

Which holistic therapies do alternative practitioners turn to for their own health? Lindyl Crabb asks five to reveal their favourites.


Buteyko cured my asthma.

“I was encouraged to try Buteyko to treat my asthma. Buteyko is a breathing technique used to heal many health conditions and after doing three sessions it cured my asthma and relieved my hayfever and sinus problems for good. I also suffer from anxiety and practising Buteyko has a profound impact on how I deal with it – I sleep better and I respond to stress better.

It takes about four lessons to learn the technique and the best way is to join a group class where you can see how other people breathe. The classes teach you to breathe through your nose and from your diaphragm and you can practise the exercises in your everyday life until you’ve trained yourself to breathe correctly.

Buteyko shows fantastic results in people with high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and snoring as well as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and reflux because it relaxes the muscles in your gut. If you get headaches or feel you store stress in your shoulders Buteyko can also relieve this. I recommend Buteyko to my patients and I’m still blown away by the positive results.”

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I absolutely love reflexology

“I’ve been using a combination of foot, hand and ear reflexology for 20 years. Most people associate reflexology with just the feet, but I’ve found this is a powerful combination. Your hands and ears are also a good alternative if you don’t like having your feet touched.

A session lasts for 60 to 90 minutes and usually starts with a foot bath. It involves massage techniques applied to specific points on your feet, lower legs, hands and ears. These points correspond with your body’s organs and systems and by targeting them reflexology maximises their function.

I use reflexology to treat stress, sleep issues and for my general wellbeing and health maintenance. Not only is it effective but I find it very relaxing and it enhances my mind and body awareness. I even schedule treatments when I’mon holidays and overseas.

I often rely on professional recommendations and word of mouth but sometimes it’s best to try a few practitioners to find the right person. It’s tempting as a practitioner to want to self-treat. However, it’s very important to allow yourself to‘be the patient’and to embrace another practitioner’s care, nourishment and expertise.”

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Chiropractic makes me feel alive

“As an alternative practitioner I believe many of our body’s ailments can be caused by joint or spinal misalignment. I was referred to a chiropractor to address several health conditions and since then

I’ve used it to treat musculoskeletal, respiratory and digestive issues. I’ve been going to the same chiropractor in Sydney, Emma Macri, for 23 years. She understands my body and we have a strong rapport.With each session I continue to experience benefits – I feel I’mhealthier and can breathe again. A 15-minute session involves assessingmy spine and joints and manually adjustingmy body. Emma also uses kinesiology, which tests my muscles to identify imbalances inmy physical and emotional energy. During a session I feelmy body’s joints shifting and relaxing.

I recommendmy chiropractor to clients, family members and friends who have a variety of ailments, from reflux to urinary incontinence. If you’re considering seeking chiropractic treatment, ask for recommendations and do your homework. Ask the practitioner how many treatments you’ll need, how long it will take for you to feel better and whether they have treated your condition before.”

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No other pain treatment came close to biomesotherapy

“Biomesotherapy is a pain reduction therapy that combines the use of needles in the body with homeopathy. Sometimes referred to as biopuncture, it’s a wonderful alternative for treating pain that massage alone can’t fix.

I discovered biomesotherapy after sustaining a whiplash injury. I tried several therapies and medications without success but with just one biomesotherapy treatment I noticed a 60 per cent reduction in pain. After two more sessions I was pain free – the results were amazing.

During a session, your practitioner will massage the affected area and insert very fine, short needles filled with a saline solution into shallow pain points underneath the skin. The saline triggers a rush of blood to the area which stimulates your body’s healing abilities and speeds up recovery. Your practitioner will also give you oral homeopathic medicine to complement the treatment.

It’s used for alleviating chronic pain, inflammation, tendonitis and migraines, and repairing scar tissue and injuries.

If you experience muscular pain or tightness after exercise you’ll also benefit. Qualified practitioners follow strict guidelines and you’ll find some naturopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors are trained in biomesotherapy.”

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I use remedial massage to prevent injury

“I do triathlons so I’ve always suffered from tight muscles. Six months ago one of my patients referred me to Jean-Pierre Olivo, a remedial therapist in Sydney, to treat the discomfort. It really had an impact on my performance and recovery so I’ve been going ever since and now I recommend it to patients with muscle tightness.

A session starts with stretching, followed by deep tissue work in specific areas that are causing me concern. Then my therapist puts hot towels on the affected area to increase blood supply and speed up repair. You can often choose the length of your session and you’ll feel tired afterwards, so I recommend going after work. Remedial massage can be painful so during the session I have to remind myself that it’s good for me.

I see my massage therapist once a month for maintenance. In-between sessions I do my own stretches and I visit a fellow chiropractor every week to get chiropractic adjustments. I also use remedial massage to make sure I’m not at risk of a sports injury – prevention is better than cure in my book.”

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