Factsheet: Complementary Therapies

This factsheet is available in a downloadable PDF here. 


Table of Contents

Growing Interest in Complementary Therapies
Complementary Therapies in Midlothian


Complementary Therapies – a Growing Interest

There is a growing interest in complementary therapies for improving mental health and wellbeing. Such therapies tend to be holistic, taking into account the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual within the individual. They tend to focus on the person themselves rather than their disability.

They are often seen to support or complement more orthodox approaches, hence their name. Such approaches have often been developed in non-Western cultures over the centuries.

Generally complementary therapies can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Complete systems of medicine with their own philosophy of health that differs to Western medicine – e.g. traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda. 
  • Specific therapeutic techniques – e.g. aromatherapy, reflexology, hypnotherapy. 
  • Movement therapies – e.g. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong. These can be learned and practised by the person themselves. They incorporate philosophies about holistic energy processes within the individual.

Whilst there is some research on the use of complementary therapies for mental health and wellbeing, much of it is inconclusive. Different therapies will suit different people and for some people none of them may feel suitable. 

However, there are many people who report significant benefits from alternative approaches – they value their emphasis on overall wellbeing as well as the opportunity to explore new ways of understanding themselves and their feelings.

For more information about complementary therapies, download the SAMH leaflet, or visit Mental Health Foundation.


Complementary Therapies in Midlotian

Reflexology and Aromatherapy

  • Tuesday from 2.45 to 5.45 at St Johns and Kings Park Church Hall, Dalkeith
  • Wednesday 12.15 to 3.30 Opposite John Chant centre in Penicuik

This service is delivered by the Orchard Centre Services Development Project. It is for people with mild to moderate mental health difficulties.

Requirements: Need to be registered with Orchard Centre Services.

There is a cost of £36 for 6 sessions, which has to be paid in advance of treatments.

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