What is Complementary Therapy?

What is Alternative Therapy?

North American Aboriginal Healing

What is Alternative Therapy?

Sometime people choose these therapies instead of other therapies or medication – in this case people call them "alternative therapies”.

Complementary & Alternative therapies can include:

  • Herbal Therapies
  • Massage (Swedish message, Shiatsu)
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy - inhaling the scents of different oils or rubbing them on the body
  • Meditation
  • Vitamins and other supplements
  • Yoga
  • Ayurvedic Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
  • Colour Therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Guided Imagery
  • Touch Therapy (Therapeutic Touch, Reiki)

There are mixed opinions about using complementary & alternative therapies. But many people with HIV/AIDS find them very helpful. Some complementary therapies help people feel less stressed out or deal with drug side effects.

Most complementary therapies are not covered by health insurance. This sometimes means that you have to find a way to pay for these services yourself. If you have money problems, you might not be able to afford them.

Ask around about prices and what is out there because, although some of these can be very expensive, some can be relatively cheap and affordable.

Before going to a complementary therapist (CT), you should ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much training has the CT had?
  2. Is the CT a member of a professional association?
  3. How long has the CT been practicing?
  4. Does the CT have experience with people who are HIV-positive?
  5. What have the results been like for other HIV-positive people who have seen the CT?
  6. How many sessions does the CT recommend?
  7. What is the cost of each session?

Talk to your local AIDS serving organization (ASO) about good local referrals in your area. [Check out Getting Help for ASO’s near you]

Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Positive Youth Outreach CATIE