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Confessions of a therapist: Wrapped up in a losing game

PUBLISHED: 17:07 19 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:33 20 February 2013

Miracle potions don't always do what they say on the tin, says Helen Skene

Miracle potions don't always do what they say on the tin, says Helen Skene

Lose a stone in a week! Banish wrinkles overnight! Never want to smoke again! If statements like these seem too good to be true, they probably are. Miracle potions and lotions dont always do exactly what they say on the tin.
As a complementary therapist Im all too aware that by the time clients reach out for these wonder products they have usually tried all the alternatives and found they require an unrealistic amount of hard work and self discipline.
We already know that to lose weight we need to eat healthily and take regular exercise for months on end; to banish wrinkles we should have started using a moisturiser at the age of ten and never set foot in the sun; and anyone who has ever tried to quit nicotine will know the huge amount of willpower involved.
With summer holidays just around the corner and Christmas puddings and Easter chocolates safely behind us, Im finding more and more clients enquiring about instant inch loss seaweed wraps, which guarantee an immediate six to eight inch reduction in body size.
I am always disappointed when treatments dont live up to my expectations, so I decided to carry out some experiments to prove to myself and my clients that this claim about seaweed wraps was actually true.
By taking measurements before and after each treatment I found there was about a quarter of an inch reduction off each body part measured. Therefore by taking between 24 and 32 separate measurements the overall effect was indeed a total loss of six to eight inches.
The application of a firming agent and seaweed gel closely followed by tight bandaging was probably responsible for the initial inch loss, while the detoxifying effects of the gel, which absorb into the body, followed by a strict regime of water drinking and healthy eating would account for its continued success.

I am always disappointed when treatments dont live up to my expectations, so I decided to carry out some experiments to prove to myself and my clients that this claim about seaweed wraps was actually true.

At first glance it appears to be a miracle treatment, but on further scrutiny there is logic behind its instant effects and continued work to be done by the client. Running a marathon and then eating five Chinese takeaways will not help you lose weight anymore than a seaweed wrap followed by a Mexican wrap will help you drop a dress size.
All complementary therapies have amazing results, but most involve a holistic approach which means that your whole body is treated physically, mentally and emotionally, and for continued results this attention has to be regular.
As well as giving instant inch loss and detoxification, the massage techniques used to apply the seaweed wrap products stimulate the circulation and increase the flow of nutrients around the body.
Reiki healing is another therapy that claims to do marvellous things.
Reiki, which is a form of natural hands on healing, has been successfully used for thousands of years to treat people, animals and plants by replenishing the natural life energy which flows through all living things and therefore aids their recovery.
As some Reiki clients are already taking medication for their conditions it could be said that the beneficial effects are due to the tablets they are taking. But Reiki only works for the good and also complements any other type of treatment.
I recently gave Reiki healing to a green water dragon lizard suffering with infected eyes and poor appetite. The lizard, which was given several antibiotic injections by a vet as well as the Reiki treatment, is now happily crunching crickets again.
Some would argue that Reiki has a placebo effect and the clients health only improves because they believe it will. Maybe this is true, but that does not explain why it works well on plants and animals which are not being treated by other means and have no verbal knowledge of a healers intentions.
On the other hand some things that claim to be miracle cures are not all that they seem.
If you are considering complementary therapy ask trustworthy professionals for their advice or follow the recommendations of family and friends.

By Helen Skene
Complements Mobile Health and Healing for Suffolk Women (and animals)
Telephone 01473 743038


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