Discovering Complementary Therapies
- Created: 26 November 2013 26 November 2013
Dr. Elaine Williams
Elaine Williams is qualified in Osteopathy, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Aromatherapy and Advanced Massage. She has been the recent winner of the Spa Traveller "Top UK Spa Therapist" award and was voted by the Telegraph as one of the top ten therapists in the world. Elaine is also a registered general Nurse and has a Bachelors (BSC) in Psychology. She previously taught at the International College of Aromatherapy in London and spent two years at the Osteopathic Centre for Children in London, where she specialised in Cranial Osteopathy. Elaine started at Grayshott Spa twenty years ago and is now the Director of Natural Therapies, in which she is responsible for expanding the range of holistic treatments and for the training of all therapists.
Interview with a Master Practitioner
What originally inspired you to pursue and learn about all the holistic and natural therapy treatments?
I was originally inspired to pursue Complementary Medicine therapies in order to help friends and acquaintances when Conventional Medicine had nothing of help to offer. As I learnt more I became totally fascinated, enrolled to train as an osteopath and continue to study as there is so much of interest to learn in this field.
How can reflexology pin-point imbalances in the body?
Reflexology pin-points imbalances in the body using a reflex map on the foot. Specific areas of the feet have been found to correspond to specific areas of the body. By gently palpating the foot the therapist can feel changes in the tissue texture and tension over areas where an organ or structure may not be functioning to its full potential. It is common for the client to simultaneously experience tenderness on this area of the foot as it is pressed should a problem exist.
Can you explain what Naturopathy is and what are the core benefits?
Naturopathy is using a non pharmacological approach to restore the body to health as long as this is appropriate for the presenting problem. It largely employs the modalities of correctional nutrition, hydrotherapy and structural treatments such as osteopathy and massage. The aim is to increase the vitality of the person and to remove any obstructions to recovery.
What is involved in an Osteopathy treatment and what type of problems can it help with?
An osteopathic treatment will begin with an assessment of the whole structure, particularly the spine. It is commonly used to treat back pain, whiplash, and limb problems such as tennis elbow, sprained ankle or painful hips. Additionally there is a branch of osteopathy known as visceral osteopathy, which is dedicated to the treatment of organs and can help with conditions such as asthma or digestive problems. Once a diagnosis of imbalance has been made the treatment may consist of soft tissue manipulation where muscles, tendons or ligaments may be treated. Joints may be articulated or sometimes techniques such as High Velocity Thrusts may be applied which are the techniques that people know as 'having their bones cracked'.
How can people benefit from acupuncture and can the needles hurt?
Acupuncture treatments are designed to restore functioning to the body when a health problem exists. It has been found to assist with a multitude of heath problems from digestive disturbances to skin problems, asthma, hormonal imbalances, back pain, anxiety and stress related conditions. The needles are very fine and are more like little hairs than needles. It is common not to feel any sensation from the needle at all as it is inserted, however the more acupuncture one receives and the healthier one becomes, the more likely it is that a slight ache is experience in the point after needling it.
Is there one specific therapy that you use the most when treating back problems?
For back problems I tend to favour osteopathy or acupuncture depending on the problem.
How can people benefit from a detox and what are the best treatments to use?
People can generally benefit from a detox as it enables the body to clear accumulated toxins which will in turn increase vitality. Many treatments are helpful for detox; at the spa we favour specific nutritional approaches combined with hydrotherapy baths, blitz, massages, particularly the Lymphatic Stimulation Massage, and Thai foot treatment.
For clients looking to lose weight, along with the right diet and exercise programme which spa treatments can help?
Weight loss is always more effective when combined with exercise and detoxification so the treatments listed above are effective as are the mud treatments and acupuncture.
At Grayshott Spa, which holistic therapy do you find your clients request the most for stress?
For stress Cranial Osteopathy is a popular choice as it relaxes the whole nervous system. Oriental Wisdom and holistic massage are popular choices along with Blissful Slumber, a massage designed to help overcome insomnia. Hypnotherapy is also fabulous for calming the mind.
What are the key benefits of Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy can have a wide range of applications as the therapeutic essential oils do a lot of the work. The oil blends are applicable to a wide range of health problems including hormonal problems, insomnia, digestive disturbances and muscle strains to name a few. It is exquisitely relaxing thus fabulous for combating stress, it assists the circulation and aids lymphatic drainage and a further benefit is that the oils leave one's skin feeling fabulous.
Tell us your top 3 health and fitness tips?
- Strive for a balanced diet, including a minimum of seven portions of fruit and vegetables per day (greater than the government guidelines I know!)
- Aim for at least 15minutes of exercise per day, which can be as simple as going for a short walk or putting on some much-loved music and dancing
- Finally, be kind to yourself with your thoughts. Can you manage to get through a whole hour without criticising yourself once? Few people can. Be aware of your thoughts and replace criticism with kindness for yourself, you will become much calmer.
For more information visit Grayshott Spa.