Complementary therapies

Disclaimer: Birdshot Uveitis Society does not endorse any particular therapy or therapist.  However, if you are based in the UK and want to check out therapists in your area, a good starting point is the directory website  To find out who is working in your area, put in your postcode and the type of therapy you are seeking.

When faced with the news that you have been diagnosed with not only a rare eye disease but one where the prognosis is not good for the future, it is easy to see how you can feel as if your world has been turned upside down.   In some ways it can be looked upon as losing control of what is going on in it.

After being given details of the various medications which may or may not work (and their side effects) it is almost certain that your emotions and thoughts are going to change – positive one minute and negative the next.  This in turn will have an effect on the physical body especially if one begins to feel helpless in this situation.

Over the years as a therapist, I have seen many people with various ailments and diseases.  I have noticed that a great aid to the healing process occurs when clients feel that there is something that they can do for themselves instead of handing over control to someone else.

Complementary medicine or therapies are exactly as the name states – to complement and not replace orthodox medicine.  It is important that advice from a doctor or a medical specialist consultant is sought first in any instance rather than relying just on complementary treatments.

If we look at how holistic therapies work it can give a greater understanding to those seeking help in this way.  Holistic (meaning looking at the whole) focuses on not just the symptoms as with traditional medicine, but on the whole body in a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual way.  It is then possible to find one or more areas that may be out of balance which could be contributing to the physical symptom.

From a personal perspective, I know that the way we think and feel will most definitely create a physical reaction or symptom.  Over time, ignoring these signs can lead to major diseases.  As an example, you will be aware that just the thought of taking an exam – whether that is a driving test or written exam – makes the body produces physical reactions such as a feeling of nausea, butterflies in the stomach and ultimately several trips to the toilet.  All this from just a single thought.

Anger as an emotion can increase the heart rate, raise the blood pressure, tense the muscles and give a feeling of stress.  Again, all this from a single emotion.

We are constantly reacting to situations around us, and energetically this will influence how energy moves around the body.  It has been shown scientifically that energy is in all living things.

If energy is blocked in a part of the body, then physical signs will start to appear.  Many therapies involve the use of moving or clearing energy via meridians (pathways) to start to bring about the healing process. Ultimately, therapists are the catalysts and the person is healing themselves.

So how can complementary therapies help you in the situation in which you find yourself?  Any therapy that assists in relaxing the body not only in a physical way but one which uplifts the spirit and gives you a part to play may help the healing process.

Massage, reiki, reflexology, acupuncture, acupressure and meditation, to name a few, all bring about a state of relaxation.  Here is a brief description of how some of these therapies work.


Gives the physical touch (which we all need), relaxes the body, is stimulating, relieves muscle tension, works on removing any swelling (maybe due to side effects of drugs) and gives a sense of wellbeing.


This therapy works energetically by raising the vibrations of the body as a whole, on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level to bring about healing.  The recipient remains fully clothed.  It is a relaxing and uplifting experience.  This is now available in some NHS centres.


This therapy works on the feet or hands by using massage techniques that stimulate energy movement via meridians and zones that map the entire body.  The therapist can work on specific areas that are out of balance and this has been shown to be effective with hormonal problems, irritable bowel syndrome, lowering blood pressure, relaxing and relieving stress symptoms, and more.  This therapy is now available in some NHS centres.

Facial reflexology

This is a relatively new therapy that combines ancient healing methods from the Malpuche Indians, Vietnamese face mapping, acupressure points, neuroanatomy and Oriental meridians.  This therapy works as the name suggests over the face and head and has brought about some very quick results.  It is a relaxing treatment which also works on cranial lines and points.


This therapy works by using needles that are inserted into the skin over meridian lines.  By stimulating these needles, energy can be moved and blockages freed to assist the energy to move as it should around the body.  This treatment is now available at some NHS centres.


This treatment works in a similar way to acupuncture but without the use of needles.


There are many different forms of meditation that can take you to an altered state of awareness.  By stilling the mind and relaxing the body you are allowing the body to unwind from the stress and tension that is carried and continues to be present whilst in the alpha or active state of mind.  Simply by changing our breathing, or focusing on an object, the mind can become still and the change in brainwave patterns will lead to a more relaxed physical state allowing the body to be taken to a place of homeostasis or balance.

By using one or more of these therapies you are gaining self-help, and when including positive thinking, you can be on the way to assisting your own wellbeing.

Ask yourself ‘What can I do to alleviate this situation?’ and feel the power.

Sue Rogers CThA, VTCT, ITEC

Revised November 2023