our therapeutic services
KPS currently lists 3 types of Complementary Therapies that are available to clients free-of-charge, and that can be combined with the treatment and health care of someone who is HIV-positive, and their carers. We are also able to offer a counselling service. All these services are carried out by recognised and qualified professionals.
To arrange a suitable appointment and time convenient to you contact us at the KPS Advice Clinic or KPS Trebullom, details and An introduction to KPS Therapeutic Services can be obtained in a downloadable Acrobat PDF format by clicking here or why not contact us by using the Contact Us button adjacent. Alternatively, you can contact your HIV specialist and/or Health Advisor at either, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, Truro or the Derriford, Plymouth based GUM clinics for further information. Currently, KPS offers one therapy per month to our local clients, or a small financial contribution, for you attend a therapist of your choice. Naturally, these offers are subject to available funding.
KPS has had discussions to carry this initiative forward and has attained a limited small amount of funding for this service. Further information will hopefully be available shortly on the progress of this new initiative and an increase of funding of these services available within this area.
Complementary Therapies are increasingly being recognised as having a valid role to play in the treatment strategies of people who have HIV/AIDS. They are often described as being Holistic in approach. However a Holistic approach to health and disease is one which pays attention to the role which mind, body, spirit and emotions have in the development of illness and in the healing process, therefore both Complementary and Conventional Treatments can be practised in a Holistic way.
So what are Complementary Therapies?
They are exactly that, they are Complementary to the Body's own healing system and to the Conventional Treatments provided in Western Society. Although some research has been carried out into the benefits of Complementary Therapies, it has been difficult to make equivalent comparisons with Conventional Medicine due to lack of funding and to research techniques that have not been so readily transferable to the Complementary Therapies. However, there is an increased demand for more evidence-based research on the use of Complementary Therapies as more and more Clients are accessing them alongside conventional techniques.
Warning: Complementary practices should not be considered as replacements for professional medical treatment: a physician should be consulted in all matters relating to health and especially in relation to any symptoms which may require diagnosis or medical attention. Care should be taken during pregnancy in the use of pressure points regarding massage techniques.
What has been proven?
"Therapies such as Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, and Massage have the effect of relaxing the body and the mind, for instance Massage reduces levels of cortisol (a hormone connected to stress responses) and some forms of massage may increase levels of naturally occurring opiates that eases pain and helps to induce sleep. Stress reduction techniques such as Hypnotherapy work by using the mind to relax the body. All these techniques have been seen to relieve health problems and lead to an enhanced sense of well-being”.
“Therapeutic Massage is a beneficial nursing intervention which promotes relaxation and relieves pain perception and anxiety in cancer patients”. (Ferrell-Torry AT, and Glick DJ. The use of therapeutic massage as a nursing intervention to modify anxiety and the perception of cancer pain)
What do those affected by HIV say?
Over many years those living with HIV have reported that they have gained many benefits from Complementary Therapies, either in terms of symptom relief; improved ‘Quality of Life', or an enhanced sense of well-being. The process of consulting with a Complementary practitioner may in itself help to reduce the stress of a diagnosis. Many clients have said that they find the amount of time given by the therapist makes them feel calmer, safer and more able to cope with their symptoms and the implications of their diagnosis. The beneficial effects of feeling cared for should never be underestimated. Even if it is only perceived as an individual response to the particular therapy it would seem that Complementary Therapies do indeed make a difference to the lives of those living with HIV disease. Click here to view comments.
What do the doctors think?
Doctors have a mixed response to Complementary Therapies. Some Doctors support Complementary Therapies, some do not. Others may support certain Therapies, which are now recognised by the World Health Organisation i.e. Acupuncture, Homoeopathy and Aromatherapy. It is important that both the Client and Doctor feel able to express their concerns and reservations, as this is often the starting point for learning.
What does KPS think?
Where those affected by HIV decide to include Complementary Therapies in their treatment, KPS highly recommend that the doctor is informed about the Therapy and any benefits that the clients have found. Doing this will enable the Doctor to monitor their progress more accurately. Being open about the Therapies being used and establishing a good understanding with the Doctor/Consultant about these Therapies can only be of benefit to the Service Users health care.
To this end, KPS would aim to ensure that those chosing these options to their health care make informed choices about all treatments that are available in respect of maintaining a 'Quality of Life', be it Conventional medicine or Complementary Therapies. KPS hopes to disseminate as much information as possible concerning treatments available. Through Service User feedback KPS feels confident that Complementary Therapies have made a significant difference to the lives of people living with HIV and those affected by the disease. By clicking here you can view KPS' information on some of the recognised Complementary Therapy techniques that have been made available to those living with HIV over many years and those currently recognised by the World Health Organisation.