Recent statistics from America show that in the past year more people in the USA were treated by complementary medicine than by allopathic medicine – a clear message to the medical profession to take heed and to listen to their patients.
At the same time there is a continuing concern in the medical profession that it is likely one in three people will have a heart attack or develop cancer by the time they reach middle age.
However, the main concern for the business community is the CBI latest figure cost of absence from work. This was £10.2 billion in 1998, an average cost of Sterling 426 per worker. The survey estimates that 200 million days were lost through sickness, an average of 8.5 days per employee.
Dr. David Costain, BUPA’s Deputy Group Director said ‘Employers need to have health policies in place to control absence. The first step is to assess the levels of absence and the causes. The health and happiness of an employee is clearly important to an employer and effective absence management practices ultimately benefit both the employee and employer. Such policies should be incorporated measures for managing workplace stress.’
Days lost due to stress-related problems such as back pain, headaches, depression etc. are included in problems faced by industry and business alike. It has been found that these problems may be alleviated more quickly by complementary treatments. Many of these issues can be addressed through change in diet and nutrition and increased appropriate exercise.
Nowadays, many people are prepared to pay a price for good health-anywhere between £35-£100 for private treatments. Treatments are available within the NHS, but vary from one region to the next. However, some hospitals have introduced some complementary treatments in addition to conventional cancer care, namely aromatherapy massage, reflexology, yoga and creative visualisation.
This approach, coupled with changes in diet, encourage a positive response to treatment, and a more speedy involvement in the patient’s recovery. London hospitals taking this approach include St. Mary’s, Charing Cross Hospital and the Royal Marsden.
Sympathetic NHS Doctors have introduced homeopathy, counselling and dieticians into their G.P’s group practice and make referrals to the Royal Homeopathic Hospital in London. Some health insurance companies, such as PPP and BUPA now accept treatments such as acupuncture, reflexology, osteopathy, chiropractic and homeopathy on some of their plans responding to the trends in
The attitudes of more enlightened NHS practitioners, head of business and health insurance companies demonstrate that change is occurring. Surely it is time to seriously consider the high cost of ill health, and put effort and money in finding new strategies that promote well being and optimum health, on a personal as well as a business level.
Firouzeh Tajadod is a Complementary practitioner and teacher. She can be contacted on - Telephone: (020) 7723 4155.