How do you deal with ongoing body pain? Most of us will go for a unique therapy (pain killer or massage or injection).

But have you ever heard about the holistic approach?

A holistic approach will combine different treatments in cases where one is not enough: physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, podiatry, aromatherapy, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, Reiki.

The idea behind the holistic approach is not only to find the best way to treat a problem when you have tried only one therapy without any result, but also to understand the interconnection between the different part of the body which each of them could require a specific therapy.

The concept is not new (traditional Chinese medicine, which combine acupuncture, Chinese massage, and herbal medicine is one of the oldest holistic approaches), but not yet very understood in the modern medicine world.

Maybe physiotherapy can be considered as a kind of holistic approach as it uses different technics, including massage therapy, strengthening and stretching exercises, remedial gymnastic and analytic mobilization, but it also, most of the time, focuses only on the part of the body where the pain is located and doesn’t realise everything is connected.

Knee osteoarthritis (degeneration of the knee cartilage) will cause a lot of pain, limit your range of motion and walking ability, and may end up with a knee replacement even at an early stage.

If used at the early stage of the disease, a holistic approach, which combines acupuncture, physiotherapy, massage therapy and Pilates, will delay the need for early surgery.

Acupuncture will stimulate the body to increase the joint fluid production, to nourish the cartilage and to produce is own painkiller. Physiotherapy will keep the joint mobile, strong and stable by mobilise the different parts of the joint, strengthening the muscles around the knee. Massage therapy will release the muscle tension and simulate the blood circulation around the joint. Pilates will help strengthen the body and so give more confidence in daily activities and walking abilities.

The holistic approach requires therapists to work as a team and know their limits, as well as the indication of the complementary therapies.

However the patient also has to be ready to try an approach different from the conventional ones available.

How to convince someone with disk problem – which can cause severe back pain and sciatica – to go for a combination of Reiki, acupuncture, massage therapy, physiotherapy and Pilates, when the surgeon says the surgery is the only solution?

It can be difficult to trust a new approach.

by Jean-Claude Dhuez, a certified physiotherapist and massage therapist. He’s the owner and founder of Sâmata Health & Wellness Studio, 54 Steet 306. Tel: 012 802 2725 –