Alternative or complementary therapies are widely accepted nowadays and have been shown to have a very positive impact on those who are grieving. There are a variety of therapies and choosing one that suits the pet carer is as important as choosing a qualified practitioner to conduct the therapy.
Energy therapies can help rebalance the bodies’ energy and can unlock deep rooted pain. They can replenish energy and assist the pet carers well-being - physically, emotionally, mentally and on a spiritual level.
Therapies are known to relieve stress and improve overall immunity, both mentally and physically, release tension and encourage relaxation.
Complementary therapies are used alongside conventional medicines or treatments. Alternative therapies are used in place of conventional medicines or treatments.
Most of the evidence for complementary and alternative therapies is based on traditional use, often dating back thousands of years, rather than modern scientific studies.
Most complementary therapies are perfectly safe although some do carry higher risks and pet carers should speak to their doctor first before embarking on certain therapies that may interfere with the course of medicine prescribed by their doctor.
As with any therapy is it important to find the right practitioner. The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) website has a list of practitioners.
Many symptoms can be managed through techniques such as -
This is a technique the pet carer can use when they feel strong emotions and help them feel calmer and more in control. Grounding techniques are designed to help pet carers remain ‘grounded’ in the here and now – not thinking about the past or being overwhelmed by thoughts or feelings.
Helps with depression and allows the pet carer to become more aware of the present and all that is around them. It allows them to see the present more clearly.
Crystal healing is a type of therapy that involves using gemstones to bring balance to the pet carer’s life and mind. They help to bring harmony to unstable energy whilst grieving. Lepidolite, Amethyst and Rose Quartz are especially good for grieving.
One of the oldest healing techniques which uses medicines made from plants and minerals to restore balance in the body. It aims to rid the body of toxins using massage and herbal oils. It can help with grief, depression and intense emotions.
To improve a person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being by expressing themselves artistically. Helps manage feelings, reduce stress and improve self-esteem.
Acupuncture is a treatment that involves inserting needles into key points on the body and aims to unblock energy channels. Given by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is perfectly safe.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Is often referred to as the psychological version of acupuncture, but the practitioner uses their fingertips rather than needles. It can help relieve strong emotions, such as sadness, guilt, anxiety and anger.
Meditation is a therapy that has been proven to reduce stress, improve focus, and help with a range of mental and physical health concerns. It teaches the pet carer to still the mind and reduce the impact of negative emotions.
A relaxing therapy that promotes calmness and a sense of well-being. It can bring feelings of peace and the ability to cope better. One treatment is often enough and is safe for adults, children and pets. Reiki can also be given remotely.
Essential oils can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin when diluted. The oils are known to help relieve stress, anxiety and depression. You should always consult with a qualified aroma therapist before using essential oils as there can be side effects.
Studies of the benefits of massage show that it can be an effective therapy for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. A massage therapist uses essential oils to give a sense of deep relaxation and calm.
Writing their thoughts or story can be cathartic and that in itself aids emotional healing. The pet carer can choose whatever they wish to write about, how they feel or a story about their pet.
Reflexology is the application of pressure to specific reflex areas of the feet or the hands. It can be very relaxing and alleviate stress. Reflexology helps clear channels of blocked energy. It can be relaxing, balance energy and help alleviate stress.
Everyone is familiar with the saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and studies have proved that it really is. Laughter yoga classes are relatively new, however they are available in most large towns or cities. Laughing can help the pet carer relieve pain and improve their mood. Being happy can have long term benefits to their immune system.
Dawn Murray's new book 'An Introduction to Pet Bereavement Counselling' is now available to buy on Amazon. This is a must have reference book for anyone who supports or counsels others through pet bereavement.