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Physiotherapy Practice

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Integration of Energy Medicine in Physiotherapy Practice

Physiotherapy and Complementary Medicine.  Information Paper.  Number PA48    (2001)

Many new opportunities exist for the integration of complementary therapies into conventional healthcare. The evidence base to support some of the complementary medicine (CM) approaches is growing, and changes to the delivery of healthcare as outlined in the NHS Plan (Secretary of State for Health 2000) will mean that services will become client-centred, giving users a greater say in what services are provided.

1.3.  Zollman & Vickers (1999) Purpose of complementary medicine is to restore balance and facilitate the body's own healing responses rather than to target individual disease processes or stop troublesome symptoms. The principles underpinning CM approaches include:

Each individual is unique.

The restoration of health may require scientific, artistic and spiritual insights.
A loss in the meaning and purpose attached to life may lead to deterioration in health.

Illness may provide opportunities for positive change and a new balance in our lives.

Clearly these principles are not necessarily unique to CM approaches as they represent the underpinning principles of good patient management.

2.4. CM is increasingly being provided from within the NHS.  Currently 58% of primary care groups provide some access to CM via primary care (NHSE 2000)

Evolving Scope of Practice:

4.1.  The 1996 Curriculum Framework defines physiotherapy as: "a health care profession which emphasises the use of physical approaches in the promotion, maintenance and restoration of an individual's psychological and social well-being, encompassing variations in health status", CSP, CPSM (1996).

4.2.  Historically, the profession has developed around 
three core skills of manual therapy, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and electro-physical modalities.  The philosophies and approaches of the core of physiotherapy practice have evolved in response to technological advances, development of an evidence-base, reorganisation of healthcare delivery and public demand.

This evolutionary process ensures that the practice of physiotherapy remains effective (by reflecting the evidence base for example) and that it can adopt new innovations, which fall within the scope of practice.




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