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  • Tel: Victoria Salomon on 01273 782709 for a consultation

What does “complementary therapy” really mean? And does it work?

What does “complementary therapy” really mean? And does it work?


Greetings. My name is Victoria and I’ve starting blogging. Do share my blogs if you like them – thank you! I’m often asked for advice on how to deal with the various aches, pains and ailments that plague us on a regular basis, so look out for articles to help you feel better, or to point you in the right direction for support.


As a fully qualified specialist in clinical massage, medical acupuncture and sports massage, it’s my goal to find the cause of any pain or discomfort you may have. Discovering the root of the problem enables me to work towards eliminating it. Our bodies are quite complicated and simply treating the symptoms doesn’t work long term.


My job: I make YOU feel better. I can help you recover from injury, ideally enabling your body to adapt to a more beneficial way of moving that works towards saying goodbye to that “out of kilter” feeling you may have.


So, what is complementary therapy and how does it work?


Well, confusingly (annoying really), there is no strictly agreed definition but in a nutshell, and perhaps crudely put, my therapies are aimed at enhancing or literally complementing what conventional treatments may offer you. I differ from “the norm” as I treat you as a whole person. My approach is thorough and implemented with care: it’s not for nothing that our first meeting involves an in depth consultation, so do bear with me on this one.


All Good Things

Complementary therapies can be used to boost physical or emotional health, or to relieve the side effects of conventional medicine. Did you know that anecdotal evidence suggests that acupuncture, for example, can reduce the nausea associated with chemotherapy? Or that a relaxed mind and body produces less of the harmful stress hormone cortisol – you know, the one that does all the damage: it makes us fat (or fat in the wrong places) and generally out of sorts.


Taking Back Control

I’m going to be controversial here: many people report that complementary therapies enable them to play a more active role in their treatment. I find this immensely rewarding. Think about it. In addition to conventional treatment, how does deciding which therapy to use and how often you use it sound? Yes, it’s certainly more empowering than being completely in the hands of a Consultant and allowing them to make all the decisions, however excellent she or he may be.


Complementary therapies cannot cure serious illnesses. However, if you’re in pain, feeling unwell or very low, you may find that such treatments as Kinesiology, Myofascial Release, Acupuncture or Reflexology could boost your physical and emotional health.

My treatments are non-invasive and I aim to treat you as a whole person rather than just focus on your painful knee, sore back or stiff neck in isolation. The muscles in your lower leg may be affecting your posture, for example. Physical pain may be causing you emotional distress. Or stress may be causing digestive problems.

Let’s look at cure and prevention, enabling you to live well and enjoy the health that you deserve.


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Anatomy In Motion – AIM, Doctor In The House

Anatomy In Motion

Did you see Gary Ward on Doctor In The House BBBC1?

Have you ever hurt yourself and noticed how your body rearranges itself to take the pressure off the painful injury?  How clever that we can reorganise ourselves so perfectly when we get an injury to keep on walking, sitting, bending standing, running, whatever you need to do with your body .  But what happens if by rearranging the way you move, you are actually setting up an imbalance that is going to create more long-term pain.  Well I have been working with many clients recently because they have done just this.  They have then tried so many different therapies for this pain, yet end up still experiencing the same old discomfort because their body has simply forgotten how to move correctly.

If this is you then go to and you will get the benefit of Gary Ward and his unique FlowMotionModel that helps you start to reclaim the ability to get in touch with what is actually going on with all the joints in your body.

Every joint in your body should be able to move backwards and forwards, side to side and rotate left to right.  If just one joint in the body can not do one of these motions, it will have a knock on effect on all the other joints as they have to compensate and make up for the lack of movement.   To make life even more complicated, not only do all the joints need to move in all directions but they need to be in perfect timing with each other in specific cycles of movement.  So within one footstep, the body needs to go through six different postures.  If we can not access these postures then our body system does not get to access it’s optimum movement experience and challenges are set up for us to contend with on a footstep by footstep basis.  This is where exploring AIM could be the your best next step.

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Anatomy In Motion – AIM

Recently you may have seen the BBC TV programme Doctor in the House, with Gary Ward helping Ray get off 30 years of pain killers after a two and a half hour movement session

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Massage Alternative or Complementary?

Clinical massage, or any treatments offered by Ixchel Therapies in Brighton, do not act as an 'alternative' to mainstream healthcare, but are designed to complement any course of treatment that a client may be undertaking. Whether it is medication, seeing a physio, or receiving osteopathy, these paths of healing can all be integrated with what we offer.

Today a client gave me a guilty look as if she was doing something wrong when she said she was also receiving medical care for a Neurological Health Challenge, and taking all sorts of medication. I explained that my role was to integrate the treatments we do into the rest of her healthcare program. Over time all involved can reasses to see what is appropriate.

Cancer Research UK
state that massage, aromatherapy, meditation, yoga etc are 'complementary', whereas Gerson Therapy or Shark Cartilage are 'alternative'.

Using the techniques that Ixchel Therapies offers it is possible to maximise the clients potential for recovery alongside any other treatment when appropriate. However, there are occassions for example if a client is going to receive radio therapy, when it would be necessary to pause with our techniques.

For more information please contact Victoria Salomon on 01273 782709

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medication and back pain

Why your Back Pain can get worse with pain killers

Today a client  had a massive crisis with back pain.  Her muscular-skeletal back problem had returned a couple of weeks ago so she ended up taking strong pain killers to help.  As soon as the medication for the back pain began to do it's job she presumed her back was getting better and started moving a lot more again.  Going to work, sitting in the car…..   The problem with pain relief medication is that it can dull the pain that sends you the messages about good posture or how not to move your body in a way that is going to aggravate your underlying back pain condition. 

How to avoid your condition getting worse

If you are taking strong pain killers for a muscular-skeletal back pain it is vital to make sure you do not over-use or stress that part of your body as you will not be able to feel the added aggravation and damage to the muscles and joints in the area.  In the end you can make the problem worse to these areas.

Do Not Overuse that part of your body

My advice is if you are on strong medication, for an injury or recurring back pain problem that has just been triggered.  Take the medication but avoid overusing that area of your body.  Then wait until you cut down the medication and see if the pain levels have improved without it.  Only then is it safe to presume that the condiion is healing, rather than just pain being masked.

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Massage and Grief


Massage and other techniques such as Cranial Sacral Therapy and Myofascial Release can be extremely beneficial to help calm the grieving body.

How Can Massage help with grief?

When in grief either due to a death or a relationship break-up, your muscles can become very contracted around the lungs and in the belly as breathing becomes effected and our body tries to accomodate extreme levels of emotional tension from profound experiences of emotion.

Shock can also make us feel like we are not in our body.  The use of Massage as a touch therapy, can help to bring us back into our body and experience our feelings in a nurtured and safe environment.

Massage can help to relax the soft tissues of the body and calm the nervous system with hands on bodywork. Touch alone can be invaluable if someone has just lost a loved one, creating a sense of being held during a very troubled time.

So massage is not just for injuries, or common physical pain conditions, but also for emotional pain conditions such as grief.

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Backpain from childcare

Back pain from lifting children

Backpain from lifting children

Massage and childcare

Severe Back pain is very common when you have young children. Picking up children at the wrong angle, or leaning into the car to secure their seat-belt. Carrying a baby on your hip whilst trying to cook. Bending down to pick their mess off the floor. Even pushing the child around the supermarket in a trolley. All of these actions can have a daily impact on an underlying back condition as core muscles attached to the pelvis and the spine, strain to do their job. With no days off the muscles are under relentless pressure. So what to do?

With many of my clients we literally go through each action and look at alternative ways of doing things. Some parents or carers, feel they still need to pick up a child, when actually a two or three year old can be more independant and climb onto your lap, or into their cot. Perhaps they can climb into the car. A lot of children can hold your hand, or even pick something up for you, instead of you doing all the work.

You may be able to shift your posture when bending down, or learning forward. There may be daily relaxation techniques that involve lying down, rather than having to do exercises that you do not have the energy for. Sometime nutrition can make a big difference to the state of your muscles and soft tissues within the body.

I regularly work with people in this situation, and after a few sessions they are back in control of factors that are aggravating or creating pain in their body.

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Why use Kinesiology to test your tolerance to foods and substances

Why test foods and substances with Kinesiology?

We are testing foods to see which foods will improve and balance the body systems, and which ones could be compromising the same.

TASK define a “sensitivity” as being a food or some other substance that makes a strong muscle weak and often weaker muscles, weaker still”

From the perspective of Kinesiology there are three types of foods:

1. Biogenic – these nourish the body and energise the person
2. Biostatic – these neither nourish nor harm, and any energy gained from them will be used up digesting them
3. Biocidic – these deplete energy and harm the body, they cause imbalance, and lead to disease

Different people have their own unique responses

There are no such thing as ‘bad foods’ simply foods that suit some people and not others, this is called “Biochemic Individuality”.  Clearly too many processed foods are unlikely to suit people.

Each person could test differently on which foods fall into each of the above categories depending on their own body make-up. So we test to establish what would enable the client to gain optimum health.

In terms of substances, the client could be using house care products, or personal care products, or anything else which could be causing an imbalance, so if there are any signs of this, it is worth testing.

It is also important to note that a biocidic food or substance may be OK for the individual at a later time, after it has been abstained from for a period

For more info on how to get tested for food or chemical intolerances please get in contact.

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