Optimise Plus

Health and wellbeing treatments explained

We're here to support your health journey. The information below provides an overview of the health and wellbeing treatments available on your Optimise Plus plan, along with how to find a practitioner, and how to check what qualifications are suitable (prior to booking your appointment).

 

Treatments available to you:

Remedial Massage

What is remedial massage?

Remedial massage is a type of massage therapy that involves the hands-on treatment of soft tissues within the body. Remedial massage helps to increase the delivery of blood and oxygen to the treated areas, which can ease day-to-day stresses and muscular tension, aid recovery, and promote relaxation. Therapists will adapt the pressure and techniques to suit your individual needs and preferences.

There are many different types of massage therapy. Some concentrate on specific areas of the body, such as Indian head massage. Other types may use specific tools or techniques to deliver the treatment, such as heated stones or shells.

Potential benefits of remedial massage

  • Lowers anxiety and stress
  • Increases circulation
  • Relieves muscle tension and headaches
  • Improves sleep quality

Find a qualified and registered remedial massage therapist

To find a registered and qualified therapist, you can check on the following websites:

We will also accept claims for chair massage, hot stone massage, and Indian head massage under this benefit.

Sports Massage

What is sports massage?

Sports massage involves manipulating the muscle fibres and other soft tissues, such as ligaments and tendons, to help correct problems and imbalances. These injuries are mainly caused by repetitive or strenuous physical activity and/or trauma. Sports massage before and/or after exercise may enhance performance and aid recovery. It can also help prevent injuries.

Sports massage tends to focus on deeper tissues and pressure points, so it can be uncomfortable to receive. However, this pressure can help to release muscle tension and increase flexibility. Be sure to make your therapist aware of the level of pressure you can tolerate during treatment.

Potential benefits of sports massage

  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Increases flexibility of soft tissues  
  • Reduces muscle stiffness and soreness
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Increases relaxation
  • Reduces symptoms of stress 

Find a qualified and registered sports massage therapist

To find a registered and qualified therapist, you can check on the following websites:

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

What is manual lymphatic drainage?

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) therapy is an advanced but gentle form of massage, carried out by trained practitioner. It's designed to improve the function of the lymphatic system. This is primarily achieved through very light, rhythmic movements of the skin, which stimulate the contraction of the lymphatic vessels. As a result, the lymphatic system is encouraged to work more efficiently.

A well-functioning lymphatic system is vital to healthy body tissue, and plays a crucial role in the body’s immune  responses.

MLD is often used in combination with skin care, compression garments, exercise, and multi-layer bandaging - particularly when treating lymphoedema. 

Potential benefits of manual lymphatic drainage

  • Increases relaxation
  • Reduces pain, and can aid the healing of fractures and soft tissues
  • Can accelerate the healing process following both medical and cosmetic surgery
  • Assists with relieving fluid congestion and retention, for example:
    • swollen ankles
    • tired puffy eyes
    • swollen legs due to pregnancy 
    • water retention due to pre-menstrual syndrome
  • Promotes healing of wounds and burns 
  • Can improve the appearance and texture of old scars

Find a qualified and registered manual lymphatic drainage therapist

To find out more about MLD and find a registered and qualified therapist, you can visit the following website:

Reiki

What is reiki?

Reiki is a form of energy healing that was developed in Japan. Practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing, where a universal energy is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient to encourage emotional or physical healing. Its aim is to relax, ease stress and tension, and help with overall wellbeing.

There is no massage or manipulation during the treatment. Practitioners place their hands in a series of non-intrusive positions on or near the body to change and balance energy fields in and around the body.

Potential benefits of reiki

  • Can aid in relaxation and be calming for both adults and children
  • Can bring feeling of peace and centeredness
  • Can improve ability to cope better with life challenges
  • Can boost mood
  • Can support relaxation during pregnancy

Find a qualified and registered reiki therapist

To find a registered qualified practitioner, you can check on the following websites:

Kinesiology

What is kinesiology?

Kinesiology is a natural therapy which uses muscle response testing to identify and correct imbalances in order to promote and restore excellent health and wellbeing.

During a typical session, the kinesiologist will take a health and medical history and work with the client to identify and address their individual concerns. Assessments are made using gentle manual muscle response, testing where the kinesiologist seeks to identify the issues which may be affecting the client's health and wellbeing in order to restore balance. Clients are fully clothed.

The most appropriate corrections and remedies are also identified using muscle response testing. Kinesiology is a truly holistic complementary therapy and can identify priority areas for intervention as well as the most effective techniques and remedies based on the individual needs of each client.

Kinesiology assistance can include gentle physical corrections of muscles, recommendations for foods or approved bio-chemical supplements and remedies and a variety of techniques for rectifying emotional and energetic imbalance.

Many different factors affect and contribute to our health and wellbeing. Using kinesiology (muscle response testing), clients can be supported to come into balance and achieve their optimum health and wellbeing.

Find a qualified and registered kinesiologist

To find a registered, qualified therapist, you can check on the following websites:

Shiatsu

What is shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a touch-based therapy that uses acupressure to release tension and help bring balance to the body’s energy flow, known as Ki or Qi (pronounced chee). It can also involve body positioning and breathing techniques.

Potential benefits of shiatsu?

  • Promotes relaxation and reduces stress
  • Eases muscle aches and stiffness
  • Can relieve constipation and digestive problems
  • Can aid treatment for migraines and headaches
  • Can improve sleep quality

Find a qualified and registered shiatsu practitioner

To find a registered, qualified therapist, you can check on the following websites:

Bowen Therapy

What is Bowen therapy?

Bowen therapy is a soft tissue therapy that involves the therapist using their fingers or thumbs to move over muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia throughout various parts of the body. It is designed to stimulate the tissue and nerve pathways, creating a focus for the brain. 

Potential benefits of Bowen therapy

  • Can offer pain relief
  • Can improve flexibility
  • Can improve relaxation and emotional and mental wellbeing

Find a qualified and registered Bowen therapist

To find a registered, qualified therapist, you can check on the following websites:

Alexander Technique

What is the Alexander technique?

The Alexander technique teaches you to maintain a naturally balanced posture throughout your everyday movements. It uses gentle, hands-on guidance to help you gain a better understanding of balance and coordination, which is believed to help reduce and prevent problems that can be caused by everyday movements such as sitting, standing, walking, or bending.

Potential benefits of the Alexander technique

  • Can help with long term back and neck pain
  • Can improve muscle tension and stiffness
  • Can help improve posture
  • Can help with breathing and vocal problems
  • Can help to relieve stress and anxiety

Find a qualified and registered Alexander technique therapist

To find a registered, qualified therapist, you can check on the following websites:

Homeopathy

What is the homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a holistic medicine, which uses specially prepared, highly diluted substances (given mainly in tablet form), with the aim of triggering the body’s own healing mechanisms.

A homeopath will prescribe remedies according to the patient’s specific set of symptoms, and how they experience them, taking into account their overall level of health.

A homeopath’s job is to gain a thorough understanding of your health and the exact symptoms you are experiencing. With detailed knowledge, they can find a homeopathic medicine (known as a ‘remedy’) that matches you and your symptoms as closely as possible. Your homeopath will want to understand what is unique about you, and how your body and mind express themselves.

Because homeopathy looks at the whole picture, patients who have the same diagnosed illness – hay fever, for example – are each likely to need different homeopathic medicines.

Homeopathic treatment has an excellent safety record. And, because homeopathic medicines are non-toxic, they can be used by babies and children, as well as during pregnancy.

Homeopathic remedies are made from plant, chemical, mineral, or animal sources, and are prepared by specialist homeopathic pharmacies using a careful process of dilution and succussion.

Find a qualified and registered homeopath

To find a registered, qualified practitioner, you can check on the following website:

Colonic Irrigation

What is colonic irrigation?

Colonic irrigation, also referred to as colon hydrotherapy, involves using warm water to flush waste from the colon/large intestine. During the procedure, the patient lies on their side while hygienic equipment uses warm water to gently cleanse the colon and the therapist will perform a massage to ensure an effective cleanse.

Water pressure and temperature are carefully controlled, and all waste is flushed discreetly out of the body through a tube.

The procedure usually takes about 30-45 minutes, during which time about 60 litres of water are passed through the colon. 

Potential benefits of colonic irrigation

  • Cleans the colon of waste products
  • Can provide a feeling of overall wellbeing
  • Can support the management of occasional constipation
  • Can reduce undesirable gas production

Find a qualified and registered colonic irrigation specialist

To find a registered and qualified practitioner, you can check on the following websites:

Ear Candling

What is ear candling?

Ear candling involves inserting a slow-burning, hollow tube into the ear canal. The tube is then lit, producing a relaxing, warming effect in the ear and surrounding area. The candles are made from cotton or linen, which is hardened with beeswax and infused with honey and various herbs. Both ears are treated during a candling session, which will typically conclude with a soothing massage of the scalp or neck, ears, and face.

Ear candling is used by people for a variety of reasons. Some use it to help them manage or cope with specific physical problems, while others use it as means of relaxation, or to help maintain good health and a sense of general well-being.

Find a qualified and registered ear candling specialist

To find a registered, qualified practitioner, you can check on the following website:

Hypnotherapy

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy that uses skilled communication aimed at directing a person’s imagination in a way that can elicit changes in perceptions, sensations, feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.

There are different methods of hypnotherapy, so the therapist will discuss medical history, desired therapeutic goals, general health, and lifestyle to decide the best approach for the individual. 

Potential benefits of hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy may help to address issues relating to, but not limited to, the following:

  • Support with phobias, fears, and anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Post-trauma anxiety
  • Grief and loss
  • Weight loss
  • Manage the relief of perceived pain
  • Minor skin conditions exacerbated by stress
  • Support with stopping smoking
  • Confidence issues 

Find a qualified and registered hypnotherapist

To find a registered, qualified practitioner, you can check on the following websites:


Regulatory Bodies:

Before you book an appointment, make sure your therapist is registered. These sites can help you find a qualified specialist.

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is the independent voluntary regulator for complementary health practitioners. The CNHC registers and regulates 16 complementary therapy professions, and is the only organisation set up with government support to establish and maintain a public register of complementary health practitioners.

 

All CNHC registrants are professionally trained, fully insured to practise, and have agreed to be bound by the standards outlined in the CNHC Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance. CNHC's register has also been approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA), a body accountable to Parliament.

 

Simplyhealth recognises CNHC registration for several complementary therapies. You can find CNHC registered practitioners near you by visiting their website or searching their online register.

 

For more information:
 

FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists)

About the FHT

The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is the largest and leading professional association for therapists in the UK and Ireland, representing more than 16,000 members a year.

 

The FHT runs the largest Accredited Register of complementary therapists to have been independently accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, a body accountable to Parliament. The Accredited Registers programme is backed by government and ensures the public, care commissioners, and employers can choose a non-statutory regulated health practitioner with confidence.

For more information:

MLD UK (Manual Lymphatic Drainage UK)

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) association - UK

About MLD UK

MLD UK is an association of Manual Lymphatic Drainage practitioners from different professional backgrounds. MLD UK exists to promote the development of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD).  All practising members are required to update their practice by attending a review class at least every two years.

 

The objectives of MLD UK are to:

  • Ensure a high standard of MLD is practised by requiring that members have undertaken adequate training
  • Further the skills and knowledge of MLD therapists through the notification of training courses and the provision of information
  • Promote the education of health professionals with regard to MLD
  • Raise awareness of the existence of MLD and its therapeutic applications among the general public
  • Participate in and encourage research into the effects of MLD
  • Maintain and distribute a register of MLD therapists according to the categories of membership and conditions set out in the constitution
  • Hold meetings for the members to promote the aims of the group
  • Develop and make available a database of information and research

Society of Homeopaths

About the Society of Homeopaths

The Society of Homeopaths is the UK’s largest group of registered professional homeopaths. The society came together to promote the highest professional standards. Membership of the Society (shown by the letters RSHom) is your guarantee of a well-trained, registered, and insured professional homeopath.

 

Members of the society's register have the stamp of approval from the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA)  

PSA (Professional Standards Authority)

About the PSA

The PSA is a Government agency that protects the public by overseeing the regulation and registration of healthcare professionals.

 

When people go to see a health and care practitioner, they want to know that they are in safe hands. Using someone on an accredited register provides peace of mind with the knowledge that:

 

  • Practitioners on an accredited register are part of a government-backed scheme to protect the public
  • The organisation holding an accredited register has been rigorously assessed by and awarded the PSA quality mark