Holistic Therapies for Carers in the Vale of Glamorgan

Carers often ignore their own health and wellbeing with the overwhelming task of looking after someone else. Sadly lack of time and energy spent on maintaining their own health allows common problems to progress to a level which affects how they perform everyday tasks and also can prevent them from enjoying the little free time they have.

One of the most common problems that carers experience is continuous worry about their situation. Worry is the body's response to a stressful situation which is usually dealt with by a 'fight or flight' response. Not all situations, however, can be addressed by fighting or fleeing. When unresolved worry lingers, what may start as a problem in the mind may soon wreak havoc in the body.

People react to situations differently, so what may trigger worry for one may not be the same for the next person. Nevertheless, the effects of worry on the body appear to be the same for all.

Most people worry about their social conditions, financial standing, health and ageing. While it may seem normal to feel anxious about any of these issues, worrying for whatever reason may actually be unhealthy for the body. Carers have all of these usual concerns but also have the added issues of their caring role and the impact it is having on their lives.

Constant worry can lead to stress which can easily lead to increased vulnerability to a whole host of conditions such as heart disease, weakened immune system, digestive disorders, sleep problems and depression.

Holistic therapy treatments can help by addressing stress levels in the body. They take into account the ‘whole’ person, not just the presenting problem. Lifestyle, diet, relationships and past experiences as well as health status will all be investigated in an initial consultation. Understanding symptoms as the body trying to grab our attention and communicate that it needs help is the first step to feeling better. Therapies can help create the right conditions for recovery by helping the body reduce the stress it is experiencing and thereby support the body’s own healing mechanism. 

Benefits from holistic therapy include: a feeling of wellbeing, relaxation and lowered levels of anxiety. It also gives a carer some dedicated time for themselves, where they can take time out to address their own needs rather than solely focusing on the needs of their loved one.

Claire Viader                                                              





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