Complementary therapy could reduce employee absence

Complementary therapies could help to reduce organisations’ sickness absence levels, particularly if they are used to treat musculo-skeletal problems.

According to HSA’s Complementary therapy research 2007, more than two-thirds of the 1,000 people questioned believed the demand for complementary therapy will increase in the future. Where physiotherapy is concerned, some 40% have used this form of treatment, while just 64% believe that it is effective.

Suzanne Clarkson, head of corporate marketing at HSA, said: "Complementary therapy encompasses a wide range of practices including physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic, all of which can be used to treat musculo-skeletal conditions. 30% of visits to GPs are for musculo-skeletal disorders, and with more people wanting to use complementary therapy NHS waiting lists could be put under increasing strain. As a result people may be forced to take longer periods of time off work."

Joanne Cheyette, spokesperson for Physiofirst, the organisation for Chartered Physiotherapists in Private Practice, added: "If a musculo-skeletal problem is diagnosed and treated quickly it not only decreases the recovery time, but it also lessens the chances of it becoming a long-term, chronic problem. This has the obvious knock-on effect of lowering the number of sick days taken and increasing the morale of the patient."