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Table 6 'Pull factors' from complementary therapies

From: Complementary therapy use by patients and parents of children with asthma and the implications for NHS care: a qualitative study

Desire for "natural" or "non-invasive" treatments
"I prefer homeopathic mainly because it's not chemical and it's more natural to me, which I think is important from the point of view of the body as a whole. I think we should use nature" (HY01, mother of girl aged 15, using homeopathy and other therapies)
"What led me to it (reflexology) was the fact that it was non-invasive, you know, you weren't taking any more drugs" (TA04, adult female, using various therapies)
Qualities of complementary therapy consultations: holistic approach, listening and time
"it's time in the sense that they have got longer, but also they appear to be more interested. I like our GPs enormously and they're very talented individuals, but they don't have the time to talk..(homeopaths) look at the whole thing and they will say about diet, they will say what about your bedding, what about this, have you changed that?" (AY29, mother of boy aged 13, using homeopathy)
Personal commitment to "alternative" philosophies of health
"I'll carry on with complementary medicines and only use western as like a last resort, because...complementary medicine's putting things back where they should be, whereas western medicine's just tampering and putting things there that shouldn't be." (HY01, girl aged 15, using homeopathy and other therapies)
"the energy system is either sort of surrounding or intrinsic to the body in some way..it is like a blue print for the physical body..When our plans are ok we've got this great body, but our energy system, our plans keep getting attacked, they're being attacked by stresses, by toxins that we consume..by emotional stresses..and these plans are forever being distorted..so the physical body can't read the plans anymore. So physical dysfunctions, ailments are, I see it, as a result of distortions in the energy field." (TC05, mother of girl aged 8, using kinesiology and homeopathy)
Experiences of effectiveness of complementary therapies
"From the second night (of the Buteyko course) I stopped taking Ventolin because I controlled it with these exercises, and that's the first time I've been reliever-free in, well in 30-odd years. So it had quite a dramatic effect..I did the course at the end of last year..then in March I stopped the steroid as well." (TA02, adult male, using Buteyko)
AY16: "The last few years it's been a lot better.
AS: Any reasons for that, do you think?
AY16: I had homeopathy and (to mum) what's that other thing?
Mum: Craniosacral therapy.
AY16: Yes, that's it, and I think it helped a lot.
AS: In what ways did you notice it helped?
AY16: Just things like, I could run around without needing my inhaler, better at nights, not waking up as much, just generally I didn't need my inhaler as much and I could do a lot more" (boy aged 14, using craniosacral osteopathy and homeopathy)