Health matters can be a bit tricky to navigate in a foreign land. Even with a decent level of Spanish, when explaining aches and pains, a lot can get lost in translation.
As long as I can remember, I’ve erred towards the natural approach. In the UK it’s fairly regulated. If you want an acupuncturist you go straight to the Acupuncture Council and find an accredited therapist and the same goes for pretty much every other complementary therapy going.
In Spain, things aren’t so regulated and word of mouth counts. But if you don’t understand the words coming out of those mouths, or indeed don’t know any mouths, it’s tricky to know where to start.
So here’s my bucket list of tried and tested therapists. Not all of them speak English but all of them have been experienced first hand, either by me or someone I trust.
Osteopathy and Massage
Osteopathy is a holistic therapy that seeks to bring back into balance the body’s musculoskeletal system through massage and manipulation techniques.
I’m currently overjoyed with the osteopathy and massage I’m receiving from Alberto Fuentes, who’s probably best described as a naturopath as he throws stuff like Bach Flower Remedies and homeopathy into the mix. Contact him on Tel: 672 43 75 14
I have received treatments from Belen Jorge Santamaria who works out of Kinema near Alfalfa. Belen has a gentle approach if you don’t fancy the gung-ho click back into place route. She also uses kinesiology (muscle testing) as a diagnostic technique . Her telephone number is 633 279 588.
If you like the convenience of someone coming to your house, then it’s worth trying Gonzalo Negreira. An osteopath and quiromassage therapist (quiromasaje is a bit like deep tissue massage), he offers home visits which is great when you just want to flop off the massage couch into bed or onto the sofa. Gonzalo speaks English and can be contacted on 622 09 03 63.
Sara Tirelli aka SAMA-Massage offers relaxing massage in the centre of Seville. Sara is Italian, but speaks perfect English and Spanish as well.
Tel: 00 34 633 21 34 39 (WhatsApp)
Physiotherapy is suitable for everything from acute sports injuries to sore backs. I have received treatments from Glenda Hurtado, a Physio who works from home in the mornings (she based in the Macarena). Her number is 691 15 03 32 and she speaks English.
Sometimes a western approach doesn’t get to the root of a problem and this is where Eastern medicine such as Shiatsu and Acupuncture come into their own. Looking beyond the body as we know it, they seek to unblock the energy channels called meridians through which chi, our energetic life force flows
Shiatsu is a massage technique that uses finger pressure on acupressure points around the body, combined with passive stretches. It is suitable for everything from muscle/joint pain to stress, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances and depression.
I have received shiatsu from Paca Villarin del Toro who practices from the meditation centre La Barca del Buda in Plaza Moravia. Her number is 679 79 4818 but through the shiatsu association Shiatsu en Sevilla you can find other qualified practitioners.
Following the same principals as shiatsu but using needles Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine going back thousands of years. It has proven efficacy in treating a wide range of conditions from infertility, depression and anxiety, digestive issues, skin conditions and many more.
My good friend Maja swears by resident acupuncturist and teacher Rosario at Gaia near Plaza de Armas. To make an appointment you can call 954 561 831.
And practicing from La Barca del Buda is Guillermo Rabal who is an acupuncturist as well as a homeopath and Reiki practitioner. Guillermo speaks some English and can be contacted on 607 78 55 76.
Homeopathy is a natural medicine developed in the 18th century by Samuel Hahnermann and is based on the principals of treating like with like. Again the whole person is addressed and many people find it extremely effective for a whole host of issues both physical and emotional. It can also be effective with pets.
Once again Guillermo Rabal is an experienced Homeopatist.
Reiki means Universal Life Energy in Japanese and is an energy healing system which personally I find extremely effective, particularly for emotional imbalances. Reiki healers are ten a penny, so you have to be careful who you hand your cash over to.
Guillermo Rabal, also a Reiki Master, offers reiki sessions. Or if you’d like to try it out before you commit to a session, there is also a Reiki Share at 8pm on Friday nights at La Shala where you can receive reiki from qualified practitioners for free.
A lesser well known therapy is Par Biomagnetico which using magnets placed on the body, returns it to a state of equilibrium freeing it from viruses, fungal infections, parasites and disfunction. Cristina Casanova combines Par Biomagnetico with nutritional advice and a technique called Toque Zen from her clinic in Gines, a village just outside of Seville. She speaks excellent English and can be contacted on 655 902 172.
Tarot Cards/ Medium
Not exactly an alternative therapy, but some people, myself included occasionally turn to the cards to get some handy hints on what to do with their life. Whenever I’ve had my tarot cards read, regardless of the country, I’ve always travelled to the depths of beyond to a dodgy housing estate and in Seville it’s been no exception. Antonio Leon, a tarot card reader and medium, lives just the other side of Santa Justa station. I’ve found him to be spookily spot on, but you’ll need good Spanish to take full advantage. To make an appointment call Antonio on 627 53 34 45.