Sit back, listen to music and let your cares drift away. That's just the tonic for stressed out city centre workers, according to a group of Bradford therapists. Health reporter Mike Waites went along to investigate.

STRESSED WORKERS in Bradford can ease the strains of a tough day at the office in a new city centre therapy service.

Eleven therapists offering techniques ranging from spiritual head massage and aromatherapy to counselling and hypnotherapy are involved in the new venture based in converted consulting rooms in Barry Street.

The group offers alternatives to conventional medicine and hope to attract people looking for stress relief at lunchtime or after a day's work as well as others wanting natural remedies for niggling injuries, mental health problems and for general relaxation.

Co-ordinator Celia Dawson said there was growing interest in natural therapies.

"A lot of people rush about nowadays and find there is far too much stress," she said.

"I think people are looking for an alternative to what conventional doctors can provide, using non-drug, non-invasive type of treatments."

Among the therapists is Carole Killick who is one of only five people in the country qualified in her field of using taped music to help people come to terms with stress, depression, bereavement and even eating disorders. She said most of the music was classical although jazz or soul could also be used depending on the problem and therapy required.

For people stressed and angry, she begins with dramatic music which slowly changes to calmer sounds while depressed clients could need a variety of music.

"Between us we discuss what is troubling them and what they feel they need to address," she said.

"I get a sense of their feelings, which can be anxious, agitated, sad, very emotional and I will get them to relax and talk to them and get them to focus on a relaxing scene. I choose the music from quite a wide range of types - there might be a number of pieces linked together - which helps them to explore what is troubling them.

"The music has the power to create a dreamlike world for that person and will move them through quite a wide variety of experiences which they tell me about and I write down. The music and imagery comes together to give clues as to what is happening in real life.

"Since the time of the Greeks and Romans people have known music has a tremendous power and now we have brain scans, that has been proven. It can have some dramatic effects. People may come in deeply distressed and come out saying they feel so much calmer with a real weight off their back."

City Centre Therapists will hold an open day on Friday, March 19. For details call (01274) 780277.

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