The Life Centre, one of New Zealand's newest and largest alternative therapy centres, has opened following a sharp spike in interest in complementary medicine from Kiwis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a term describing a range of health systems, modalities and practices that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
According to Health Navigator NZ, there are about 70 CAM modalities available in Aotearoa, including acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurvedic medicine and chiropractic therapy.
Google search data shows local searches for information on alternative medicine surged 108 percent last year compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, alongside a spike in searches around anxiety and mindfulness.
It's a spike echoed on a global scale: According to a recent study conducted in Indonesia, public interest in alternative therapies post COVID-19 is "dramatically escalating".
The growth in demand for local therapy providers has led to the opening of The Life Centre, which now operates from two inner-city Auckland buildings covering 680sqm, hosting fifteen CAM practitioners and offering over 20 therapies.
Services on offer range from Ayurvedic massage to homeopathy, kinesiology, counselling, naturopathy and Reiki.
Director Adonia Wylie says The Life Centre hopes to help clients embrace a vision of health and wellbeing.
"In recent years complementary and alternative medicine has begun to shed its 'woo-woo' image and is becoming increasingly more mainstream as the concept of holistic healthcare is better understood," she said.
"What we have seen with the pandemic is a global surge in the levels of anxiety and stress-related conditions, and international studies which have explored the role of CAM in treating various psychological symptoms related to the pandemic."
Rooms are also available to hire for workshops on meditation, yoga and breathwork.