Thirty years ago, chiropractic and therapeutic massage were widely considered to be “quirky” healing procedures that weren’t commonly considered as actually doing anything to help the body heal.
Now, both are widely accepted methods of augmenting and, in some cases, replacing more traditional medical interventions. There are some healing methods available now that many people think are as “questionable” as people considered chiropractic and massage in the past. However, research is showing that there some of these treatments show a high level of effectiveness for certain types of pain or injury. While not every treatment is appropriate for every person or injury, when used as in conjunction with traditional medical treatments, many alternative methods are able to speed the healing process and make the patient more comfortable during their recovery.
1. Acupuncture/Acupressure – Acupuncture, the introduction of fine needles to different parts of the body to stimulate healing, has been around for centuries in the East. The needles are used to redirect “qi”, which is the body’s natural energy flow, in order to help with healing an injury or an illness. While many people still balk at the idea of needles, acupuncture is able to provide relief for a number of people with many different digestive, muscular, and skeletal conditions. Acupressure uses traditional acupuncture points and stimulates them with pressure from the hands or fingers of the practitioner instead of using needles. When seeking an acupuncturist or acupressurist, it is important that they have received the appropriate training and apprenticeship in order to effectively practice their craft. Before your first treatment, you should spend some time with your practitioner in order to learn about their background and learning before going under the needle.
2. Yoga/Meditation – Another ancient Eastern practice, yoga provides physical exercise as well as the vehicle for mental rest in the form of meditation. Yoga, in its most basic form, is a series of stretches and poses that gently stretch the muscles and joints of the body while encouraged the body’s natural energy flow to follow beneficial paths for the practitioner. Many yoga practitioners find themselves easily sliding into a relaxed mental state, which can help with anxiety and blood pressure issues. Yoga is easily modified to the ability level of the practitioner, requiring each person to only go as far into the poses as their bodies will allow. Most gyms offer yoga classes so finding a class isn’t difficult for most people. Be sure to talk to your yoga teacher before your first class and explain any limitations or concerns. Most instructors will be able to demonstrate modifications to the poses that may offer more comfort to people with certain conditions. The gentle stretching and mental benefits of yoga help many people heal from both physical and psychological conditions.
3. Herbal Medicine – Before modern medication made of chemicals, medicine was made from herbs and plants found by the local wise woman or shaman. In recent years, there has been a movement that has embraced the knowledge of the herbalist, bringing herbal medicine back in to favor with many people, particularly those concerned with the amount of chemicals being put into their bodies. Before beginning an herbal regime, it is essential to talk about what you are planning to take with your physician then work with an experienced herbalist to be sure you are taking the best herbs for your conditions and that there are no contraindications or interactions between any medications you are on and the herbs you take. Be sure the herbal preparations you use are made from a reliable manufacturer and listen carefully to the advice of your herbalist. Most health food stores or those that specialize in organic products have herbalists on staff to help you decide the herbal preparations that will best address your personal health needs or issues.
4. Reiki – Another Eastern healing technique, reiki focuses on the release of stress and blocks of the body’s energy flows in order to improve health and healing. For reiki practitioners, illness is caused by stress that blocks the natural flow of energy through the body. Reiki removes these blocks restoring energy flow and, therefore, restoring health. While finding a good reiki practitioner may be a little difficult, if you ask at your local martial arts studio, yoga studio, or health food store, you will most likely be able to find someone who can help you with this art. Reiki does take time to work as some blocks are very severe so it may take a few sessions to begin feeling the effects of the treatment. You will want to talk to your practitioner before your first treatment in order to assess their background and learning. Reiki practitioners need to be regularly aligned by a Master and should be able to explain this process to you. Once you have begun to heal through your reiki treatments, it is important to keep going to your practitioner at regular intervals for realignment and to have any areas that are prone to blockage checked before they become problematic.
5. Magnets – Medical grade magnets can provide a significant amount of relief for those suffering from joint, skeletal, and muscular issues. Far stronger than typical household magnets, medical grade magnets help to increase blood flow, make ions in the body more reactive, and can help with the production of certain beneficial chemicals, such as melatonin. It is essential to purchase medical grade magnets if you are going to attempt this treatment and get information from the seller about how to use the magnets. A great number of people find relief quickly with this method; many times in the first session. Magnets can be used locally, in the form of a magnet that is placed over the affected area in a wrap or light bandage. They can also be used generally in the form of a bracelet that rests over the main arteries in the wrist which will help to move the benefits throughout the body. Magnets can be used while participating in sports or activities or when at rest after a workout. Many bracelets that contain magnets are made of other elements, such as tungsten carbide, which amplifies the effects of the magnets through its own healing properties. Magnets can be safely used by most people, however, for those who are under age 7, have a diabetic pump, or are pregnant, it is important to discuss this treatment with a physician before trying it.
As people become more concerned with the chemicals they introduce into their bodies, they are also becoming more aware of alternative methods of healing the body that don’t require the chemicals of traditional medicine. Working with your doctor, an alternative healer can provide relief and support for the more traditional methods your physician is using. Many people find such success with these alternative healing methods for themselves, they are also using them to help heal their pets. While every method won’t work for every person and these techniques are not a replacement for traditional medical treatments, many people find relief from their discomfort and that their healing is faster when using an alternative treatment in conjunction with more traditional medical interventions. As these treatments begin to become more popular and better known, they will become more accepted as effective treatments by the general public.
What is alternative today can, as people begin to find relief and share their experiences with others, very quickly become mainstream tomorrow
[box type=”note”]About the Author: Natalie Parker is a professional blogger that shares tips and advice on health, training and nutrition. He writes for Fitness19.com, a leading fitness facility with affordable month to month memberships.[/box]