There are different reasons to seek alternative medicine. For some, pills and other treatments are not working. Others prefer to avoid man-made medicines. Whatever the reason, you should be familiar with some of the more common terms before deciding on a holistic practitioner.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture involves inserting needles into the skin. The goal of this holistic treatment is to influence the energy in the body to alleviate pain, treat disease, and promote overall health. Acupressure is similar but does not involve needles.
Chiropractic – Chiropractic medicine focuses on the spine as the source of good health. A chiropractor will realign the spine to promote better posture and well-being.
Ear candling – Ear candling is used to remedy certain infections and hearing problems. A tubular candle is placed into the ear and lit at the opposite end, which creates a vacuum and pulls waxy buildup out.
Homeopathy – Homeopathic medicine uses minute doses of natural plant, animal, and mineral matter to encourage immune system health.
Massage therapy – Massage therapy uses rubbing to remedy stress and tension in the body. This treatment boosts the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Reflexology has many of the same principals as massage therapy but concentrates on the feet.
Meditation – Meditation focuses on calming and balancing the body, mind, and spirit to ease stress and pain. Meditation can be beneficial to hypertension and heart disease patients.
Reiki – Reiki originated in Tibet and uses light placement of the hands on another’s body to transfer healing energy. Reiki promotes emotional calm and spiritual insight.
Shiatsu – Shiatsu is a type of massage from Japan that uses varying rhythms and pressures to balance the body and its energy.
Yoga – Yoga practitioners use postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to improve stress levels and blood pressure. Yoga can also impede aging.
While holistic medicine may be a new concept to many people, these methods of whole body healing and natural remedies have been in use for thousands of years. Holistic practitioners address all aspects of mental and physical health, seeking to provide a sense of wellness to their patients. Though homeopathic and holistic treatments are often referred to as alternative medicine, they actually predate more modern treatments, and frequently seek to heal different afflictions and underlying causes.
Many of the sub specialties within the broader category of holistic therapy are meant to address energy imbalances in the body. Such treatments, such as Reiki, reflexology and acupuncture, target areas in which stress is often carried. During a Reiki session, practitioners will lay their hands, or pass them over, the body of their patient. In so doing, they are working to remedy any energy imbalances and return them to physical and emotional health. Acupuncture or acupressure, a popular Chinese remedy still employed in many chiropractic clinics, uses small needles inserted into pressure points to treat afflictions from infertility to localized pain.
Homeopathy is, in some ways, the most familiar of the Eastern treatment options now available to patients. Using natural herbs, homeopathic practitioners provide care for emotional issues such as depression, or physical issues like allergies and asthma. While some licensed doctors do provide this type of care, it is not strictly necessary for a homeopath to attend medical school to recommend a treatment schedule of herbs and natural remedies.
Patients interested in healing their mind and body through alternative means, can often find information through local health food stores, yoga studios or holistic spas. Professionals there are happy to counsel visitors on the methods of spiritual healing and guide them to the options that most suit their needs and lifestyle.