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8 Alternative Healing Therapies That Actually Work

A practice as old as 100 years, alternative healing has always been around, with its importance even more prominent today.

With strips of headache tablets kept in our bags or desks at work, the science of healing without medicine is still slow in its pace of reaching the larger audience. In times like these, alternative healing is a practice that has helped many achieve a stable, physical and mental being.

Dr Manju Mehra, former President, Indian Association of Clinical Psychology and Clinical Psychologist at AIIMS, “Forms of alternative healing like acupressure and reiki have particular techniques that are helpful in treating patients.”

Talking about the importance of alternate therapy, Dr. Ripan Sippy, clinical psychologist with BLK Super Speciality Hospital says, “Alternative healing can help in two ways: one is the therapy and the technique that they use, and another is that this practice helps relax the patient’s mind.” Alternative healing helps a person to introspect, which is necessary during the course of a treatment.

Practitioners of this speciality feel that alternative healing works on the subconscious mind of the patient and hence helps them ease into therapy, which may not be possible with the use of heavy machines or medicines. Art therapy, for instance, helps in healing through the use of colours. Art therapist Niladri Paul adds, “The colours activate our organs and glands. These maybe in our foods also. So when we see colours and touch them, that helps in rejuvenation of our mind and soul.”

Dr. Mehta, on the other hand, feels that all these forms have specific uses. “Reiki is for over-all healing while acupressure is for specific ailments. Healings like music therapy and art therapy help in ventilation.” However, therapy is person and condition specific. Before opting for any of the following, please get in touch with your family doctor.

Acupuncture : A technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body. This is mostly done by inserting thin needles through skin. It is one of the practices used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Acupressure: Ancient healing art using the fingers to gradually press key points, which stimulate the body’s natural self-therapeutic abilities. Another alternative healing process that has found its way from Chinese medicine.

Crystal healing: Different crystals have different energies and properties. This can affect mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of ourselves.

Aroma therapy: A practice that uses natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stern, leaves or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. These oils are often absorbed into the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream.

Reiki: A Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Often described as a palm healing process where the practitioner places hands over a patient’s body to facilitate the process of therapy.

Music therapy : Patients are asked to listen to a CD of a modified range meant for that condition or disease. Sounds are regulated based on the kind of activity that is expected out of a patient.

Art therapy : Structured exercises where participants work with colour and art supplies. There are also supplies, which are customized. This strongly aims to work on the subconscious mind.

Salt therapy: This form requires one to breathe in salty air for therapeutic reasons. A common practice around Europe, this treatment eliminates the root of all inflammatory respiratory illnesses. The patient is made to sit in a regulated salt room for the process.

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