What Is Alternative Therapy?
“A healer’s power stems not from any special ability, but from maintaining the courage and awareness to embody and express the universal healing power that every human being naturally possesses.” — Eric Micha’el Leventhal
Alternative therapy, or Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), is a treatment different from the medicines prescribed by doctors and other mainstream health professionals.
Complementary Alternative Medicine is when alternative therapy is used alongside traditional medicine. It is called alternative therapy or alternative medicine when it is used in replacement of traditional medicine. A nationwide study in 2008 recorded that 38% of adults use Complementary Alternative Medicine for treatments; 12% children.
Alternative therapy has gained popularity in recent years as an alternative method for healing and improving overall well-being. It offers a holistic approach to healing by focusing on the person as a whole, including their mind, body, and spirit.
The focus of alternative therapy is to help individuals achieve balance and harmony in their lives by addressing the root cause of their problems. In this blog, we will discuss various types of alternative therapy and the benefits of alternative therapies for improved mental and physical health.
Types of Alternative Therapy
Alternative therapy encompasses practices and techniques not part of the traditional medical system. These practices focus on connecting the mind, body, and spirit to promote healing and improve overall health.
Alternative therapies can be practiced at home by yourself as part of your self-care routine, practiced at wellness retreats around the world, or treated to you by a professional. Some standard alternative therapy practices are:
- Herbal medicine, such as Ayurveda (one of the world’s oldest alternative medicine practices)
- Pranic Healing and Reiki
- Tai Chi and Qi (pronounced chi) Gong
Alternative therapy is suggested for people who suffer from chronic illness, seek preventive care, seek mental and emotional relief, and for those seeking alternative healing options.
Aside from the physical treatments listed above, changing your nutrition habits may improve your way of life. Consuming whole and nutritious foods has been linked to reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Feeding your body nutrient-dense foods makes you less inclined to crave salty food and sweets. Not having these cravings may prevent mood swings, less hangry attitude, and improve cognitive focus and clarity. In addition, consuming a healthy diet can produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate our moods and emotions.
Supplementing your health-conscious lifestyle with probiotics and vitamins can improve your immune system and overall health. Nutritionists, dieticians, and personal trainers are among the lesser-known alternative healing practitioners that can provide life-changing results.
Alternative Therapy Benefits
Alternative therapy may be what you need to expand your healthcare options. Alternative therapies are non-conventional approaches to healing that can complement or even replace traditional treatments.
It is a safer treatment focusing on natural, holistic, and low-risk treatments to treat your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical ailments.
There are some common misconceptions about alternative therapy. Some say it can be expensive, ineffective, and only for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. The benefits may outweigh the cons.
- Relieves stress and anxiety — From the practices of yoga, meditation, and acupuncture.
- Boost immunity — Herbal medicines and herbal remedies of echinacea and elderberry have been shown to improve immune function and may even help to prevent colds and viruses.
- Pain Relief — Massages and chiropractic care are great ways to release tension and pain in your muscles and joints by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
- Improve Sleep — Practices like aromatherapy, meditation, and cold showers before bed have shown to improve sleep quality. Essential oils like lavender and chamomile can help to calm the mind and promote relaxation. In contrast, meditation can help to clear the mind and reduce racing thoughts that can interfere with sleep.
With the pros and cons of alternative therapy, each healing practice can be more beneficial for some people than others. If you go into an alternative therapy with a fixed mindset, you may not be able to reap the full benefits.
In addition, maintaining daily or weekly habits of alternative healing can lead to profound results. Practicing yoga a few times weekly will keep your mind and body durable and improve your respiration, energy levels, and vitality.
Meditating each day for five to ten minutes can help you gain a new perspective on stressful situations, focus on the present moment, and improve the flow of oxygen in and out of your body. Also, it is a natural way to keep yourself looking younger because you learn how to manage stress and reduce negative emotions.
How to Find a Legitimate Practitioner
Google “alternative therapy near me” and research the local practitioners near you. You want to look for reviews and testimonials, the practitioners’ credentials, and those that offer a consultation. Once you find a practitioner that you feel comfortable with, go into the session with an open mind, relax, and trust the process.
In the consultation, talk to the practitioner and see if you have similar and compatible beliefs and lifestyles. Try not to rush the process; trust yourself and your intuition. Depending on your insurance policy, some alternative treatments may be covered, while others, like yoga and meditation, can be found for free through apps and Youtube.
Speaking to ourselves with love and compassion causes neuroplasticity - the brain's ability to rewire or reprogram itself. We believe that when we are good to ourselves, we feel good; when we feel good, we are good to the world around us.
Treating yourself with respect can cause a ripple of good vibes in your community and those close to you. Radiate with love and compassion and watch your world slowly change as you attract your manifestations and intentions into your life.
With Love and Light!