Alternative Methods of Healing
By: Brandi Lewis, M.Ed, LPC
There are many things that you can do to heal along with going to therapy. Some of these methods are free and easy to do. Some of the other methods can be done with the help of a practitioner. Here are just a few methods that can help:
Guided Meditation: Guided Meditation is when there is a narrator helping you to quiet your mind and help you to make a specific change in your life. Meditation helps to calm your body and mind. Studies show that the mind can’t often separate a real event from an imagined event. When you experience guided meditation it is like experiencing a real event and as a result it can cause your body to calm itself. (Imagine yourself on a sunny island experiencing the sound of the waves and feeling the sun!) There are a lot of free apps that help with guided meditation, including “Keep Yoga,” a free app that uses guided meditation, yoga, and wellness articles to help people each day.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine where a practitioner uses very thin, small needles in the skin to balance the energy in a person’s body at different specific points. This helps to boost overall well being and has been used to help physical conditions including headaches, blood pressure, fertility as well as mental and emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. Don’t worry about pain; the needles are as thin as a strand of hair!
Chakra Balancing: Our universe revolves around energy and so do our bodies. Energy flows in a constant stream throughout the body at key points. These points are called chakras. An overactive or underactive chakra can result in different issues including: depression, weight problems, arthritis, impotence, anger, thyroid problems and much more.
Reiki: Reiki is a traditional form of Japanese healing that reduces stress and promotes healing and relaxation. Reiki means “spiritually guided life force energy.” It is not related to a particular religion, it is the guided movement of energy throughout a person’s body by a practitioner. Reiki has been used to treat the following conditions: anxiety, depression, infertility, heart disease, and more.
Essential Oils: Essential Oils are used in aromatherapy and can be used to aid with many concerns including: anxiety, depression, relaxation, headache, nausea, immunity, stress, and digestion. Examples: Rose oil can be used to reduce anxiety and improve mood; Lavender can be used for stress relief.
Homeopathy: According to the National Center for Homeopathy, homeopathy is “ a safe, gentle, and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself, and improve your overall health. It is extremely safe to use, even with very small children and pets, has none of the side effects of many traditional medications, is very affordable, is made from natural substances, and is FDA regulated.” Homeopathic doctors can help treat illnesses and conditions like colds, ear infections, migraines, and sore throats, asthma, depression and arthritis.
Group Counseling, Support Groups, and Prayer Groups: Each of these groups provide support for people in different, but effective ways. These groups are often small groups of people that foster community and meditative practices. One thing that has been proven with groups is that it often helps people not to feel alone in a given situation.
Exercise: There are many benefits of exercise for mental health. Exercise can help improve sleep patterns, provide a boost of energy, promote self-esteem and resilience. Studies have shown that exercise can aid with PTSD, ADHD, stress, depression, and anxiety.
Journaling: You may have kept a journal and hid it when you were a teenager, but have you thought about keeping a journal as an adult? If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or have experienced trauma, journaling may be a good idea. Journaling has many benefits including: Managing and reducing stress and anxiety, catharsis, identifying negative patterns and thoughts, and helping people to identify triggers. You don’t have to give up your diary or journal just because you’ve grown up.