100 Complementary and Alternative Therapies-many may help Arthritis sufferers
As always, please check with your appropriate health professional before trying any of these therapies.
Note: if you follow the above link, there are further links to follow on each of the therapies listed.
What it is: Acupressure is an ancient form of therapy which involves applying pressure to certain points around the body in order to stimulate the body’s own healing processes, and bring about positive health benefits. Pressure is normally applied with the fingers, and the process is so simple to learn, you can use it on yourself, or have a licensed practitioner treat you for even greater health benefits.
• Boosts the immune system
• Relieves stress
• Relieves headaches
• Alleviates other aches and pains around the body
• Increases circulation
What it is: Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese Medicinal therapy related to acupressure in the sense that it focuses on stimulating certain healing points around the body, called Acupoints. These points in turn stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. Rather than using the fingers to stimulate these areas, acupuncture involves the insertion of very tiny needles into the top layers of the skin and muscle by a registered acupuncture practitioner.
• Clears energy blockages in the body
• Relieves sore, spasming muscles
• Alleviates stress
• Aids better, deeper sleep
• Strengthens the immune system
What it is: The Alexander Technique is a physical method of retraining the body to “unlearn” negative physical habits and patterns of movement in order to allow the body to move more freely and naturally. The technique can be learned from an accredited teacher, by attending an in-person course, or it can be self-studied. Basically it allows you to identify tension patterns that are affecting your posture and the means to correct them. This complimentary therapy seems popular with musicians who often hold a tense posture for extended periods of time.
• Allows you to move more freely and comfortably
• Relieves stress and tension in the body
• Helps alleviate pain from repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome
• Alleviates backache, and pain associated with a stiff neck and shoulders
• Can help makes sitting at a computer for long periods of time more comfortable
• Helps you feel more comfortable in your own body
What is it: Animal or Pet therapy is a “guided interaction between a person and a trained animal”. The purpose of pet therapy is to help someone recover from or cope with a health problem or mental disorder. Pet therapy is also referred to as animal-assisted therapy (AAT). AAT is a formal, structured set of sessions that helps people reach specific goals in their treatment.
Benefits: Animal & Pet therapy builds on the pre-existing human-animal bond. Interacting with a friendly pet can help many physical and mental issues. It can help reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can also release endorphins that produce a calming effect. This can help alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve your overall psychological state.
What it is: Apitherapy is a type of therapy which involves the medicinal use of bees and bee products for their many health benefits. It has origins dating back thousands of years, and involves various applications of bee products including bee pollen, beeswax, royal jelly, propolis, honey, and bee venom. Depending on which specific product is used, different bee products each have a multitude of benefits for certain health concerns.
• Bee venom stimulates a healthy immune response
• Reduces pain and inflammation in the joints caused by conditions such as arthritis
• Royal jelly and propolis treats burns
• Propolis is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal
• Honey is a well-known antibacterial
What it is: Aromatherapy is the method of using the scents and aromas of essential oils to alleviate a range of emotional and physical concerns, from stress and anxiety, to blocked sinuses, pain and cognitive function. Scents from essential oils can be diffused in a traditional oil burner with a candle, or using a more modern aromatherapy diffuser (which often has the added benefit of helping to humidify the air in a room.)
Benefits (these are dependent on the type of aroma/scent used):
• Induces sleep
• Relieves stress
• Alleviates headaches
• Aids digestion
• Strengthens the immune system
• Helps to treat a wide range of common ailments
What it is: Auriculotherapy involves the stimulation of the external part of the ears (the auricles) in order to treat a number of health conditions and concerns. It was first developed in 1957, using the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and involves using pressure (either with small acupuncture needles, or a wand which applies a gentle electromagnetic current) on certain points on the outer ear in order to treat certain conditions.
• Helps treat insomnia
• Alleviates back and neck pain
• Helps treat certain emotional disorders
• Alleviates stress and anxiety
What it is: Autogenic training is a technique comprised of 6 standard exercises which you can learn in order to teach your body to feel heavy, deeply relaxed and warm. Exercises are per-formed while sitting in a quiet and comfortable position, and it can be thought of as a more ad-vanced form of meditation and self hypnosis. The exercises can be learned from an instructor, or on your own, and it is recommended that you spend a few months mastering each exercise at a time to fully reap the benefits. There are many guided forms of autogenic training online, such as the video above.
• Anxiety, stress relief and insomnia are the main benefits of this complimentary therapy
- Some claims that autogenic training can help to alleviate digestive issues, constipation/diarrhea, ulcers, headaches and asthma
- Lowers blood pressure in those with high blood pressure
• Some claims the technique can assist with the management of thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
More information: www.autogenictraining.org
What it is: Autosuggestion is a psychological technique in which you learn how to guide your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors simply through the power of self-suggestion. It can be thought of as a form of mild self-hypnosis, and takes positive self talk one step further into actually causing strong positive shifts in your overall sense of well-being and happiness. Many see it as a way to directly influence the sub-conscious mind to improve one’s life in any way that you desire. Heard of the law of attraction? Well this is kind of the ‘official’ name.
• Helps create new positive thought patterns
• Eases stress, anxiety and depression
• Eliminates bad habits
• Resolves relationship problems
What it is: Ayurveda is an ancient Indian form of medicinal practice which focuses on bringing balance back to the body and the mind in order to both prevent and cure disease. Depending on the health needs of the individual, Ayurvedic treatments may involve a combination of special herbs, diet changes, yoga practice, acupuncture, meditation and massage.
• Focuses on preventing disease, rather than simply curing it
• Easy to incorporate many aspects of Ayurveda into your daily routine
• Lowers blood pressure
• Alleviates stress
• Increases fertility and libido
Bach Flower Therapy
What it is: Bach Flower therapy is a treatment involving the use of Bach Flower Remedies – a series of 38 flower therapies developed in 1930 by an English homeopath, Edward Bach. Each of the 38 remedies are made up of a mixture of water, brandy and diluted flower essences de-rived from petals, with each of the specific formulas being developed to treat a certain emotion or negative state of mind one may be suffering from. The remedies are taken by adding a few drops to a glass of water and sipping it, or by dropping the remedies directly onto the tongue.
Benefits (depending on the specific remedy):
• Improves confidence
• Treats shock
• Eases depressive thoughts
• Allows you to gain greater clarity on your direction in life
What it is: Chiropractic involves the treatment of certain neuromuscular conditions and pain through the physical manipulation and adjustment of the spine. Chiropractic sessions are always performed by a licensed and trained chiropractor, who will identify the root cause of one’s pain, and prescribe a course of treatments to help alleviate it and prevent further pain in the future.
• Alleviates back and neck pain
• Reduces muscle soreness
• Treats headaches
• Treats mild scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
• Helps treat sport injuries
• Helps improve posture
What it is: What’s the purpose of cleansing your colon? To flush out built-up waste stored by rehydrating old stool that’s become impacted. Most colon cleanses use water to infiltrate hard-ened stool and loosen it up so it can be passed more easily.
The ultimate goal of a colon cleanse — whether it’s a type of enema or a colonic — is really to help the digestive organs do their job in the best way possible, managing things that get in the way and interfere with normal bowel functions. Colon cleanses aren’t necessarily needed by every person, but some people can really benefit from eliminating waste, bacterial matter and toxic material that’s stored in their bodies.
Benefits: A colon cleanse can help bring about regular bowel movements.
Studies show that bowel movements are important for removing bacteria, heavy metal detox or eliminating excess fatty acids from the body. A colon cleanse can also impact the nervous sys-tem positively, which is why it might help symptoms like anxiety and fatigue.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
What it is: Craniosacral therapy involves applying gentle pressure and manipulation to the joints in the skull, spine, and parts of the pelvis.
CST is a non-invasive, hands-on therapy that aims to enhance the body’s own healing capabilities. According to the Upledger Institute, CST uses a touch of under five grams to “release restrictions in the Craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.” This light touch is said to affect the pressure and circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, which is the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. This process is thought to relieve pain and dysfunction. Practitioners claim that CST can be carried out as a standalone treatment or used in conjunction with medical or other alternative therapies.
• Headache and migraines
• Chronic pain conditions
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
• Anxiety and depression in adults, as well as hyperactivity in children
What it is: Crystal healing, also sometimes referred to as gemstone treatment or crystal therapy, involves the use of special crystals to treat different health concerns. It is based on the principle that certain natural gemstones and crystals each have their own effects on the energy fields of the body. Crystals are either worn as jewelry, carried by the person in their pockets or bags, or placed strategically around the home or workplace where their healing energies can have the greatest benefit.
• Depending on the type used, crystals can treat a range of emotional concerns
• Promotes a calm and centered mind
• Crystals do not lose their energy over time
• Easy to use by anyone
What it is: Cupping therapy is a form on Ancient Chinese Medicine, which involves the place-ment of heated glass suction cups onto the skin in order to form a vacuum and draw blood to the surface of the skin in these areas. It is performed by a licensed practitioner, who will determine the specific points on the body where the cupping is needed, and how many cups to use. Cups are usually left on the skin for between five and fifteen minutes.
• Helps sore, overworked muscles recover faster
• Promotes circulation
• Deeply relaxing
• Releases toxins from the body
What it is: Ear candling is a type of therapy which involves inserting one end of a special type of candle into the ear, and lighting the other end with a small flame. One usually lays on their side while the treatment is taking place. It can be performed at home, with the assistance of someone to light the candle for you, or in a practitioner’s office.
• Helps soften and extract built up ear wax from the ear canal
• Helps relieve sinus pressure
• Can help treat tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
• Deeply relaxing
EAV Electrodermal Screening
What it is: EAV or Computron, is a painless, non-invasive assessment tool that can support other diagnostic tools when assessing health issues. It uses state-of-the-art computer technolo-gy to measure the body’s energy system through acupuncture points on the skin. Electrodermal screening is a valuable tool in the identification and treatment of disturbances in the body such as allergies, food sensitivities, or problem areas in the teeth, gums and jaw, hormonal deficien-cies, vitamin or enzyme deficiencies, or infections.
Electrodermal screening can be of great value in formulating customized allergy serum shots or drops for children and adults, as it is painless and accurate and eliminates the need for allergy skin testing with needles.
• No side effects
• Suitable for all ages
What it is: Electromagnetic therapy is a type of treatment which revolves around the premise that all functions in the body are controlled by electromagnetic waves, and that a disturbance in the frequency of these electromagnetic waves is what causes disease. The therapy itself involves the use of electromagnets by a practitioner to re-balance the currents in the body, and help treat a range of disorders.
• Non invasive
• Aids relaxation
• Rebalances imbalances in the body’s energy field
What it is: Enema therapy is a type of therapy which involves using water or other fluids to flush and cleanse out the colon and lower bowels. There are different types of enema, with coffee enemas being one of the most popular in recent times. The aim of enemas is to cleanse the bowels of un-eliminated waste that has built up in the digestive system over a number of years, and leave you feeling lighter and less sluggish straight away.
• Aids digestion
• Reduces bloating and stomach discomfort
• Detoxifies the body
• Increases energy levels
• Can be performed yourself at home with the right equipment
More information: bodyecology.com
What it is: The Feldenkrais Method is an educational technique developed by Israeli physicist Moshé Feldenkrais, and involves increasing your self-awareness through specific bodily movements and exercises. Through slow repetition of movements, you “unlearn” inefficient habitual movement patterns which are causing strain to certain areas of your body. It is similar to the Alexander Technique, in the sense that it is a learned method, rather than a therapy which involves manipulation of the muscles or bones (such as with physiotherapy or chiropractic).
• Unlearn bad habits of movements (such as bad posture)
• Alleviates pain associated with stiff muscles and joints
• Improves posture and balance
What it is: ‘Floating’ involves floating in a pod or room that is designed for short term sensory deprivation. This is typically done within a large tank of super-saturated magnesium water that makes you completely buoyant.
Float tanks are also called Isolation tanks or Sensory Deprivation Tanks. The basic concept is that floating reduces external stimuli as much as possible to help the body achieve a natural re-storative state. Some people compare the experience of floating to meditation or yoga.
• Anxiety relief
• Pain relief
• Promotes relaxation
• Reduces headaches
• Improves circulation
• For more restful sleep
What is it: Dry salt is placed into a halo generator that then precisely grinds the salt into specific micro-sized particles and then disperses the salt aerosol into the air in a closed environment such as a room or chamber.
As the salt travels in the salt room, these salt particles of dry sodium chloride are inhaled into the respiratory system. The dry salt naturally starts absorbing allergens, toxins and foreign sub-stances into your lungs and throughout your respiratory tract. The micro-sized crystal structure of pure NaCl particles breaks loose and clears out all of the ‘bad stuff’. This is the basis for how dry salt therapy can impact people suffering from respiratory conditions like allergies, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, COPD and others.
Benefits: People suffering with these conditions may benefit from:
• Dry & Flaky Skin
• Cystic fibrosis
• Ear infections
• Smokers cough
What is it: Herbology is the use of herbs, botanicals, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, flowers, flower essences leaves, stems, roots, bark, fruits and seeds to induce healing in the body. Herbology is used by many different complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, including Naturopaths, Ayurveda Practitioners and in traditional Chinese Medicine. Although Herbology is all natural and generally considered to be safe, some herbs are very powerful and can interact with traditional medications. Individuals can also experience allergic reactions.
• Reduced risk of side effects: Most herbal medicines are well tolerated by the patient, with fewer unintended consequences than pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs typically have fewer side effects than traditional medicine, and may be safer to use over time.
• Effectives with chronic conditions: Herbal medicines tend to be more effective for long-standing health complaints that don’t respond well to traditional medicine.
•Lower cost: Herbs cost much less than prescription medications. Research, testing, and market-ing add considerably to the cost of prescription medicines. Herbs tend to be inexpensive compared to drugs.
• Widespread availability: Herbs are available without a prescription. You can grow some simple herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, at home. In some remote parts of the world, herbs may be the only treatment available to the majority of people.
What is it: Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health. This condition of holistic health is defined as the unlimited and unimpeded free flow of life force energy through body, mind, and spirit.
Benefits: Holistic healing aims to identify the root cause, or causes, of an imbalance (whether it is physical pain, stress, poor sleep, etc.). Taking a holistic approach to healing means we will consider all realms of existence, not just the physical body. To many, this may sound like mind-body medicine, but that is only the foundation of holistic healing. As such, the benefits of holistic healing are conceivably vast. To condense the benefits and analyze them in correspondence to changes in physical, emotional, spiritual, and behavioral health, it becomes evident that there is only one all-encompassing benefit to holistic healing: a dramatically positive change in lifestyle.
What is it: Homeopathy is a holistic medicine which uses specially prepared, highly diluted substances (given mainly in tablet form) with the aim of triggering the body’s own healing mechanisms. A homeopath will prescribe medicines according to the patient’s specific set of symptoms, and how they experience them, taking into account their overall level of health.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like treats like”. That is, a substance which can cause symptoms when taken in large doses, and can be used in small amounts to treat similar symptoms. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation, so according to this principle, when made into a homeopathic medicine, it could be used to treat people suffering from sleeplessness and agitation. An important difference with homeopathy however, is that the medicinal doses (known as remedies) are so small that toxic side-effects are avoided.
- It can be used by pregnant and nursing women.
- It can be used by children and infants.
- It does not interfere with medications taken by a person.
- It can be used for chronic or acute conditions.
- Homeopathy is a holistic approach to healing: one that involves the body, mind, emotions, and spirit of the person being treated.
- Homeopathic remedies are readily available and can, therefore, be used by anyone.
- Homeopathic remedies are typically inexpensive and therefore provide an affordable approach to healing.
- Homeopathic medicine is non-invasive.
What it is: Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy in which the patient is firstly put into a state of hypnosis, then on a subconscious level, encouraged by the hypnotherapy practitioner to alter their subconscious and create new thoughts, feelings and patterns of behavior.
- Aids relaxation
- Helps with acute or chronic pain management
- Helps manage or eliminate addictions (including drugs and alcohol)
- Can help treat eating disorders
Ionic Foot bath
What it is: An ionic foot detox pulls the toxins out of your body through your feet. The process gives the hydrogen in the water a positive charge. The positive charge is said to attract the negatively charged toxins in your body. The ions in the foot bath water supposedly hold a charge that enables them to bind to any heavy metals and toxins in your body, similar to how a magnet works. This allows the toxins to be pulled out through the bottoms of your feet.
- Purging of heavy metals
- A more balanced pH level
- Boosts the immune system
- Improves mood
- Detoxifying the liver
- Internal cleansing with full-body purge
- Liver, kidney, and parasite cleansing
- Encourages normal blood sugar