The field of holistic therapies is very vast. It ranges from Homeopathic, Naturopathic and Ayurvedic doctors to Reiki and Body Talk practitioners. Different therapies work for different people and sometimes it may feel like trial and error until you find the therapy or practitioner that helps you.
So how do you go about choosing the ‘right’ therapy? To find the right therapy, therapist or practitioner, you need to ask yourself and the therapist / practitioner the right questions:
1.) Why are you seeking this therapy? Is it for a specific condition; is it of physical or psychological manifestation; do you have a diagnosis; what helps ease the condition and what exacerbates the condition?
2.) Talk to the therapist or practitioner before the consultation – this helps them ‘plan’ your session and if they cannot help you, they would be able to tell you beforehand
3.) Open yourself up to the healing modality and all that it has to offer. Being able to communicate openly with the therapist / practitioner is also very important.
4.) Be aware of your body / mind and any changes that have occurred. If the therapist / practitioner refer you to a different practitioner, it is a good idea to investigate.
As student reflexologists, we learnt a lot about other healing modalities. It was part of our syllabus to understand other concepts of healing modalities for knowledge and referral purposes. We also had different practitioners and therapists giving lectures at our external seminars and workshops.
Each healing modality has a part to play and no one person can do them all. We also need to realise that some people respond to a particular modality better than others.
When it comes to holistic health, I feel that the most important aspect is self education and awareness, ‘consumer education’ in the retail world. This includes food choices (proper label reading and knowledge of what ‘healthy foods’ really are), supplement choices, knowing how to use essential oils and tissue salts correctly as well as more information on the array of different therapies and medical options that the world has to offer.
For this first post I am going to focus on the more basic and general therapies that are safe, affordable and accessible for most people.
- Tissue salts
There is a lot to read up on tissue salts (see source links below). They were introduced in 1870 by Dr Schuessler, a homeopathic Doctor. There are 12 tissue salts. These tissue salts are inorganic minerals naturally present in the body.
The principle of tissue salts is that if there are not enough of these minerals available in the body, disease will manifest. These minerals are depleted by the daily stress of life, be it physical, emotional or environmental, such as radiation. The administration of Tissue salts helps the body regain the mineral balance. By looking at the symptoms, will determine which tissue salt you are lacking. Today there is even tissue salt facial analysis which can help determine which tissue salts you are lacking.
Local practitioners have given vast amounts of information on these salts. There are books and information available on tissue salts by Margaret Roberts, Allison Effting and Eva Schoemanfield.
In my own experience and feedback from many of my patients – tissue salts work. I would recommend that you buy yourself a book on tissue salts to know how to use them correctly. Incorporate them into your lifestyle by taking them regularly. The best way to do that is to get into a habit of using them. As soon as you feel the symptom, start using tissue salts. With time and consistency you will learn how to ‘read’ your body and know which tissue salts to take. Tissue salts are not harmful and one cannot overdose. For more severe conditions, tissue salts are recommended every ½ hour.
- Essential oils
Essential oils are oils extracted from botanical material. They are obtained from the leaves, flowers, resin, bark, stem, fruit, roots or seeds of the plant. The oils are extracted by distillation, expression, dissolved in a solvent (absolutes) or gas extraction. In essence they are the life force of the plant.
Many essential oils have great anti-bacterial properties. Essential oils are great for any psychological imbalances and a few physical disorders. Their main actions are antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, anti-bacterial, antiviral and calming.
The effectiveness of the essential oils is very strong. It is important that essential oils are diluted with a base oil or in water if they are used in an oil burner or spray.
For more info on essential oils read my article All About Essential oils.
- Bach flower remedies
Dr Edward Bach developed the Bach Flower remedies. There are 38 different remedies all derived from plants, trees or shrubs. These remedies are based on the premise that people are of different constitutions. They aim to heal mental states and emotions which in turn healed the person physically. Bach flower remedies are a kind of homeopathy – like cures like. The plant with a similar constitution as the person helps balance that person. The remedy (flower, plant or tree) usually had similar characteristics of the disease or imbalanced emotional state of the person.
For example: ‘Oak’ is given to a person with excess ambition, people who cannot give in nor compromise. We can associate these characteristics with an oak tree which is large, strong and enduring. ‘Gentian’ is given for people of weak will and tendency to be discouraged. Gentian is a small purple herb that is fragile looking (it is also given as a remedy for digestive issues). Sometimes the names or characteristics of the flower, plant or tree is obvious and sometimes not. It is said that the vibrations of the essence of the plant is what heals and balances. Rescue remedy is also part of the Bach flower remedies.
Nutrition is a very difficult and somewhat contradictory subject. There are some nutritionists, doctors and other people that believe in the raw vegan diet; there are others that believe in the ketogenic (or banting) diet and others that don’t believe in any kind of diet.
The Chinese believe that to strengthen certain meridians or energy pathways, certain foods are required, and as season change, so should diet. Nowadays there are also DNA tests that you can do to see which food you struggle to tolerate and which foods are more beneficial to you. There is also the blood type diet which works with the proteins, lectins found in food.
If you have a particular symptom that is diet related or any kind of illness or disease, nutrition plays a huge role. Optimal nutrition helps balance and energise our body. Listening to your body and eat as close to nature as possible, is probably the best advice I can give you on a broad scale.
Louise Hay was renowned for her knowledge and writings on metaphysics. This is basically the psychological reason behind why a certain disease manifests. The principle is that by resolving these issues, you resolve the disease.
Often times the disease will re-manifest if the issue is not recognised or processed correctly. Metaphysics also helps you realise (if you are open to it) why a certain condition has manifested. Once you ‘process’ it, especially if it is reoccurring condition, it generally won’t happen again.
These therapies are non-diagnostic; they may heal you, but are generally a support for another kind of therapy. For example I generally recommend tissue salts to my patients / clients while they are coming for reflexology.
Understanding that to achieve healing and wellness, both the therapist and the patient are involved in the process. Awareness of where the problem is, what the problem is and how the problem arose is key to the start of any healing process.