5 Wacky Alternative Healing Methods…That Work!
When it comes to holistic or alternative healing methods, some of them can be pretty weird to the individual that is entrenched in the allopathic (pharmaceutical and surgery) forms of healing. Some people even get down right angry if you even slightly stray from Western medicine. That was my belief before I crawled into the office of a holistic practitioner with shooting pains and walked out practically pain free. Holistic therapies have been an enormous game changer in my life but it was not always that way. I remember walking into a session with a Sound Therapist, seeing all the musical instruments around the room, and rolling my eyes. I was convinced that this healing method was not going to work but I was in so much pain that I was willing to give it a try. I figured that I had nothing to lose…and maybe I would get an interesting concert if nothing else. At the time, my options were another surgery, more medications, or some guy banging on gongs, bell jars, and shaking rattles. I chose the rattles and once again, my life changed!
Not too long ago, chiropractic was considered an “unscientific cult” by the American Medical Association (which did not change its tune until 1987) and the practice of chiropractic could land you in jail. The same goes for acupuncture. Even today, acupuncture is sometimes referred to as a pseudo-science and it was illegal to practice until 1974.
Throughout history there have been beliefs and tonics offered up as potentially healing. The “wacky” holistic treatments offered up here have worked for me, and countless others, and I speak of them from my own personal point of view and experience. It is my firm belief that true and lasting healing must be achieved through a combination approach of mixing multiple healing practices (allopathic and holistic, holistic and holistic) that address the dis-ease state on a Mind, Body, and Spirit level. Take weight loss for instance…the average way people deal with the problem of being fat is through diet and exercise. Just look around and see how successful that is! Most people, especially Americans, are quite overweight and we spend more money and time than any other country in the world constantly dieting and exercising…dieting and exercising. It is a vicious cycle and the majority of those on this frustrating roller coaster ride of focusing obsessively on a “body” solution of losing weight ignore the “mind” part of themselves that can only perceive itself as fat and the “spirit” part of themselves that is a broken child wounded by the taunting and abuse of others and unfortunately their own words. It does not matter how skinny you may temporarily become, those words will wound and those opinions (I am not good enough, I am too ugly, nobody loves me, etc.) will often drive the person trying to gain their health back into a world of medicating themselves with German Chocolate Cake.
As wacky as these therapies may seem, I am going to encourage you to step out of the paradigm that healing can only occur when using drugs and surgery. In truth, the number one cause of death in the United States is Western medicine itself with 783,936 deaths per year; higher than heart disease and cancer… (http://www.webdc.com/pdfs/deathbymedicine.pdf) So, try something new.
1) Ear Candling (Ear Coning) – This highly controversial and super relaxing treatment made a big difference for me when I was suffering from chronic sinus infections. When I first discovered Ear Candling I was at the tail end of a cold that I just could not shake. My ears felt congested and the side of my neck below my ears felt impacted. After one session, my hearing was better and the congestion was gone! I love it! In fact, it is something I do once a year with a highly skilled practitioner who is careful and gentle with this delicate part of my body. Be sure to use a well-trained practitioner when getting this done, never insert the cone too far into the ear canal (just let it rest softly at the opening), and be sure to cover the face to protect you from the flame and have a cup of water nearby to douse the candle when completed.
2) Binaural Beats – Just the thought of binaural beats relaxes me! I first discovered this practice when I was studying for my Master’s degree in Consciousness Studies (the study of quantum theory and theology combined). I have long been interested in how sounds affect our abilities…from studying to the development of motor skills to sleep. According to the National Institute of Health, “Binaural beats are auditory brainstem responses that originate in the superior olivary nucleus as a result of different frequency auditory stimuli provided to each ear. Listeners to binaural beat "hear" a beat at a frequency equal to the difference between the frequencies of the applied tones.” In other words, you wear stereo headphones and one ear hears a frequency that is slightly different than what the other ear hears. The difference between the two is the “beat”.
These frequencies can help heal sleep disorders, anxiety, mood disorders, and more. I personally have found it a great way to help people with overactive or anxious/worrisome minds to heal and even meditate. My clients have often told me they experienced effortless meditation using binaural beats and that they feel calmer and more relaxed throughout the day when they take the time to sit and participate in this effortless form of meditation.
3) Acupuncture Seeds/Auricular (ear) Therapy – This simple therapy is based on the concept that the body has lines of energy, called meridians, running through it and that all of those lines are duplicated in the ear itself. Therefore, you can actually treat the spleen or even the kidney by stimulating the energy meridian in the ear that corresponds with the channel that runs through the kidney or spleen.
I struggled with back pain, specifically sciatica, for decades. It would flare up with varying degrees of severity at different times and I found different therapies to deal with the pain. One of those was through the application of mustard seeds taped to pressure points along those energy lines on my ears. Mustard Seeds are small, smooth, and hard and they can replace an acupuncture needle. A small piece of tape holds the seed in place. The patient is encouraged to gently press the seed into the ear/energy channel throughout the day. It oddly reminds me of that strangely wonderful pain that is at the same time painful and enjoyable…like a loose tooth or scratching yourself a little too hard.
This helped my back feel better and I was more “grounded” and calm….which helped me get through my day easier.
4) Colonics/Colon Hydro-Therapy – This is a touchy subject…Colonics is quite simple and very embarrassing. At least it is for me. The simplest explanation is this – a hose is gently placed in your rectum, it fills you with water, and then it flushes you out. Gross! But after the embarrassment…what an incredible feeling! I used Colonics as a way to get through the constant dehydration I was experiencing and to heal myself of Fibromyalgia. My Western medical doctor had the idea that my colon was like a drive river bed. I had been eating a standard diet of pasta, rice, and white bread for many years. These were a staple in my family and because I was poor while in college and I was always hungry I ate way to much of these unhealthy white flours for many years. I had mysteriously dehydrated quite a few times starting when I was just a young teen and he postulated that my innards were coated with caked on gluten. Basically, this paste was potentially causing me to theoretically starve. Even if I ate a healthy diet and avoided pasty foods I still could not absorb them. The Colonics (which I combined with deep massage and sound therapy) helped shake loose the goo that was stuck inside me and flush it all out. As I tend to be a little embarrassed around that part of my body the process was always emotionally uncomfortable although it surprisingly was not physically uncomfortable. I would walk out of these sessions feeling so clean and alive. It is an awesome experience! For me, personally, my fatigue began to lift and I finally started to feel better and more importantly the symptoms of my fibromyalgia went away.
5) Reflexology – I have a guilty secret here. I do not care if this work, if it has any scientific basis, or if it really does anything that the reflexologist claims it can do! I just love a good foot rub! In fact, I have told my boyfriend repeatedly that if they have bad news just start rubbing my feet and I will be like butter in their hands. It is the ultimate way to get me to agree to most anything!
The concept of Reflexology is similar to Ear Seeds. Reflexologist claim that every part of the body has a corresponding place in our feet; push on the arches and you relax the kidneys and spleen, rub the ball of your foot and you are stimulating the thyroid. Reflexology is simple, straight forward, and it feels so good!
No matter what holistic therapy you try, be sure to find a practitioner that is well trained and well recommended! Do your research. Ask questions. In fact, do these same things when considering a new medication or medical treatment! It is your life, your body; not the doctors or therapists. Yours! Step into your “Captain’s Seat” and decide what is right for you. Do your homework…be diligent and discover if there is an alternative therapy that might work for you. If you do these things…the only thing you have to lose is your pain! Be brave and look for healing ways that are holistic, open, and without side effects. I did it. I healed myself using all kinds of wacky therapies and so can you!